Sunday, August 30, 2015

Union disunion

SAG-AFTRA Union Takes Pacifica Into Arbitration
 Alleging Bust of Collective Bargaining Agreement

Berkeley - On Thursday, the SAG-AFTRA labor union filed a demand for arbitration with the American Arbitration Association. The union stated to its members their position that Pacifica is in ongoing violation of the collective bargaining agreement. The Screen Actors Guild/American Federation of Radio and Television Artists represents approximately 160,000 actors, announcers, broadcast journalists, dancers, DJs, news writers, news editors, program hosts, puppeteers, recording artists, singers, stunt performers, voiceover artists and other media professionals. Three of Pacifica's  four unionized stations are represented by SAG-AFTRA, one in Berkeley by the Communication Workers of America (CWA) and the Houston station remains non-unionized. 

Pacifica is attempting to lay off three workers at KPFK (the webmaster, film club coordinator and a development assistant), reduce all other workers to 50% time for at least the next four months and "reorganize" the staff for the following budgetary year with new job descriptions and work schedules. This recording is from the staff meeting where Margy Wilkinson-appointed general manager Leslie Radford announced the layoffs and reductions to the workers.

The layoffs were handled klutzily by Radford, with one employee not finding out they were laid off until 4 days after the staff meeting, and incorrect job titles listed on layoff letters. The union also has taken umbrage at Pacifica's suggestion that it authorize supplementary unemploy-
ment checks for still-employed union members, a program that PNB treasurer and Upfront host Brian Edwards-Tiekert has used to supplement his own paycheck since 2011 through at least mid-2014 and possibly into 2015.

Both GM Radford and ED John Profitt have stated they relied on advice from Bay Area attorney Dan Siegel regarding the implementation of the layoffs and work reductions at the KPFK division. Siegel, along with former IED Margy Wlkinson, incorporated the KPFA Foundation clandestinely in 2013 to capture one or more of Pacifica's broadcast licenses in the event of organizational breakup.

SAG-AFTRA's resort to litigation against Pacifica was probably abetted by Pacifica's inability to present a coherent set of accounting records. On Tuesday night, the national finance committee made confused noises about an income statement, complete with 24 pie charts, presented by the controller that showed the KPFK unit with a $182,00 net profit for the current fiscal year and the 501c3 with a $959,000 net profit for the current fiscal year. You can listen to part of the meeting here.

The gist of the confusing explanation offered, both at the meeting and in a series of emails that flew around the network afterwards, went something like this: "After the temporary KPFK bookkeeper was terminated for embezzling on or around August 13th, the former CFO Raul Salvador, now consulting, was sent in and then most, but not all, of the station's April and May income was double-booked into the KPFK general ledger, income which had already been recorded before, presumably in April and May. The controller, formerly Salvador's subordinate and seemingly now his boss, issued financial reports based on that ledger, whose accuracy he was unable to assess because no bank reconciliations had been performed at KPFK in the last year".

KPFK is reported to have paid $46,000 in the first 9 months of the year for temporary bookkeeping services. This sound clip features Leslie Radford telling station staff about the embezzling at KPFK.

Former ED Summer Reese commented in a public list-serv: "During my tenure, the former National Office Controller, her childhood friend from the Philippines the current controller, his wife, his cousin the former KPFK Business Manager, and his former employee in the Philippines Pacifica's last CFO, were all separated from Pacifica. The books were literally millions of dollars out of whack when I took the helm.  After my termination, some of these separated individuals were obviously brought back for reasons that can only cause speculation".

Pacifica's board elections continue to be in a state of limbo, more than a year after they were supposed to be held by board resolution. One half of the local and national board members have overstayed their elected board terms by 20 months, and the other half will end their elected terms on December 15, 2015, rendering the whole structure illegitimate in about 100 days. After soliciting 100+ board candidates and hiring six election supervisors, Pacifica did not remit a $25,000 postage deposit earlier this month and has provided no revised schedule for the commencement of the election. The rogue Siegel/Brazon faction in control of the national board has taken no corrective action.

In the meantime, staff candidates not aligned with the majority faction, have experienced targeting with WBAI staff candidate Mitchel Cohen removed from his unpaid volunteer coordinator position and KPFK staff candidate Ali Lexa picked as the only full-time KPFK employee to be immediately laid off. Cohen is a former WBAI LSB chair and the lead plaintiff in 2008's Cohen vs Pacifica election fraud lawsuit. Lexa, the LA station's webmaster, was the first place winner in KPFK's staff elections in 2006 and 2009, and served on the Pacifica National Board for a year in 2012. Another LA staff candidate, music director Maggie Le Pique, has had her position eliminated on paper in GM Radford's 2016 staffing plan. Radford was an ardent member of the Siegel-Brazon faction during her local and national board terms.

