Saturday, January 10, 2015

Resolution on KPFB Development

The UPSO Council and membership requests full participation in the formulation of all policies for KPFB’s development and asks that these policies be developed quickly. 

Passed unanimously. 12-16-14


(This was a quarterly membership meeting. Attending: Ann Garrison* “Weekend News”, Tim Lynch* “Dead to the World”, Kate Raphael “Womens Magazine”, Clay Leander “Radio Cuba Canto”, Steve Zeltzer “Work Week Radio”, Anthony Fest “Weekend News” “Project Censored Show”, Adrienne Lauby* “Pushing Limits” )

Resolution on Program Evaluations


The Unpaid Staff Organization membership and its elected Council have asked for routine evaluations for a long time. We support the basic concept.   In order to give feedback and to clarify the process for unpaid staff members, we would like a presentation and discussion on management’s announced evaluation strategy and procedure in an evening staff meeting open to all unpaid staff. 12-16-14

Passed with 6 Ayes, 1 No, 0 Abstentions

(This was a quarterly membership meeting. Attending: Ann Garrison* “Weekend News”, Tim Lynch* “Dead to the World”, Kate Raphael “Womens Magazine”, Clay Leander “Radio Cuba Canto”, Steve Zeltzer “Work Week Radio”, Anthony Fest “Weekend News” “Project Censored Show”, Adrienne Lauby* “Pushing Limits” )

Monday, December 22, 2014

NOTES: Unpaid Staff Meeting 12-16-14



MINUTES

UPSO Meeting, 12-16-2014, KPFA Conference Room

Next Meeting: 01-13-2015, 7 pm


Attending: Ann Garrison* “Weekend News”, Tim Lynch* “Dead to the World”, Kate Raphael “Womens Magazine”, Clay Leander “Radio Cuba Canto”, Steve Zeltzer “Work Week Radio”, Anthony Fest “Weekend News” “Project Censored Show”, Adrienne Lauby* “Pushing Limits”

(*UPSO Council Member)

We had a productive meeting with many practical ideas. My only regret was not being part of the apprenticeship program because they were having a lotta laughs at a holiday party down the hall. I wrote the notes below. Adrienne

RESOLUTIONS

1) Resolution on KPFB Development: The UPSO Council and membership requests full participation in the formulation of all policies for KPFB’s development and asks that these policies be developed quickly. Passed unanimously.

2) Resolution on Program Evaluations: The Unpaid Staff Organization membership and its elected Council have asked for routine evaluations for a long time. We support the basic concept. To get feedback and to clarify the process for unpaid staff members, we would like a presentation and discussion on management’s announced evaluation strategy and procedure in an open evening unpaid staff meeting. Passed with 6 Ayes, 1 No, 0 Abstentions

COMMUNICATION ITEMS

---There is a way to tag, describe and upload photos for your program on the current KPFA website. You can do it from home. If you do it enough in advance, the show content will be tweeted out. Contact Miguel Guerrero for a password and training.
mguerrero@kpfa.org


---Kate Raphael reported that she uploads audio for use by the news to the KPFA drop box and that Aileen Alfandary usually uses it in her news reports. Contact engineering for directions for the drop box engineering@kpfa.org and then tell the news that your audio is available, news@kpfa.org.

OTHER TOPICS

We took less formal actions after discussion on these topics:

1) Protest Coverage—a list of practical and procedural changes that would improve this:

a. Call an emergency meeting of all producers to gather ideas and make plans.

b. Promote new energy with on-air call outs for a Mobile Protest Team.

c. Curate live streams that are happening around the U.S. for KPFA’s live stream channel and promote on air.

d. Make a clear policy to encourage programmers to make room for live cell phone reports from demonstrations and protests.

e. Set up a Google Doc where people could coordinate live coverage of the protests and protest-related guests.

f. Promote advance agreement for parameters for pre-emptions.

g. We need more local programming in the Morning – The Morning Mix had the local connections.

h. Sponsor a local event about the protests and raise money during it.

(see below for more discussion of this issue)

2) The New KPFA Website – It is coming. There has not been enough collaboration with unpaid staff. We need a volunteer immediately to coordinate feedback and follow up with Quincy. (see below for more discussion of this issue)

3) UPSO Election for new Council Members – We have been working on the voter list. The deadline for candidates will be sometime in January. In the meantime, we will begin a “telephone/e-mail tree” of contacting unpaid staff. Each of us agreed to talk to three people and ask them to reach out to three more.

