Berkeley City Council votes unanimously to support mediation

On Tuesday, February 8, the Berkeley City Council unanimously approved a resolution urging all parties in the Pacifica-KPFA confict to negotiate or mediate in good faith to reach a speedy solution to the labor dispute and other issues. | KPFA News report by Aileen Alfandary

Both KPFA listeners and staff patiently waited hours to speak before the council, and then urged it to take action. “It grieves me deeply that KPFA and Pacifica — which we need more than ever — should be fighting amongst itself,” said long-time listener Ying Lee. “The Morning Show was a commons for me and my neighbors,” 20-year listener Andy Jamieson told council members, before Pacifica decided to “fence it off, take away the Morning Show, and fire Brian and Aimee.”

Antonio Ortiz, a KPFA engineer and member of CWA, noted that the layoffs of the Morning Show hosts did not follow seniority. He said the union wants to meet with management, and wants “to make sure the contract is adhered to and our workers’ rights are protected.”

“We have a national director saying she’s making $80,000 worth of layoffs to save a $3.5 million institution while she’s happy to spend money on $400-500 an hour attorneys,” laid-off Morning Show co-host Brian Edwards-Tiekert told the council. “The money that our listeners pledged to support programs at KPFA is being spent by Pacifica to fight the union that represents the people who make those programs,” he added.

Pointing to Pacifica’s stonewalling, Berkeley mayor Tom Bates said: “One party has indicated a desire to negotiate and mediate and another party has not. They need to recognize that we think it is important for them to get involved. We tell the Berkeley Bowl to negotiate with labor, we ask Berkeley Honda to negotiate with labor, we ask the people down in the marina who have the Marriott Hotel to negotiate with labor. We’re asking all the parties to truly negotiate.” | Video of entire city council meeting; KPFA discussion begins around 3:40

Meanwhile, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors passed a resolution opposing the sale of KUSF, which has provided a wide range of public service programming for over three decades. Its owner, the University of San Francisco, has announced plans to sell KUSF’s license to commercial interests for $3.75 million.

Judge issues another TRO against Pacifica’s election tricks

An Alameda County Superior Court judge issued a temporary restraining order (TRO) against Pacifica on Monday, after the network was sued by a KPFK/Los Angeles member who alleged the Pacifica national board was trying to fraudulently re-run a delegate election it didn’t like.

Pacifica claimed that the election of KPFK staff delegate Rodrigo Argueta was flawed due to a ballot that combined both listener and staff representatives, but Argueta pointed out that Pacifica wanted to rerun only the staff portion of the election — the one he won. A TRO was also issued two months ago against Pacifica, when it tried to retroactively disqualify 3 KPFA staff members’ votes to change the outcome of an election.