[JPL] WGBH says cuts, layoffs needed

Steve Schwartz steve_schwartz at wgbh.org
Sat Jul 25 08:01:47 EDT 2009

Bobby Jackson, 
Terrible news about your job cut. It's rampant everywhere. 
Here is an article from yesterday's Boston Globe. We're all looking behind us. 
Let's hope for the best for all:

WGBH says cuts, layoffs needed

Officials at WGBH said yesterday that budget shortfalls will require major 
budget cuts and layoffs.

WGBH spokeswoman Lucy Sholley said it is unknown how many employees 
would be let go because the station is in negotiations with one of its major unions.

However, department heads were asked to cut their budgets as much as 
8 percent to help make up an expected revenue shortfall of 12 percent in fiscal 2010, she said.

“We expect there will be layoffs,’’ Sholley said last night.

WGBH has been in talks with the Association of Employees of the 
Educational Foundation, Local 1300 of the Communications Workers 
of America, and has asked the union to approve a wage freeze and an 
end to pension contributions. The concessions would save the station an 
expected $1.3 million. Sholley said WGBH management agreed to the same
 concessions in September of 2008.

Union officials said they would meet with station management next week 
and added they had not seen any proposals. Last year after restructurings 
and layoffs, more than 22 employees lost their jobs. “One of the things it 
does affect is local programming, local production,’’ said union president 
Jordan Weinstein, “to what extent we don’t know.’’

Three-hundred sixty of WGBH’s 900 employees belong to the union.

Sholley said the National Association of Broadcast and Engineering Technicians, 
Local 18 of the Communications Workers of America, which also 
represents station employees, has agreed to wage and pension concessions.

The cutbacks were announced yesterday in a memo to employees 
from chief executive Jon Abbott. In the memo, Abbott said WGBH’s 
income from members, major donors, corporations, and its endowment has shrunk.

Department heads were asked to reduce 5 percent of their budgets earlier this year.

In the memo, Abbott said he hoped bargaining would conclude by early to mid-August.

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