KPCC news staff represented by SAG-AFTRA have agreed to terms of a first-ever union contract with management at Southern California Public Radio.

The new three-year contract includes guaranteed wage increases per year for the term of the contract, minimum scales for each job title and accompanying job descriptions, improvements in matters affecting the newsroom and company benefits on the same basis as non-bargaining unit members. SAG-AFTRA National Director of News & Broadcast for Southern California Anna Calderón served as chief negotiator for the union.

“I’d like to acknowledge the unrelenting commitment and the continuous presence of KPCC news staff throughout the negotiations process,” Calderón said. “They were the backbone of these negotiations and it was a pleasure to work with them in getting a fair contract with SCPR.”

The new contract covers more than 70 reporters, newscasters, correspondents, producers, videographers/photographers, data journalists, show hosts, news anchors, and apprentice news clerks, who work on the air and online.

Highlights of the contract include:

  • Guaranteed increases compounding to 5.6 percent over the term of the agreement (1.5 percent in the first year, 2 percent in the second year and 2 percent in the third year) and additional merit increases based upon the merit pool, retroactive to Sept. 1 of each year of the contract;  
  • Severance pay based on years of service, un-capped;
  • Merit increases in addition to the guaranteed increases, based upon the merit pool and on the same basis as non-bargaining unit staff members, retroactive to Sept. 1 of each year of the contract; 
  • Compensatory time;
  • Grievance and arbitration and progressive discipline;
  • Protection and enhanced scales for “On Call” and “Temp Employees,” including provisions for yearly bonuses;
  • Restrictions on the use of interns to ensure the success of the program; and
  • Other benefits such as: medical, dental and vision coverage; matching contributions to the 403(b) plan; long-term and short-term disability insurance; life insurance; tuition reimbursement program and professional development.

“I want to commend the KPCC member negotiating committee and the SAG-AFTRA staff for their tireless work and dedication to creating a fair contract for all the station employees covered by this contract,” said Chief Broadcast Officer Mary Cavallaro. “We have created a foundation for these public media professionals to have a say in the quality of their work.”

Negotiations for the contract commenced in April of 2013, following the January 2013 vote by the new bargaining unit to recognize SAG-AFTRA as their union. The organizing campaign at KPCC started in 2012. Station employees requested an election with the National Labor Relations Board on Nov. 20, 2012. The count was conducted by NLRB Region 21 in Downtown Los Angeles on Jan. 18.

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