4) KPFB: Would unpaid programmers like to give audio for a 2-12 hr “Best Of Ferguson Coverage” program on KPFB? If enough are interested, Adrienne and Steve will help coordinate.

KPFB currently is testing new programming on weekends with commitments for up to 12 hours on two days, mostly produced by folks currently or formerly with the Apprenticeship program. We don’t know if it is broadcast from the KPFB website.

Opening the KPFB license to new programming will need some attention to formalized management structures, curating (choosing) the programs and marketing KPFB. Clay Leander has skills in areas that may affect the license.

5) Communication with Managers: We are concerned that Quincy, our General Manager, has not held a staff meeting since he took the job. We have repeatedly asked that he hold regular monthly evening meetings. We are advocating that Quincy and Laura, as Program Director, meet and talk with all programmers before evaluations begin. There are also some complaints about routine communication – answering phone calls and e-mails. We will send management a letter about this. We invited Laura and Quincy to this meeting and did not get even a courtesy response.

6) The Fund drive is not going well. We will encourage the use of social networks on Wednesday (done)


IN-DEPTH WEBSITE DISCUSSION:

A stunning lack of people responded to the survey on new website, possibly only six. The website is going beta almost immediately. It is a tribute to our alienation and a missed opportunity for unpaid staff.

Some deeper problems that relate to a new website design:

1) Traffic to a website is often driven by breaking news. KPFA News doesn’t do that very well but some programs do produce reports that could be featured and drive traffic. There should be a way to highlight discrete news segments of 3 to 6 minutes on the website. We need to develop a local news collective.

2) The website is currently used to promote some shows and not others.

3) The staff doesn’t use the technology that is available now. Many shows do not promote their programs, even by labeling their archives.

4) The protests around Ferguson are an opportunity to use and promote an interactive website.

5) The unpaid staff programs are our own intellectual property. KPFA has a right of first air.

6) It would be great to have national programming sites which collect programs from all Pacifica stations and affiliates under topic areas, like women, labor, geographic area

7) Unpaid staff need workshops on social media skills, especially twitter. We would like some professional development, four hour unpaid staff workshops. The results need to be integrated on the website.

8) We will look for an unpaid liaison for communication around the website design.

IN-DEPTH PROTEST COVERAGE DISCUSSION:

Slow start but gotten better. Some people wanted us to do 24 hr protest coverage, wall to wall but Kate wants quality not quantity. DN!, MSMBC all had similar guests. Kate liked the broadcast of a Catalyst event with some long time activists who compared and analyzed this uprising. KPFA was slow to understand what was coming. The management didn’t prepare for the announcement from the Grand Jury. Missed opportunity for multi media. We could have used our stream to rebroadcast other streams and publicize them. Needed more strategic thinking and planning.

Thousands of people this weekend rallied. Raising money is not counter to coverage of protests. It doesn’t see like the news department is up on all the other media coverage.

When the news broke, KPFT was better than KPFA. We played a pre-recorded show with Walter Turner.

We are watching a movement before our eyes, national, local, grassroots. The Berkeley City Council is having two meetings, large ones in response. Issues of police brutality, institutional racism, city government funding and oversight of police. This is an opportunity to cover the issue in the long term.

There is a turf problem with everyone having a program and others have no ability to get into the broadcast. Pre-emptions need to happen in advance in the current system; which is not flexible for breaking events. Some of us are putting the same people on, even on the same day.

The demonstration passed right by the door the night of the grand jury acquittal. 4 news people went out and joined the protest. Could their reports have been put on the air? Anthony was one of the people but didn’t see a way to get it on the air—we don’t have the processes. In the day time, Kate thought her program would be pre-empted. Laura, the program director, e-mailed eveyone the 2nd or 3rd day saying that people should call in and prepared to put people on the air.

When Occupy SF was raided, Kate called the station from inside the protest encampment and tried to call into a program. It was a guest host for Dead to the World and he didn’t feel like he could put the call on the air.

Ann Garrison's article on KPFA’s response:

No Indictment for Darren Wilson? Why Not Preempt and Throw Open the Phones?

December 2, 2014

By Ann Garrison, KPFA Unpaid Staff Council Member and Reporter/Producer

KPFA listeners seemed confused and disappointed when the station failed to preempt programming and broadcast live after the St. Louis District Attorney’s announcement that the Grand Jury would not indict Officer Darren Wilson for killing Michael Brown.

