Chicago Public Media votes for SAG AFTRA membership

The first union contract between members of radio’s Chicago Public Media (CPM) and SAG-AFTRA was overwhelmingly ratified June 30, after nearly two years of negotiations that began with CPM’s bargaining unit voting to unionize in December, 2013 and negotiations beginning in March, 2014.

“This contract achieved the bargaining unit’s highest priority: a voice in the workplace,” stated Chicago Local Director of Broadcast Paula Weinbaum, who served as chief negotiator.

The bargaining unit includes anchors, hosts, reporters, producers, editors and those who create digital content.

Chicago Public Media is home to WBEZ 91.5FM, Vocalo 89.5FM and a such acclaimed local and national productions as Sound Opinions, Worldview, This American Life, The Morning Shift and Afternoon Shift and Radio M.

The two-year contract includes newly established scale rates for each covered position, annual increases, professional development in job classifications, as well as progressive discipline and a grievance and arbitration procedure. 

 “My colleagues have worked hard the last two years,” said Becky Vevea, a member of the CPM bargaining committee.  “The contract we voted on is a great step toward building a stronger future at CPM that includes the voices of all content professionals at WBEZ, Vocalo and Sound Opinions, trusted by listeners across the Chicago area and beyond.”

SAG-AFTRA also represents public media professionals at National Public Radio (NPR), KPCC in Los Angeles, KQED in San Francisco, WNYC in New York and KPLU in Seattle. 

Sidebar: SAG-AFTRA is one of six visual media organizations hosting the Chicago Creatives Cocktail Party, Wednesday, July 29 at Rockit Bar & Grill, 22 W. Hubbard, starting at 6 p.m.