OPB reporters unionize


Oregon Public Broadcasting (OPB) and KMHD Jazz Radio on March 22 voluntarily recognized SAG-AFTRA as the bargaining representative of about 65 on-air staff, hosts, reporters, and producers. 

OPB is a public, nonprofit broadcasting network that covers most of Oregon and southern Washington. It includes five television stations and 20 radio stations. OPB also operates KMHD Jazz Radio in partnership with Mt. Hood Community College. The content creators at both organizations will be represented under a joint contract negotiated by SAG-AFTRA. (SEIU Local 503 already represented 26 other workers at OPB, including studio coordinators, help desk specialists, videographers, production techs, and maintenance engineers.)

The newly union workers had been secretly organizing since January 2023. The organizing campaign took more than a year because workers met off-hours, usually about once a month, to determine who belonged in the unit and which union should represent them, said Tiffany Camhi, a higher education reporter for OPB. They picked SAG-AFTRA because it represents on-air staff at many other public media organizations, including NPR and its member stations across the country. 

On March 14, about 84% of the workers signed a letter and petition to OPB management asking for voluntary recognition. They also signed union authorization cards, in case the station asked for a “card check” to prove a majority of workers wanted the union. 

But OPB President and CEO Steve Bass agreed to recognize the union without any extra steps. 


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Read more