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by Members of KPFK Staff
Saturday, Sep. 28, 2002 at 11:51 AM
KPFK staff write an open letter to the listeners and others, about the lack of workplace democracy at KPFK.
24th September 2002
Open Letter to KPFK Listening Community, Local Advisory Board, Pacifica National Board, and KPFK Management
From: Members of the KPFK staff.
This past summer, the state of staff / management relations at KPFK deteriorated significantly. There is no workplace democracy left at KPFK. As individual LAB members can attest after attending several staff meetings, morale is extremely low.
In the long history of KPFK and Pacifica Radio, it has been the goal of staff, management, and the listening community, that the stations run democratically. The implementing of community advisory boards, hiring committees, and public meetings on policy all came about as a way to ensure Pacifica is a democratic and consensus oriented organization.
The staff is concerned the Mission of Pacifica is being disregarded. Staff has been frequently forbidden from discussing matters concerning staff / management relations at some staff meetings. Programming decisions are increasingly being made unilaterally. We consider it important that both the Pacifica Employee Hand Book and the AFTRA Collective Bargaining Agreement be consistently adhered to from here on into the future. In general, we feel that without transparency there can be no democracy. Currently, the workplace at KPFK is running along the model of a corporate structure where workers have little or no say and decisions are made behind closed doors. Transparency is vital to the health of community radio.
It is true that KPFK staff have not attended LAB and by-laws meetings as often as we should. We regret this and sincerely pledge to remedy this by increasing our attendance of community meetings concerning KPFK while staying true to the Pacifica Mission. We do believe a strong relationship between the staff and listeners is critical to the healthy functioning of the station.
To this end, we propose the following solutions:
Internal decisions such as programming, budgetary, personnel, and others should have input by committees which are representative of the listening communities, volunteer programmers, volunteers and staff. (One prototype of such a committee is a proposal for a program council, which is detailed on the KPFK website);
A 90-day trial period for such councils;
The continual formation of collectives to produce programming on issues that those collectives are immediately involved in, and we pledge to provide all the support necessary for the nurturing of collectives;
A freeze on programming changes until these issues are resolved and a permanent Programming Director is hired;
A freeze of hiring and firing of non-management positions until budget issues are resolved;
A process to effectively report and handle grievances (including grievances with management) for purposes of accountability and transparency.
The health of KPFK depends on the health of the listeners, the LAB, the subscribers, management, and staff. It is a travesty that this progressive institution, which covers the labor struggles of countless workers all over the nation and the world, is functioning as a workplace where there is no job security, and frequently inadequate or nonexistent benefits. We are reaching out to the KPFK listening community, the Local Advisory Board, and all interested parties to help improve the KPFK workplace environment and to help us continue the efforts making KPFK a truly healthy institution, on the inside and outside. We urge you to help us truly rebuild KPFK using the guiding principles outlined in the Pacifica Mission and which we uphold.
Signed by members of staff (listed alphabetically),
With a show of solidarity from these programmers and volunteers:
Dennis Allard, volunteer
Ric Allan, volunteer programmer
Diana Barahona, listener
Peter Dudar, volunteer
Bill Gardner, volunteer programmer
Sally Marr, listener, subscriber and LAB member
Alan Minsky, volunteer
Rachel riKu Matsuda, volunteer intern producer
Mark Maxwell, volunteer programmer
Frank Schweitzer, Listener
Yatrika Shah-Rais, volunteer programmer
Steve Sharp, volunteer producer
Mark Torres, Pacifica Radio Archives
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||Saturday, Sep. 28, 2002 at 11:54 AM