On Sept. 30, KQED members received an email with a reminder “that everyone in the unit will receive a 4% increase to your wages tomorrow. Yay!” KQED Stewards Guy Marzorati and Nina Thorsen regularly send emails to their coworkers regarding union matters, and they make sure KQED unit members are up to speed on contract matters and union events.
“It’s important for members to hear from stewards,” said Marzorati. “And our yearly pay increase is a great reminder of the positive gains we’ve made through collective bargaining.”
In fact, Marzorati and Thorsen and their bargaining team achieved a great result during contract negotiations last year. “In addition to the 4% increases for our entire unit, some will get 5%,” said Thorsen. The additional 1% merit increase, for those who rate as “top achievers” during this year’s evaluations, was a new incentive added into their contract. “This was something we added as a result of feedback from our members when we began discussing this contract renewal,” Thorsen said.
Often, Marzorati and Thorsen communicate with SAG-AFTRA staff to discuss workplace issues and how to have those issues addressed. “The ongoing communication with our coworkers helps us to effectively enforce our contract,” said Marzorati.
Part of last year’s contract settlement included procedures for how to deal with “temporary upgrades,” a provision in the agreement that provides a 15% differential when members fill in for positions above their pay scale that is used regularly for certain editor positions. “Because the language in our agreement dated back to our first contract when our staff was much smaller, it wasn’t clear when the temporary upgrades applied. Now, when editor positions are created, we meet and talk with management about whether we should get the upgrade when our members fill in for those positions, and twice so far we’ve used this language,” explained Thorsen.
“I participated in both upgrade meetings, and we’ve come to an understanding with KQED over some new editor upgrades” said Marzorati. “The work we do now to enforce our contract and communicate with our coworkers should help build momentum before the next time we are in negotiations.”
KQED goes back to the table in 2022, and Marzorati and Thorsen are on a strong path to making sure their unit will be ready!
Photo: SAG-AFTRA Member Leaders Nina Thorsen and Guy Marzorati from KQED in San Francisco.
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