The below letter was sent by San Francisco-Northern California Local President Kathryn Howell to the San Francisco Chronicle on Aug. 12, 2016 in response to a statement from Cumulus Media regarding negotiations at KNBR.
It recently came to my attention that Cumulus Media had made a public statement about SAG-AFTRA’s bargaining position in our ongoing talks over fair wages and benefits for our members who are working hard producing the local sports programming at KNBR in San Francisco.
It’s SAG-AFTRA’s position that the employees at KNBR, one of the top five revenue-generators among 453 Cumulus Media-owned U.S. stations, deserve to be fairly compensated and not have to take second or third jobs to survive while covering San Francisco’s championship-winning teams.
The median rent for a one-bedroom apartment in San Francisco is more than $3,400 a month. In nearby Oakland, rent for a one-bedroom tops $2,400 a month. And that’s on top of monthly expenses like food, transit, utilities and healthcare.
KNBR employees voted to join SAG-AFTRA in November of 2014 to exercises their collective bargaining rights and bargain a fair, living wage. The producers, editors and board operators of KNBR radio currently earn San Francisco minimum wage of $13 an hour while their counterparts at Cumulus-owned unionized stations earn a range slightly above $15 to $19 an hour based on experience.
Because of the hard work of the KNBR employees, the station is a 2016 finalist for the National Association of Broadcasters’ Marconi Radio Award for Sports Station of the Year.
Fair pay for hard working, loyal employees – there’s no secret to our bargaining position. The employees of KNBR are dedicated to their craft and bargaining a union contract that garners a living wage, and will continue to work with elected officials, community allies and labor partners to secure a fair contract.
SAG-AFTRA San Francisco-Northern California Local President