-----A newsletter about the Contract negotiations at WBAI.-----
---April 24, 1998---
-----Presented by the WBAI Shop Committee-----
---No. 11---
three lines

Strike Authorization Vote Thursday, April 30th, 6:00 PM on the 22nd floor!

Union members fed up with Management's foot dragging, unfair labor practices and general dishonesty towards the workers of WBAI have set Thursday April 30th, as the date for a strike authorization vote.

All members in good standing of the Union should attend this important meeting and make their feelings known by voting to authorize a strike.

It has become clear over the past couple of years that the Pacifica Foundation only has an eye for the bottom line these days, money seems to be all they care about. Fair treatment of workers, meeting of commitments, compliance with the Contract and even a humane attitude towards those who make WBAI function have all been abandoned in the effort to make those financial reports look good.

To this end General Manager Valerie Van Isler has been making herself look competent to Pacifica Management by showing off the results of WBAI's marathons over the past several years. Of course Van Isler has nothing to do with those marathons. The people who make these fund raising results happen are the Paid and Unpaid Staff at the station, the very people whom Van Isler treats with scorn and condescension at every opportunity.

Besides refusing to negotiate in good faith on a Contract, Van Isler has fired workers unfairly and waged extensive campaigns, aided by Management lawyer Mel Wulf, to keep some from getting the unemployment pay to which they were entitled. In one case she's used delaying tactics to drag out the grievance process for a fired worker until the decision from the arbitrator won't be rendered until a year and a half after he was fired.

Everyone knows the lengths Van Isler has gone to in preventing some Paid Staff from getting health benefits, including outright denial of benefits to those who qualify; in one case a worker denied benefits experienced a deterioration of health

that culminated in that worker having a stroke. Van Isler's latest excursion into mean spiritedness is not allowing a Paid Staff member, whose hours have been officially increased to full time, to even apply for health benefits for three months, treating him as a new hire when he's been working at WBAI for years. This is in addition to Management's policy of hiring Paid Staff for half time jobs, and then expecting them to work full time hours. Management gets the work it needs done but doesn't have to provide the health benefits which would greatly increase the quality of life of those workers.

Everyone at WBAI has noted the number of temporary and interim jobs Management has posted over the past year or more, and the fact that Management keeps people in such jobs for longer than the Contract allows rather than making permanent hires. This is another tactic to keep things unstable at WBAI and intimidate workers.

Our Contract requires Management to hold 3 General Manager's and 2 Program Director's Staff Meetings each year. Van Isler held two General manger's meetings in 1997, and none since then! There have been no Program Director's Staff Meetings since 1996! Van Isler says that she's refusing to hold these meetings so she can save the paltry couple of hundred dollars they would cost. She is also avoiding being confronted by the Staff be refusing to hold these meetings.

Your Union Shop Committee has been fighting Management on all of these issues for some time, but Management has adopted a rigid position and will no longer respect either the Contract or the rights of workers. There is only one thing that Pacifica and WBAI Management understand any more, and that's economics. We need to hit them in the pocketbook, they've left us no other way.

Show up at the meeting on April 30th, vote for a strike authorization!

three radios

On April 30th 1998, the Union membership voted overwhelmingly in favor of the strike authorization. On May 28th a "Work to Rule Day" job action was held, the first of a number of such actions as the Staff prepares for an eventual, full fledged strike.

Back to the Current Negotiations page page.

Back to the WBAI Union page.

Back to my home page.