Monday, February 18, 2013

Notes: UPSO Council Meeting 2-12-13

Notes: UPSO Council Meeting   2-12-13

(by Conference Call)   Attending:  Ruthanne Shpiner, Adrienne Lauby, Tim Lynch, Ann Garrison, Shahram Aghamir, Steve Zeltzer

1) Next Meeting

2) Reports
3) Elections. This year’s schedule, possible program council representatives
4) Resolution on new staff hire
5) Staff Meetings
6) Union Discussion

1) NEXT MEETING: March 12, 7-9 pm, by Conference Call.  (626) 677-3000   Access Code:     963870


Fundraising, Computer upgrades, IT audit (Joy Moore’s project) Joy has begun this process in the LSB.  It was tabled this month.

Unpaid survey.  Nothing new to report

Bylaws Comm..  No meeting yet.  We hope David will convene the first meeting.

Skype:  Mixed bag.  Lots of ups and downs in the process.  Where it stands:  Still serious resistance from Roger and Michael in putting a computer into a production studio.  However, it is now possible for people to use Skype with KPFA’s 800 number, which is connected to a Skype account—working a bit like a conference call.  This uses the hybrid.  (This allows KPFA producers to use Skype to call out, but we’re not sure if guests can use it to call in.)  Tim will be working with Michael and Roger to get the instructions written and posted.

The larger project, including use of a new phone system, remains up in the air.   Ann would like to draw up a chart of the sound quality given different Skype possibilities.  This is an aspect of networking issues.  Including ISBN line use, Google Hang Out, etc  We consider setting up a committee to continue working on these issues.  Much appreciation for Tim for good work on this.

UPSO Workshop Series:
  First six months tentatively scheduled:
FEB 23, 11-2 pm: Social Media  Clay Leander
MARCH: Production, use of the downstairs production studio.  Carla West
APRIL: Alternatives to Violence Project:  New ways of handling differences.  Fast-paced work shop, weaving together interactive exercises, facilitated discussions, role plays, humor and games.
MAY 11 Noon: Collective work, high production values, 1 hr a week.  How do they do it?  What do they do?  Robyn Takayama, APEX Express:
JUNE: Writing for radio.  Adrienne Lauby
JULY:  Avotcja?
AUGUST: Sound Editing with free open source Audacity.  Clay Leander
Appreciation to Adrienne for setting up these workshops.


General UPSO Election

Our Unpaid Staff Organization (UPSO) election overlapped with the Local Station Board (LSB) election this year.  This is a problem and we don’t want to do it again next year.  Generally, we think UPSO terms should be 2 years long but that can’t happen without an election to change the by-laws.  The LSB election often runs late and is unpredictable.  We don’t want to have this Council sitting for much beyond a year, but maybe three additional months is not too long. February would be a good month for the next UPSO election.  We’ll discuss this again and will likely make a proposal at the next membership meeting.

Program Council Election

The Pacifica National Board has mandated Program Councils at all stations, which are composed of 1/3 staff, 1/3 listeners and 1/3 local board members.  This means we may have a Program Council again soon.  We did not elect representatives in the last election since the Program Council wasn’t meeting.
If the Program Council is formed, we will likely appoint interim representatives and hold an immediate election.  The election committee would spring into action.  That committee is David Landau, Anthony Fest & Adrienne Lauby.  With help from Ruthanne Shpiner.


Discussion:  This hire is part of the union contract that requires union labor replacements for union staff vacations and sick leaves.  This is a way for this hire to be more open.  Some of us believe that no new money is being used.  Others are concerned that this is a new salaried job from the KPFA budget coming in under a flag of being a small thing.   Is it possible to hire someone new or do they have to offer it to someone who has been cut?  This is a union question.  With many programs (including the Apprenticeship Program) cut beyond what is possible to sustain, new hires should be discussed with the entire station staff.

General policy for hiring at the station should be done through hiring committee with UPSO participation.  This is a good practice that needs to be reestablished. Aileen Alfandary and Andrew told Tim that they wanted to post some routine replacement hours to make the process more transparent.  The discussion was lengthy and, at times, heated with the majority wanting a formal resolution.


The announcement of a hiring process for the relief co-host/producer for Up Front has caused a slew of rumors and concern.  Given the often rocky history of hiring at KPFA, we raise the following issues:

1)  We applaud the move toward an open hire for the relief work which most union-staffed programs require.

2)  We call for a similar open process in deciding all new hires at KPFA and hiring committees that include representation from the unpaid staff.

3)  We oppose any prioritizing of additional staff for the Up Front program.  The long-term financial stress at KPFA has led to cuts in hours and jobs since 2010 with many programs (including the Apprenticeship Program) cut beyond what is possible to sustain.  For this reason, no program should be allotted additional salaried support without a station-wide discussion.  We note that the original agreement with Up Front was that they would provide the program within the existing News Department budget.   We realize that the Up Front producers are doing good work under stressful conditions and we encourage them to call out for help from the unpaid staff.


Adrienne: Yes
David: No
Tim: No
Ann: Yes
Shahram: Yes


There is a suggestion that we make a resolution asking for monthly staff meetings.

Discussion:  Some think this is the way to stop rumors and have a public time when managers can report and answer questions.  There are regular Communications Workers of American (CWA) meetings with Managers at least monthly, why not unpaid staff?  The CWA meetings should be limited to union matters.  Other topics should be brought into all staff meetings.   Is a monthly meeting the best use of our time?   How many unpaid staff people would attend?

RESOLVED: We call on KPFA managers to hold regular all-staff meetings on at least a bi-monthly schedule.

Ann: Yes

David: No
Adrienne: Yes
Tim: No
Shahram: Yes


Laurence Shoup, a new Local Station Board (LSB) listener-representative has some ideas about unpaid staff union participation, and a conception of a union that would represent all staff at KPFA.  We would like to invite him, and possibly others, to do a 30-40 min. presentation at our next membership meeting in April.

Notes by Adrienne


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

Bylaws and grievance procedure:

Notes and other stuff:

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