I tuned into KPFA myself, right after watching the St. Louis District Attorney’s press conference on C-Span, and was surprised to hear the regularly scheduled programming, Africa Today, with Walter Turner without any Ferguson coverage. I went back to switching between MSNBC’s outrage and Fox News’s celebration.

It later occurred to me that if Walter Turner’s show had been live, Walter would have been commenting on what had just happened, so the show must have been pre-recorded. I also thought that, though I can’t claim to know Walter well, he most certainly would have understood if his pre-recorded show had been preempted for live broadcasting.

I didn’t otherwise have a strong opinion about what KPFA should have been doing right after the press conference. I just knew I wasn’t interested in what it was doing. Women’s Magazine host Kate Raphael remarked later that she and a friend had been driving around, trying to figure out where a protest would be forming, and they were surprised when they weren’t able to tune into KPFA and find out.

That sounded right. News of where protestors were gathering seems to be the minimum KPFA listeners should be able to expect. Reporters or simply callers dialing in from the protests would have added value, and a video livestream like that arranged during the Block the Boat demonstrations would have been even better.

Former KPFA GM and WBAI PD Andrew Leslie Phillips nailed it, though, when he wrote, on a social media site, that “KPFA should have preempted and opened the phones. It’s a no brainer. It’s what radio does best.”

Of course. People were emotional and/or in shock, even though very few had expected an indictment. They would want to call in and hear others calling in and feel like KPFA was a community. I myself turned to Facebook and Twitter for a sense of community, as I switched TV channels between MSNBC and Fox talking heads and livestreams from Ferguson, but I felt like something was missing: KPFA. I would have liked to hear the phones thrown open and that would have been enough to assure that the location of protests gathering around the Bay would have been called in.

Andrew also wrote that, “Management are often intimidated by staff – but when program managers make intelligent, news-generated decisions, staff understand. It’s not about staff or unions, it’s about serving listeners. Preempting programs invigorates the air. It’s almost always good radio. And Pacifica should be out in front on this.”

He’s absolutely right. Never mind that he’s on the Save KPFA side, I’m on the UCR side, or whatever else. Who cares? He nailed it. “KPFA should have preempted and opened the phones . . . it’s a no-brainer. It’s what radio does best.” I’ve always respected Andrew’s radio artistry and most always respected his programming judgment.

I don’t know why KPFA barely responded during the first days after the St. Louis Grand Jury decision and don’t care. I just hope something that feels like community radio comes together next time, as it did after George Zimmerman’s acquittal, and during the Block the Boat for Gaza demonstrations at the Port of Oakland. KPFA should feel proud to have played a role in the Block the Boat for Gaza organizing success that was reported by news outlets around the world, including Israel’s.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

NOTES: UPSO Council Meeting, 11-11-14


Present: Adrienne Lauby, Shahram Aghamir, Tim Lynch, Ann Garrison.  Meeting began at 6:15 pm. by Conference Call.

We discussed these agenda items:

1. The UPSO election 

Want to run for the Unpaid Staff Organization Council?  Please think about stepping up in December.  We’d like to get all the names on the ballot by mid-January and have the election in mid-February. 

We decided we would like to try an electronic UPSO election to save both time and money.  Tim Lynch found this website where it can be done and the cost will be far less. http://electionbuddy.com/  This should be a lot easier on everyone.

However, our UPSO by-laws call for an election by paper ballot, so we will give everyone till the end of the month to object, before next month’s meeting.  We’re doing our best to be realistic about how much time and energy is available to get this done.

Shahram volunteered to try to get unpaid lists from Antonio and Laura.  Ann volunteered to study the electronic election site, but we need several more people to volunteer to be on the elections committee. 

Our tentative schedule is: Call for nominations, early December, mid-January.  Electronic voting period ends in first or second week of February.      

2.  The Unpaid Staff E-Group List(s?)

We revisited the possibility that the UPSO list could be divided in two.  One list for everyone.  This would simply be for meeting announcements, minutes, and any factual matters everyone should know.  It would be a one-way list.   Another list would be for those who would also like to discuss things with each other.  This list would allow any unpaid staff member to post.  For example, if the UPSO Council has passed a resolution, some might want to discuss it afterwards, others would not want their mailboxes cluttered with the discussion. 

