National Public Radio is facing pressure not only from President Donald Trump, who wants to eliminate its federal funding entirely, but from SAG-AFTRA, as well. With negotiations for a new NPR contract coming down to the wire, the union is rallying support for its demand for “equal pay for equal work.”
NPR is seeking a new deal that would allow its stations to pay lower wages to new-hires, but the union says 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.”
“NPR has a budget surplus,” the union said on its website, “but NPR executives want significantly lower salary minimums for new hires, the ability to freely contract out SAG-AFTRA work, and restrictions on SAG-AFTRA’s right to fully represent its members,” the union says on its website. “This flies in the face of shared ideals that include NPR’s mission and the commitment to a fair workplace. Without the employees who serve as its backbone, NPR would not have the high-quality journalism or cultural programming that have made it a preferred medium for tens of millions of listeners and readers.”
NPR, however, may not have a budget surplus for long. In his proposed budget, Trump has called for the complete elimination of all federal funding of the Corporation of Public Broadcasting, which helps fund NPR and PBS.
The union’s contract expires Friday night at midnight.