Pacifica's audit lead, Grant Lam at Armanino LLC set off a firestorm when he informed the former chair of Pacifica's audit committee on August 25th that no work had been done to date on Pacifica's 2014 audit, which was due to California's Attorney General and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting two months ago on June 30. Pacifica took approximately $50,000 from KPFA at the end of July to "immediately start the audit" which was claimed to be delayed because Pacifica could not pay the balance due from the last year's audit, the most expensive in Pacifica's history. Lam's email, which was so lackadasical it barely acknowledged the "emergency payment" had been made, caused many to conclude that perhaps the payment hadn't been made (it was), but did confirm  a month has passed with no work completed on the overdue audit, marking the second consecutive year Pacifica has been delinquent on the legally required state filing. FCC attorney John Crigler confirmed the network will be unable to secure any of $2.2 million dollars in public media funding Pacifica has been unable to collect due to audit delinquency.

KPFT director Bob Mark, a new 2015 addition to the board of directors who is not aligned with the Siegel/Brazon faction, was mystified and saddened when his simple request that new CFO candidates be asked during the interview process what they would do to address Pacifica's problems with getting bank accounts reconciled and audits completed in a timely manner, was voted down. PNB chair Lydia Brazon's tangled explanations for why Pacifica's CFO has no responsibility for the network's financial recordkeeping and Mark's pained comments as the Siegel/Brazon faction closes ranks on him, has to be heard to be believed.

Five years ago, PNB treasurer Brian Edwards-Tiekert and the Berkeley wing of the Siegel/Brazon faction spread accusations of "unionbusting" against  Pacifica far and wide after layoffs were imposed following a two year loss by KPFA of $1.1 million dollars. Flyers such as this archived copy of "What Is Unionbusting" were posted on websites at savekpfa and kpfaworker. The Siegel/Brazon faction and Edwards-Tiekert specifically, castigated Pacifica as "unionbusters" because they would not accept a "sustainable budget" proposal that among other features proposed 1) giving the Berkeley station three years to pay back its network services debt to Pacifica 2) shifting elderly union workers to Medicare 3) asking stations that replay programming produced at KPFA to pay the production costs (KPFA now broadcasts Uprising from KPFK every morning and does not contribute to its production costs) and 4) chopping from the top i.e. laying off national office staff instead of union workers.

In 2015, with KPFK's 2014-2015 two year operating deficit (in whatever version of the financial statements you choose to believe in) at half of KPFA's 2009-2010 two year operating deficit and the unpaid network services amount quite similiar, there is not a peep out of Edwards-Tiekert and Wilkinson about "sustainable budgets" and three year network services payback plans. Wilkinson's appointment of factional cohort Leslie Radford as KPFK's GM on her last day has depressed KPFK's daily fund drive revenues by 33%, from $30,000/day to barely $20,000/day, directly exacerbating the station's financial instability and in opposition to the stated objections of all but one of the LA station's workers.

Pacifica in Exile readers may write to the board at

For readers who may wish to do more, any donor to a California-based not for profit organization like Pacifica may file a complaint to the open file at the Registry of Charitable Trusts at the Office of the CA Attorney General. Pacifica's case number is CT011303. The form and instructions for filing may be downloaded here.


  1. Well I'm glad the Sag-Aftra Union is finally doing something for the Workers still employed withing Pacifica. On the down side I can tell you that two years ago they did nothing for the WBAI workers before, and during the Mass Lay-Offs.

    I recall well the meeting in which our Union Rep told us point blank, " would be wise if you all sought other employment".

    So ended our careers.

  2. fions... is this group related to the cling ons ?
    sounds like alot of psychobabble .
    Just more bad programming for the "community"

  3. I have to say I agree with Radford giving these jerks what they deserve, if for all the wrong reasons. SAG-AFTRA should just dump these clods or, at least, have something "more important to do," like defending puppeteers...

    Elections? Since when do the Pacifica heroes like Fidel Castro get elected? No, Pacifica is simply following the examples they learned. What a joke.

    No matter what, we must remember that this is the single dumbest batch of bandits you'll ever find. They can't even get themselves together enough to get a couple of million Dollars for free from the CPB to fleece.

    Hmmm... Or are they that dumb? I still think some people are really trying to crush Pacifica to get, at least, one station license for themselves. However, if they really are this dumb or stupid, let them enjoy. All this drama gives these doofs meaning and excitement in their little lives.


