WYPR staff decides to form union

A majority of the editorial staff at WYPR has asked management of the NPR affiliate in Baltimore to recognize their representation by SAG-AFTRA, a national union of public-media professionals.

The staff, which includes producers, reporters and on-air hosts, took the first steps on June 3 to form a union, according to a statement issued by SAG-AFTRA Friday afternoon. Leslie Simmons at the national SAG-AFTRA office declined to answer questions that went beyond the statement.

Attempts to reach WYPR management were unsuccessful. The WYPR newsroom personnel filed a petition on Friday with the National Labor Relations Board, but management can voluntarily recognize the union and begin to negotiate a contract.

"The editorial staff at WYPR is deeply committed to the work that we do," the staff said in a statement. "We want to see the station improve and better serve listeners across the state. We believe that a unionized editorial staff, working with station management and its board is the best way to do that."

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