UPDATED with statement, 10:10 AM: SAG-AFTRA and NPR today issued a joint statement about their ratification of a contract deal that averts a strike against the radio pubcaster:
The Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) and NPR are pleased to announce the ratification and signing of a new three-year contract covering NPR’s news and programming employees. The contract was ratified last week by an overwhelming majority of NPR’s SAG-AFTRA represented employees and then signed by SAG-AFTRA and NPR at NPR headquarters in Washington, D.C. on Monday, July 31. NPR and SAG-AFTRA have shared a long and productive relationship throughout the years. This was evident in the recent negotiations, as NPR and SAG-AFTRA’s bargaining teams worked tirelessly and constructively to find common ground. Today NPR and SAG-AFTRA together celebrate the tremendous talents of NPR’s news and programming teams and look forward to supporting NPR’s mission and service to the American public.
PREVIOUSLY, July 15: A threatened SAG-AFTRA strike against National Public Radio has been averted. “We have a tentative agreement,” the union said on its website. The two sides edged to the brink of a strike when the union’s contract expired Friday night. NPR employees covered by the contract had asked for authorization to strike, but the new deal now precludes that.
The deal, which was reached near the end on a 24-hour contract extension on top of a two-week extension, provides for salary increases and “effectively repelled efforts to erode union protections and institute a two-tiered salary system,” the union said in a statement.
NPR wanted the right to pay lower wages to new-hires, but the union said this could stifle the hiring of women and minorities. “Management’s attempt to create a second-class of minimums for new employees may discourage diverse candidates from entering the NPR workforce,” said SAG-AFTRA president Gabrielle Carteris. “Equal pay for equal work.”
The new agreement must now be ratified by the covered employees.
NPR (also known as National Public Radio) is a non-profit media media organization that serves as a national syndicator to a network of 900 public radio stations in the United States. Two of NPR’s flagships are the two popular drive time news broadcasts Morning Edition and All Things Considered.