Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Notes: UPSO Council Meeting 12-11-12

UPSO Council Meeting (by Conference Call)

Attending:  Ruthanne Shpiner, Adrienne Lauby, David Gans, Ann Garrison

Next Meeting:  December 8, 7 pm.  Performance Studio  (See below for important details about this meeting)

Fundraising for Equipment
Copyright Confessor and the KPFA Stream
UPSO Workshops
Communication & Cooperation
Next Meeting

Can KPFA have a protected area for UPSO where we could discuss, post notes and do various other things?   David hasn’t talked to Miguel about this yet, but he will do it soon.  We discussed and clarified the idea.

As of a couple of days ago, we have $645.  Plus, a complete PC system that came through one of David’s friends and has been checked out by Antonio.  That computer may come to KPFA as soon as next week.

Copyright confessor computers in On Air studio—really needs upgrading in keyboards and changes in the basic set up. 

The programmers need to put in the info about their music into this system because otherwise their programs can’t be streamed.   Encouraging the programmers to do this should be a management process.   We don’t like having the steam go down.  We’d like to know more about how much this is happening and what are the individual circumstances.  Are there particular problems unpaid music programmers are having in completing this task?  We’d like to encourage people to do their part and also help improve the hardware lay out.  We may, at some point in this process, write letters about how important we think this is to Andrew and the LSB.    David will look into this problem.

Leaders (thus far): Ann Garrison, Clay Leander, Kate Raphael, Adrienne Lauby
Adrienne will attempt to get the first 6 month’s schedule together by the January meeting.  Would you like to lead a workshop?  Or have a topic that you can’t seem to bust through on your own?  Let us know.

This was a complex conversation about how we might fulfill our mission in working with the various groups of people at the station.  [By-laws: Section One: 1.3.  To foster communication and cooperation between management, paid staff, and unpaid staff and between the station and the communities it serves.]  We don’t want to label issues as belonging to a particular set of people, but we do want to name the tensions clearly when necessary and attempt some forward movement.   We might try a well-planned meeting of the News department and reporting staff or something similar with all public
affairs staff.  (The music staff has meetings occasionally, which are called by Luis Medina.) There is also the UPSO grievance procedure that lays out a system that could lead to some resolution in some situations.  Hopefully the Workshops will bring some people together, at least to get to know folks they don’t normally work with.

Our next meeting is a once a year Special Meeting of the Unpaid Staff Organization.  All who attend can vote.   Shahram will chair. 

This meeting will include a discussion of by-laws and election of a new Election Committee as our by-laws require.

--UPSO by-law changes can be submitted at this time (the only time in the 12 month cycle).

Notes by Adrienne

Unpaid Staff Organization Council Members
Shahram Aghamir:
David Gans:
Ann Garrison:
Adrienne Lauby:
Tim Lynch:
Bylaws and grievance procedure:

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Notes: UPSO Council Meeting 11-27-12

Unpaid Staff Organization (UPSO) Council Meeting
11-27-12  (by conference call)

Attending:  Shahram Aghamir*, Tim Lynch*, Adrienne Lauby*, Ruthanne Shpiner, Kelina Lobo, David Gans*                    (*current council members.)  notes by Adrienne.

1. Meeting Calendar
2.  December Quarterly General Meeting
3.  Changing UPSO By-Laws - how to
4.  Other ways to communicate
5.  Outreach to Paid Staff
6.  Monthly Workshops
7.  Posting Meeting Notes
8.  Civility
9.  Fundraising for Computer Upgrades
10.  Next Steps- Future Topics
11. Congratulations to Kris Welch

The by-laws say we are supposed to meet monthly with at least a quarterly general meeting for all unpaid staff.  All general meetings will be in person.   In these months, the UPSO Council meetings will take place 30 minutes before the General UPSO meetings.  Unless otherwise announced and agreed upon, all meetings will be held the second Tuesday of each month at 7 pm.  The January meeting, January 15, will be by conference call.

--Tuesday, Dec 11, 7 pm will be a general membership meeting in the conference room at KPFA. Shahram will chair.  This meeting will include a discussion of by-laws and election of a new Election Committee as our by-laws require.

--UPSO by-law changes can be submitted at this time (the only time in the 12 month cycle).