Adrienne agreed to ask Antonio how difficult this would be and we agreed to revisit the issue next month.

3.  Music Director’s departure

Those of us who are public affairs producers, Adrienne, Shahram, and Ann, wanted to know how music producers will be affected by not having a Music Director.  Tim said that Program Director Laura Prives had scheduled a meeting with them to survey their needs next week.

We agreed to express our support for music producers contributions to the station, keep an eye on what happens with music next at KPFA, and encourage music producers to bring any issues they think we might help with to the Council.

4.  Interim Producer hire

KPFA is hiring an interim producer for Upfront and Letters and Politics.  We discussed the lack of UPSO input on KPFA hiring committees, which we have had at some points in the past.  (Shahram had gone by the time we discussed this.)  Ann and Adrienne said that the lack of inclusion and transparency in these temporary hires lead to more tension at the station.  They believe UPSO should be represented in both interim and permanent hiring processes. Tim said he didn’t know what the alternative was when staffing needs were urgent.

Meeting adjourned at 7:30 pm. Next month's agenda will revisit, for two items, elections, the two UPSO list possibility, and items that you, UPSO members, would like us to add to the agenda. 

Notes by Ann G.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Resolution to Restore the Morning Mix to the 8 am Hour


The Unpaid Staff Organization opposes the elimination of the "Morning Mix."  This was a program segment that brought a significant contribution to local community programming and information vitally needed in the morning prime time slot.

It has also received broad support in the communities that KPFA/Pacific serves.

This precipitous action also violated the transparent and democratic process that the UPSO called for in December of 2013 with the KPFA management.  We now call for the present new manager to rescind the action to terminate the "Morning Mix" and develop a collaborative relationship with the Unpaid Staff Organization.  
Yes: 3
No:1
Abstain: 2

Notes: UPSO Membership Meeting, 7-15-14

ATTENDANCE:  In attendance:  Al Glenn, Marissa Ortega-Welch, Adrienne Lauby,  Ann Garrison, Tim Lynch, Clay Leander, Joy Moore.  (Though not all at once; Joy wasn't free to come till near the end of the meeting.)  Also later, Carol Wolfley, from the Community Advisory Board, which is asking the UPSO to co-sponsor an outreach event in September.  Carol did not vote on either of the two resolutions passed.

At the opening of the meeting, only four UPSO members were present, so we began by asking ourselves whether or not the UPSO was still a viable organization.   Ann asked how many people had taken the time to vote in the last UPSO Council election, in which Adrienne, Ann, Tim,  Shahram Aghamir and David Gans were elected.   (David Gans resigned some months ago, saying he was not temperamentally suited to serve and family urgencies have kept Shahram from participating as much as he would like.)  Adrienne thought that approximately 100 unpaid staff members, slightly less than half, had voted last time.

Adrienne said that the new KPFA GM, Quincy McCoy, had apologized for being unable to attend, but said that Tuesday was his wife's birthday and he was taking her out to dinner.   Quincy McCoy's new e-address is q@kpfa.org.

By the time the meeting ended, most of those in attendance agreed that it had involved a very interesting exchange of information, even though only 7 attended. Ann particularly thanked Al Glenn for attending and sharing his many years of KPFA experience, which included serving on the last Program Council.  Glenn has been an UPSO member since 2000 as one of the rotating hosts of Showcase from 12 midnight to 2 am on Wednesday nights.

UPSO ELECTION:  On the subject of elections, it was noted that we are now out of compliance with our own by-laws because we haven't managed to hold another election in the prescribed time..  Adrienne acknowledged that management of the UPSO Council's business had all fallen on her shoulders and said that it had finally become more than she could do to get the election organized without more help. 

Ann and Tim acknowledged that most of the management of the UPSO Council - scheduling and announcing meetings, organizing responses to workplace complaints submitted to the Council, creation of the UPSO blog, etc. - had fallen to Adrienne and thanked her for keeping us going.

Adrienne asked each UPSO Councilor to find one volunteer willing to serve on the UPSO elections committee, so we can get that done.  There was also a suggestion that we amend the by-laws, so that UPSO Councilors serve more than one year, so we don't have to keep holding the elections.  It is possible that the UPSO election and LSB election will be somehow combined and/or conducted online.

