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SAG-AFTRA Reaches Deal for NPR Staffers, Strike Averted

Variety logo Variety 7/16/2017 Dave McNary
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Management of National Public Radio and SAG-AFTRA have reached a tentative three-year deal, averting a possible strike by more than 400 of NPR’s news and programming employees.

The deal was announced late Saturday night near the end of a 24-hour extension of the expiration. NPR employees had announced Friday evening that nearly 300 of them had agreed to a request to the SAG-AFTRA national board to approve a strike authorization.

SAG-AFTRA could have called a strike within a few days had the talks not progressed on Saturday. The announcement said that that the union’s leadership will recommend the deal to the NPR staffers is represents.

“Both sides have been working over several months to reach this new, forward-looking agreement that meets the needs of NPR’s employees and operations,” management said in a statement Saturday night. “SAG-AFTRA members will have an opportunity to vote to ratify the agreement in the coming weeks. Both NPR and SAG-AFTRA look forward to working together in support of NPR’s mission and service to the American public.”

The union has been objecting to proposal to set up a separate pay scale for newcomers. The contract talks started on April 27 and a federal mediator had been called in. The contract had expired on June 30 but was extended several times.

“The deal provides for salary increases and effectively repelled efforts to erode union protections and institute a two-tiered salary system,” SAG-AFTRA said Saturday night.

NPR is a non-profit that syndicates its programming to more than 900 radio stations. Its signature programs are “Morning Edition” and “All Things Considered.”

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