SEATTLE (March 7, 2016) — SAG-AFTRA members have ratified their first contract with KNKX 88.5 FM, one of the most popular public radio stations in the country. The members of the bargaining unit voted overwhelmingly to approve the contract. The deal includes a 6-percent wage increase over three years as well as significant improvements to the employer-sponsored healthcare and vacation benefits.
Moreover, the deal also includes layoff language and language that recognizes seniority from Pacific Lutheran University (PLU), which previously operated KNKX as KPLU, and language recognizing a member’s seniority when he or she returns from an approved leave of absence.
In winter of 2015, PLU announced it was selling the station, and all employees would lose their jobs. The news inspired a grassroots campaign to save the public radio outlet. The campaign raised $8 million in a short period of time, effectively purchasing KPLU from the university and creating the independent station KNKX.
The new KNKX recognized SAG-AFTRA’s bargaining unit, and negotiations began in September 2016. Members ratified their first agreement on March 2, 2017. The unit employees participated at each stage of the process.
“This member-led negotiation produced an excellent deal that will ensure the SAG-AFTRA media professionals at KNKX have the workplace protections they need to continue their award-winning coverage,” said SAG-AFTRA Seattle Executive Director Shellea Allen. “Public radio remains a fast-growing sector of the media landscape and SAG-AFTRA will keep striving to ensure the professionals working in the space have a voice in their workplace to build an even better environment for generating news, talk and digital content.”