    1. Whatever their real motives might be, they truly are too dumb to succeed. A couple of days ago, I saw a post on Nalini's list where scumbag Bernard White admits that the organization (now, there's a misnomer for you) is going under and that the programming is terrible. However, he puts all the blame on non-members of their "community" and attributes to whitey all the vandalism done by his own mob!

      These people will soon be idiots wondering what to do next.

      Today on his show, Gary Null predicted the demise of Pacifica/WBAI as a result of the current California AG investigation. I wanted to post it, but it was removed when the show went to archive.

    2. "non-members of their "community"" means listeners who don't send in money? If so, too funny.

      So, WBAI finally has a Ministry of Truth editing archive recordings? Now, that should be a major news item! How many more items will be sanitized in the future? The PC Show better watch out!

      OK, on a side note. I posted this on the NY Radio Message Board. Part of it is about WBAI. First link is the board url and the second is my response. Go to the page and scroll down just a bit to "Balance of Nature quakery " for the thread. Some others bring up WBAI, so I jumped in.


    3. Well, non-members of a non-community, as it were. There may, indeed, be a Ministry of Half-truth, but I don't believe it. I will now check out your URLs.

  4. seems like slave central really ramping up the blackness today .
    african overload for sure. Sad and pathetic.

    1. They live in a very small world of their own invention. There is so much to be said about our country's deplorable racial issues, but the bozos of bai haven't the intelligence and insight, so they lie, distort, and foment bigotry. They will soon find themselves far from the nearest microphone.

  5. bai ... just listened to ken gale's ecologic . Pretty good show actually . Sadly, Dred Scott Keys bringing the black whining back.
    God help the black race , if this is the blacks they are following .

    1. That's what I keep saying, the black whiners have an attitude that, in many ways, victimizes black people. Their venom is directed at non-blacks, but it is, in the end, more damaging to the people they presume to represent. Of course, their ability to reason is obscured by their obsessive hatred.

  6. Couldn't agree more . It is having the opposite effect . I think white and black is a color , yes , but if people look at their own
    lives , and just think about all the people you have met . Sure if you see someone from a different race . or anybody for that
    matter, you first see their physical appearance , but once you get to know them a little more , you find out what kind of person
    they are , and if you are going to like them or not . It becomes deeper than color or appearance .
    The bozos on bai never get to that point . They just assume that everybody that isn't black is out to get them . Sad

    1. The truth is the people you find at WBAI, and their listeners, are trash making excuses for their own shortcomings and failures in life. The slightly less stupid ones use WBAI to try and make a personal profit with their hate, whether financial or political or both.


    2. Trash is too strong a term, I think, although there is some of that among them. But many of them do, indeed, lie and deceive as they spew their artificial venom to cover up their shortcomings. They resent black people who don't wallow in self pity. Remember the We Shall Overcome days? Well these are people who chronically fail to overcome.

    3. I think you underestimate how low most people at WBAI really are. I tell people that if they want to see what kind of government the "progressives" would run, look at Pacifica and its stations for the microcosmic example. At this point, I think I detest "progressives" more than any other segment of the "Left." To me they are the equivalent of those "libertarians" of the right.

      I really hope it comes down to Trump vs Sanders, just for all the anger and division it will cause in this country of moronic mobile toy brain dead humanoids. Sorry, but my terminal misanthropy is growing bigger by the day.


    4. A Trump-Palin ticket? Nothing would surprise me. I don't want to see Hillary run, unless it's towards the horizon.

      Meant to tell you that I checked out the NY Radio site last night, as you recommended. It's interesting to see how the old Double Helix water and other quacky "cures" seem to be seamlessly associated with WBAI at this point.

      The utter silence from government agencies continues to mystify me.

    5. Ah, yes. I think seeing the WBAI comments tells us something, in that the topic was about AM commercial radio "health" crap, and people think WBAI immediately. Think about it. That is a forum dedicated to commercial radio, basically, yet people pop up mentioning WBAI for "health" crap and nothing else. Tells you what image WBAI has left as a legacy in peoples' minds, eh?

      The only time any thread related to WBAI was posted by someone other than me was when Steve Post died, and that was mostly about his WNYC days.

      "Hey, Joe. Remember WBAI?
      "Yeah, that station that used to sell all the snake oil stuff all the time..."
      "Yes, that station that sold double helix water."
      "Hey, Bill! Remember that guy who pushed color stuff?"
      Joe and Bill burst out laughing together...

      Fine legacy...


    6. WBAI: "Speaking half-truth to powder."