Pacifica continues to stall a listener-initiated recall of Pacifica National Board treasurer and KPFA board member Tracy Rosenberg. No ballots have been sent to listeners even though December 30 was the deadline to mail them under Pacifica’s own recall procedures. | SEE RECALL FLYER | SEE NEW LISTENER MAIL | SIGN PETITION
Over a thousand listeners have signed a petition demanding the hiring of an impartial supervisor to oversee the vote. The recall procedure adopted by Pacifica does not require that the election supervisor be acceptable to all parties, including the subject of the recall. To do so would give the subject of the recall an unfair advantage. The election supervisor needs only to acceptable to the national board.
What can we, as listener-members do, to get this process fast-tracked? The Pacifica national board is holding its quarterly meeting this weekend in Los Angeles. They need to hear from us. CLICK HERE TO EMAIL Pacifica’s entire national board to demand that a qualified impartial supervisor be hired immediately to oversee the recall process in a fair manner. Use our suggested message, or write your own, but please write!
KPFA’s interim manager abusing station email list
It is becoming clear to KPFA’s listeners why the delays are happening: so that Pacifica’s hand-picked management at KPFA can use the extra time to campaign on Rosenberg’s behalf.
KPFAWorker.org reports that over the last month, Andrew Leslie Phillips, who was appointed by Pacifica without any input from KPFA’s staff or its elected local station board, used KPFA’s subscriber email list to mass-distribute materials attacking KPFA’s union as well as the petition seeking a recall of Rosenberg.
KPFA chair Margy Wilkinson, writing on behalf of the board’s majority, told Phillips his email was “misleading and outright false.” Calling his words “a thinly-veiled partisan intervention in an election that you yourself said station management is supposed to stay out of,” Wilkinson demanded equal access to KPFA’s email list for a rebuttal. She says there’s been no response yet.
No manager in KPFA’s history has behaved this way. It is a violation of Pacifica’s by-laws to use station resources to take a side in elections — something Phillips skirts by calling his emails attempts to “correct factual misstatements.”
Sadly, the bad facts are coming from KPFA’s interim manager himself. Phillips suggests that KPFA’s financial situation has improved because of Rosenberg’s move to eliminate the Morning Show — at the time, KPFA’s biggest fundraiser. He fails to mention that over 90% of KPFA’s salary savings came from hour cuts and voluntary layoffs made by prior KPFA management before Pacifica stepped in and killed the Morning Show, and that KPFA’s listeners and staff have had to suffer through nearly four weeks of additional fundraising last year to make up for the drop in morning pledges.
Not that numbers are his strong point: In December, Phillips prefaced a mass mailing with a rant blaming the station’s union workers for $200,000 in costs spent “defending [KPFA] from grievances.” Phillips conceded later that the amount only totals $80,000. Likewise, Phillips told the KPFA local board meeting last month that the huge fundraising losses during the morning hours (see chart above) hadn’t hurt KPFA’s finances. He clearly couldn’t add up the figures correctly. | LISTEN HERE to Phillips doing bad math to justify bad decisions, or hear the entire KPFA local board meeting: PART 1, PART 2
During December’s Local Station Board meeting, many board members were frustrated that KPFA’s interim management refused to give contact information for the station’s workers to enable the board to survey them about interim GM Andrew Phillips‘ performance. | AUDIO: part 1 | part 2 | part 3 | part 4
CWA responds to anti-union KPFA management
Phillips’ slanted emails to subscribers have also angered KPFA’s workers, who have opposed Pacifica’s decision to spend KPFA’s money on a $400/hour anti-union law firm, in the first place — rather than sit down and work through grievances from the union.
“Your email is inaccurate and offensive,” wrote Christina Huggins of CWA 9415 which represents KPFA’s unionized staff, noting that Phillips’ supposed correction “speaks volumes as to your free and easy use of the truth, with barely a nod to the level of inaccuracy (your self-described style of ‘throwing stuff against a wall to see what sticks.’” In response to Phillips’ anti-CWA comments, she points out that CWA is a progressive union that was among the first to support the Occupy movement, came out early against the war in Iraq, and works in coalition with progressive movements around the world.
One KPFA staffer is quoted as saying, “Andrew has demonstrated an anti-union bias from the day he stepped through the station’s doors, and he’s spent most of his time trying to create divisions between the unpaid and paid staff.” Another said Phillips’ actions showed “very poor judgment from the person we’re supposed to look to heal KPFA.” | LEARN MORE about KPFA’s labor history here.