RESOLUTION TO RESTORE THE MORNING MIX TO ITS 8 AM HOUR:  Those present passed a resolution to restore the Morning Mix to its 8:00 am hour. The vote was 3 to 1, with Ann, Adrienne and Clay voting in favor, Tim voting against, and Al and Marissa abstaining.  Joy Moore arrived later, after the vote on restoring The Morning Mix to the am.  Tim asked first that Adrienne recuse herself as a Morning Mix host, but Adrienne pointed out that she had not been a regular Mix host for at least a year.  Tim also asked that the low attendance at the meeting and two abstentions be noted as they have been.

Tim argued that it was divisive for UPSO to take a position on this change and that the organization should not play a role in programming decisions.    Ann, Clay and Adrienne argued that it was a significant loss of unpaid staff input to prime time and the communities we work with are affected by that loss.  Also that our resolution of last January laid out a process for program changes that was not followed in this case.  It was a short discussion because most of us knew what we thought and weren’t likely to change our minds.

RESOLUTION
The Unpaid Staff Organization opposes the elimination of the "Morning Mix."  This was a program segment that brought a significant contribution to local community programming and information vitally needed in the morning prime time slot.

It has also received broad support in the communities that KPFA/Pacific serves.

This precipitous action also violated the transparent and democratic process that the UPSO called for in December of 2013 with the KPFA management.  We now call for the present new manager to rescind the action to terminate the "Morning Mix" and develop a collaborative relationship with the Unpaid Staff Organization.  
Yes: 3
No:1
Abstain: 2


DISCUSSION OF AUTOMATION OF THE PHONE ROOM:  We had a fascinating discussion of the phone room automation, with most objecting heartily to the plan, much as those who have responded when we threw the issue out on the list.   We did not pass a resolution, but agreed that we would raise the issue on the list, as we did, then print up and package the responses to deliver to the new General Manager, Quincy McCoy.

DECISION TO CO-SPONSOR AN OUTREACH MEETING WITH THE COMMUNITY ADVISORY BOARD (CAB) IN SEPTEMBER: We agreed to co-sponsor an outreach meeting with the Community Advisory Board in September.  Part of the idea is to create an event in which producers can speak directly with members of the community.  The Apprentices are also co-sponsoring.

Tim asked why the invitation to co-sponsor had not been issued to the entire staff. Ann said that there is no entire staff organization that an invitation could be issued to, only UPSO and the CWA. Carol Wolfley from the Community Advisory Board said that she would like to contact paid staff but found them somewhat intimidating because of her interaction with them at LSB meetings.  Tim encouraged Carol to contact any members of the paid staff to ask them to co-sponsor and participate as well. 

FASCINATING  CONVERSATION ABOUT KPFA HISTORY:  This more free form conversation at the end began when Al Glenn, who hadn't said much, was about to leave and Ann asked him to stay a bit longer and tell us about his history with KPFA.  He has quite a lot of history, having been a rotating host on Showcase since 2000. 

Al said, among other things, that radio is a very intimate medium, and the personal touch created in the phone room during fund drives is very important. He also said that he felt the Program Council had served a vital advisory role when he was on it.  Advisory, not decisive, but important.  Clay Leander said that if a decision like replacing the Morning Mix with syndicated programming from LA had come before the Program Council when he himself served on it, they would have discussed it for weeks before making a recommendation and would have spoken to many staff and listeners. 

We also talked about possibly having some kind of event where staff could talk about the communities they live in because we are all part of various circles of concern in the Bay Area and that is part of what we all bring to KPFA, whether we are music, arts or public affairs programmers.  Clay Leander shared that he lives in Martinez, which is home to two of the oil refineries in the East Bay Oil Refinery Corridor: Tesoro and Royal Dutch Shell.  Tesoro is refining Bakken shale oil coming into Kinder Morgan's Richmond rail yard from North Dakota.  Royal Dutch Shell is refining tar sands oil also coming into Richmond by rail, from Canada. 

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Resolution for action on new manager

Last October, the Local Station Board sent four names of candidates for a permanent KPFA manager to the Executive Director of Pacifica, Summer Reese.  Currently, we know of no action taken
by the executive director in response. In the meantime, Richard Pirodsky is now spending half his time managing in L.A.

We ask Summer Reese for progress.  We wish to have a  permanent manager as soon as possible or to have information as to why this is not possible.

Also, we have regularly requested a routine monthly staff meeting with daytime and evening sessions and have been assured that it would occur.  There has been no such meeting in February.

3 aye
0 nay
1 absent