--The by-laws say we should hold this first general meeting of the new council between Dec 15-Jan 15.  We think the Dec 11 meeting is close enough but will change it if members of the unpaid staff wish.

UPSO By laws, section 8 “Amendment of By-Laws”
Proposed amendments must be approved by a majority of the voting members by written ballot. All proposed amendments must be distributed to the members and posted on the KPFA website and throughout the station for 30 days before mailing of the ballots. The election will be conducted by the election committee as set forth in Section Four.
You can find all the bylaws here:
We will all think and make proposals via the unpaid staff list between now and the Dec. quarterly meeting.  It is good to have people thinking some about proposed changes before they come to this meeting.

David suggests that we try various ways of communicating that don’t require in-person meeting. Drupal is the KPFA website operating system and provides private space with discussion room.  We could even do some voting there, by setting up at topic and allowing a certain number of hours or days for everyone to register their vote.  It would make sense to have a private Council area. David will discuss this with Miguel to see what is possible through KPFA.

Some people complain that there is not enough communication between paid and unpaid staff.  It is part of our purpose to improve this.  (UPSO By-laws, 1.3 To foster communication and cooperation between management, paid staff, and unpaid staff and between the station and the communities it serves.)  There was a suggestion that we invite paid staff to some or some part of our meetings. There was no objection to the idea but we discussed the idea further.  Are there better ways to fulfill this mandate?  We will think about this and perhaps bring something to the next meeting.

We have a suggestion from an unpaid staff member to begin these.   They would be radio skill sharing peer-to-peer among unpaid staff.  Tim ran on more training for unpaid staff, so he wants this to happen.  We agree to be an enthusiastic clearing house for this sort of thing.
--Schedule:  Rather than deciding on one specific time, these should float based on the instructors needs and possibly the participants.
--Adrienne will contact the one volunteer we have so far and encourages all the council members to lead one on a topic they feel they have strong skills in.
--All unpaid staff are solicited to become instructors in this project.

A discussion about posting our meeting notes.  Currently they go to the unpaid staff list but are not archived anywhere.  If we can’t figure out am easy way to archive them on the KPFA site, we’ll make a simple blog where they can be posted and have a link on our KPFA UPSO page.  We don’t care too much whether the notes are public or not.

At times the tension in UPSO meetings has been off putting and time wasting.  We will back each other to handle this better in the coming year.  We may enforce a time limit among speakers as well as make a statement of civility at the beginning of the meeting.  We will each individually try to channel our passions productively, rather than personally.

Our goal was $1800.  We have $470. now.  David has done the lion’s share of the work in setting this up & promoting it.  Praise to David for his work.  Brian Edwards-Tigert helped with the initial research.  We decide to try to get more people to post it on their facebook pages and send to friends.  Those of us who use facebook will post it and encourage other unpaid staff to do so as well.

Possible Topics for General Meeting (and Beyond):
--Contract with Management and/or “Statement of rights & Responsibilities”
--Ask people what they want us to do in the coming year.
--Review Grievance procedure, check in with management about it.
--Honor the memory of music programmer, Raquel Aguirre

Today is Kris Welch Day in Berkeley—we congratulate and honor her for her 40 years of thoughtful, loving, joyful programming at KPFA.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Resolution: KPFA Worker Website

Motion:  The KPFA Worker site does not represent UPSO.
Yes 19
Opposed 1
Abstain 3
Motion Passed at a membership meeting of the Unpaid Staff Organization. 

This website says it “support the labor rights of all workers at the station,” is “ created by a collective that includes paid and unpaid staff at KPFA” and uses the tag line “supporting the paid and unpaid staff of KPFA…” Unpaid staff member Peter Phillips has tried to respond to attacks on the Morning Mix and did not get a response.  Others including Steve Zeltzer & Shahram Aghamir have had the same experience.

Discussion:  Generally people agreed that if we do not have representation directly for unpaid staff, then we should issue a statement saying that this site does not represent the unpaid staff.  Various people expressed frustration at the secretive nature of KPFA Worker editors/writers, as well as its disruptive effect.  Many ideas were floated about how to deal with it.  Some people said this meeting was too small to issue any proclamations about it.  That opinion did not carry the day.