Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Notes: UPSO General Membership Meeting 1-6-13

Unpaid Staff Organization (UPSO) Meeting Notes
Jan 8, 2013

1)  Unpaid Staff Survey
2)  Election of 2013 Election Committee
3)  By-Law Changes
4)  Report on Fund Raising Campaign for Computer Upgrades
5)  Skype
6)  Computers at KPFA
7)  KPFA Resources (shared?)
8)  Substitution Work

Attending: (22 unpaid staff members)  Eddie Pay (Friday am Music, Herbal Hwy), David Gans* (Dead to the World), Bonnie Simmons (The Bonnie Simmons Show - Music), David Landau (Weekend News), Anthony Fest (Morning Mix, Weekend News), Adrienne Lauby* (Pushing Limits), Matt Groveman (First Voices Grp 38), Prema (First Voice Grp 38), Carla West (Board Op, News Tech), Kate Rafael, (Women's Mag), Lisa Dettmer (Women's Mag), Ann Garrison* (Weekend News, Afro Beat Radio), Layla (First Voice Grp 38), Autumn (First Voice Grp 38), Beatrize (First Voice Grp 38), Shaham Aghimar* (Vioices of the Middle East and North Aftica, Tim Lynch* (Dead to the World), Joy Moore (Apprentice program, Funddrive), Nina Serrano (La Raza Chronicles) Kirsten Jusewicz-Haidle (First Voice Grp 38),  Shora Zamami  (First Voice Grp 38)

*Unpaid Staff Council Member

A discussion about draft questions for an unpaid staff survey.   This is, in part, the continuation of earlier conversations about the possibility of a contract between unpaid staff and KPFA management.
The UPSO Council will continue discussion on e-mail and Adrienne will put the survey on-line within 2-3 weeks.
--Generally:  Add: “Answer the questions you wish. Feel free to ignore particular questions”  If comments at the end of each question are possible, allow for them.
--Question 6.  Reimbursement of unpaid staff expenses.  Reframe to show the question means “a pool” rather than an amount for each individual. Would this be better as a percentage rather than an amount?  No, the budget is line item amounts rather than percentages.  Check the number for the KPFA budget and correct if necessary.  Add a yes or no question on this topic.
--Question 8. Is health insurance possible for unpaid staff? Some suggest that we talk with manager, or make the question more broad - not hook it onto KPFA's insurance, or use phrase “with support by KPFA.”
--Question 13. Grant sponsorship. Clarify whether this means provide resources for administering grants, allowing use of KPFA’s 501c3, or something else.  David and Adrienne will revise this question.

According to our bylaws, we must elect a 3-member standing Election Committee with alternates during the January meeting.
Some discussion of what the election is, how much work, etc.
Mailing List Issues:
Andrew Phillips, our manager, was tasked to make a list of unpaid staff and keep it up by the Local Station Board.  Maria, our bookkeeper, got some records with an effort to get us all signed up.  No one knows whether Andrew has made a list.  Anthony put the most recent list together with info from the old list, Maria’s & his own effort.  It shouldn’t need a lot of updating next year. 
Volunteers: Shahram Aghamir, Ruthanne Shpiner, Adrienne Lauby, David Landau (Alternate)
All volunteers accepted and thanked.
Ruthanne has withdrawn since the meeting due to health and disability issues.

According to our bylaws, we must initiate any by-law changes during the January meeting.  Adrienne passed around a list of four possible changes. 

There was discussion of the first one, wording to limit UPSO membership to people working on production.  Those in favor said that UPSO should keep it’s focus on people who have similar needs and interests, ie production.  Those opposed gave an example of some who might be left out, the subscription room coordinators, and argued that UPSO should be inclusive.  The point was made that there are staff who cannot join the union and they should have a place for group representation.

Other suggestions were a process to augment the election committee, 2 year staggered terms for Council Members and allowing e-mail or internet voting.  Bonnie suggested a by-law amendment that brings us into parity with the rest of Pacifica. The current requirement of 30 hrs in a year would become 30 hrs in the three months leading to the election.  It was pointed out that we have volunteers who have produced annual specials for decades who would be left out if this change were made.
None of these ideas were discussed thoroughly. 

Instead, a By-law Committee was formed to look at the by-laws as a whole and bring suggestions forward.  The By-Law Committee may consider a complete rewrite of the by-laws.  Their work does not preclude someone proposing other specific changes for the ballot between now and the election.
By-Law Committee: David Gans, Bonnie Simmons, Kate Rafael, Ann Garrison, Shahram Aghimar

Goal: $1800  Raised so far:  $750. plus one complete computer system

Some discussion about this effort.  See:
for details on the computers this would upgrade and what equipment it would buy.
Please repost on your facebook pages and e-mail lists.
If someone has a computer system or parts of a system to donate, contact antonio@kpfa.org.
If we could raise the entire amount of $1800. it would make a big difference for many unpaid staff members.
Ann says that the discussion of computer problems on the on-line unpaid staff list helped make changes that benefited her.

Several people want us to try to convince the engineering department to reinstall Skype on the KPFA computers.  It's not there currently because Michael Yoshida, Chief Engineer, believes that if a producer leaves it open after using it, it would be a security risk for KPFA.

Arguments in favor of doing it:  Skype is being used by some programmers and by other community radio stations already.  It would cut down the international phone call bill greatly. The sound quality is often better than long distance telephone for international calls.

Could the Skype software be password protected?  
It’s possible that “Google Hang Out” will surpass Skype soon.  A suggestion that we not limit our request to Skype.

There was general approval of this idea if it could be done without major security problems.  Kate and Ann will write up a proposal.


There are many problems in the computers used by unpaid staff.  They are generally unreliable. The software is often different on different computers.  It’s not clear when printers are not working.  Trouble shooting often adds hours to production work.

Some Suggestions:
--Thumb drives - try to use those which are formatted to be IBM compatible.
--Use the USB port in the back of the computer- they are more reliable than the ones at the front.
--There are 5-port USB connections in the production studio and in the Operation Studio.
--Mail your script to yourself, so you have a copy.

We really feel the need to have more technical support for unpaid staff.     Maybe we need a designated computer that is well maintained with a priority for programmers with a program beginning in the next hour.
How can we get technical support outside 9-5 pm working hours? Large and small problems happen in the evenings and weekend.   Could there be a phone number posted at least?

Joy Moore is a newly elected Local Station Board (LSB) Staff Representative.  She says she’s going to the LSB and start a capital campaign to get the computers to work.

UPSO formally supports this effort and asks the LSB to begin a capital campaign.

Someone raises a question about shared resources at KPFA.  Her example is that there is a group data base that has fallen out of use because no one knows about it.  We often spending hours reinventing the wheel.  Some people were astonished and would like to use such a thing.  Others thought it would go out of date too quickly and a producer could do the same things by using social resources.  What would help you do your work?  What kind of information would help everyone?

Is there a policy when you replace a paid position, do you get paid?
Several people say, “yes.”

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