NPR Employees Get Salary Increases Following Walkout Threats

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Ted Goodman Contributor
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A new contract between National Public Radio (NPR) and its union is official after a signing ceremony inside NPR’s Washington, D.C., headquarters Monday.

The contract, ratified by union members last week, came after contentious talks between NPR management and the Screen Actors Guild – American Federation of Television and Ratio Artists (SAG-AFTRA), which represents 433 of NPR’s 800 employees.

While the heated negotiations threatened to disrupt operations, the two sides seemed content Monday.

“NPR and SAG-AFTRA have shared a long and productive relationship throughout the years,” a joint statement from SAG-AFTRA and NPR said. “This was evident in the recent negotiations, as NPR and SAG-AFTRA’s bargaining teams worked tirelessly and constructively to find common ground.”

The last contract expired June 30, and after multiple extensions and a threatened walkout, the two sides came to a tentative agreement July 16.

The three-year deal provides for salary increases and “effectively repelled” a proposed two-tier salary system that would have paid new hires less than veteran staffers, according to the union.

NPR’s management wanted the right to pay lower wages to new hires, according to, but the union pushed back. SAG-AFTRA argued that such an arrangement could hinder the hiring of women and minorities.

NPR is a non-profit that syndicates its programming to over 900 radio stations nationwide. Listeners will be able to continue to listen to programs like”All Things Considered” and “Morning Edition” without the threat of a walk out.

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