From: Stuart Rushfield [SRushfield@npr.org]
Sent: Monday, January 12, 2009 1:04 AM
To: mthomas3@aol.com; Sue Fitzgerald; Carl External
Subject: NPR Notes for E-Board Meeting/ January, 2009

NPR Notes for E-Board Meeting, January 12, 2009:

Confirming the speculation that abounded at the time of the December 2008 Executive Board meeting, NPR did, in fact, slash its employment rolls by seven percent.  These cuts included 64 staff positions and 21 unfilled positions.  Both NPR programs produced out of the NPR West studios in Culver City, CA are being cancelled, and will cease production on March 20, 2009.  Four full time NABET staffers’ positions are being eliminated as a result of the cutbacks (three at NPR West and one at NPR’s New York bureau).  The New York cut will drop the number of NABET Broadcast Recording Technicians there to three, yet a supervisor’s position in New York was unaffected, leaving a supervisor in place to supervise three long-time, seasoned NPR veterans.  Many have wondered why this direct supervision (and the cost of that supervision) of the same three engineers who worked very successfully for many years with no direct supervision would be necessary... 

Some of the affected NABET staffers have been utilizing Local 31’s Lynda.com training and have requested that the training continue to be made available to them as they try to shift into other employment opportunities... 

In addition to the elimination of the four full time staff positions, all six Temporary engineers at NPR’s Washington headquarters have seen their hours slashed from full time to two days a week...   

With fewer than three months remaining before the end of the NABET/NPR contract, no formal beginning of negotiations has been calendared.  However, members at NPR are working from several angles in preparation for the events to come.  One of the biggest changes forthcoming will be much more open lines of communications between the negotiating committee and our membership.  Our members spoke out about the lack of information and the general secrecy surrounding previous negotiations, particularly from our "lead" negotiator, and will instead receive frequent and open updates regarding the proposals and stances of both NPR and NABET in the talks.