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More Leaked Emails from KBOO

KBOO Board President shows his true colors
Read this email and see how out of control the Board President is and how much he is catering to the needs of staff as opposed to the foundation. It's sickening.
He should resign.


On Wed, May 29, 2013 at 4:35 PM, Lynn Fitch <  manager@kboo.org> wrote:

> To The KBOO Foundation Board of Directors:
>
> I am writing to you today to disclose a conversation I had with the board
> president yesterday, May 28, 2013 about 1:30 pm. Conch had contacted me
> about discussing a new way to provide access to the board, by membership,
> via the KBOO website. This in response to the recent inquiries by a few
> members, as to how best to contact the board and / or leave messages for
> the board. We agreed to meet following the staff meeting, which Conch
> attended that morning.
>
> After discussing the member / board communication issue, I offered to have
> a page created that would allow members to submit a comment or question,
> via a form on the website. A board member would receive notices about these
> comments, perhaps the secretary, and forward them on to the appropriate
> board member or committee.
>
> After that, Conch began asking me questions and telling me about a
> conversation he had previously with Marc Brown. After reflecting on the
> conversation - which initially seemed benign enough, as the day and evening
> wore on I became more and more disturbed by what we had spoken about and
> concerned enough that I decided to inform the board and make sure there was
> a public record of that meeting and conversation.
>
> I will say up front that I did not take minutes, as I was expecting a
> simple dialogue about communication between members and board via the
> website. So I will only mention what I remember and not try and provide
> details.
>
> It seems that Conch had a lengthy conversation with Marc Brown about many
> issues - including how to respond to the membership petition, how to deal
> with certain board confidentiality issues, etc. It seems Marc reiterated
> that the membership can and cannot do, including not being able to fire me.
> Conch also shared his desire to hold another "meeting" to hear member
> concerns and keep the bad energy defused. I was open about my disgust at
> what has been said by staff and volunteers and hosts to the public - about
> me and the situation at KBOO. What more could the members want to discuss?
> Bullard has been let go and the union is about to be voted in. What would
> the goal be for another meeting?
>
> I was asked about what I planned to do following the staff / union
> election. I gave him my thoughts - that we had 1 year to enter into
> negotiations and the first things I wanted to address were the interim
> positions and the FCC issue. I also assume that the Union will want to
> discuss the "at will" policy. Conch shared that he had received some NLRB
> materials he was sharing with the board. This was before I read the board
> agenda and read that the board was now handling the collective bargaining
> negotiations.
>
> I was asked if I had written a grant yet for the media center as described
> in the strategic plan. I explained that no, I had not - that I had created
> a PT grant position within the new staff structure that could help with
> those. I further explained how grants for projects work, that KBOO lacked
> planning details and budget information for most grants and how we could
> start to raise money for the media center.
>
> Conch talked about his desire to resurrect the strategic planning work
> group, how we were behind in the goals and that several old work group
> members would be willing to come back and be on the work group again.
>
> I mentioned the work being done for the event on Saturday, that the summer
> appeal had gone out to 15,000 members / donors, that I was preparing to
> begin working on the FCC licensee renewal - that events like Good in the
> Hood were being turned into mini-membership drives and birthday
> celebrations, that the community radio network and the Blues Festival
> planning was moving forward and that I was meeting about that state wide
> strategy this week.
>
> The conversation had gone well past the point of board communications with
> members and in hindsight it seemed like I was being questioned about things
> or that Conch was gathering information, well outside the bounds of being a
> Board President. As everyone knows, communication between Conch and myself
> (as well as several other board members) has been strained and I am doing
> my best to be amiable and provide information when asked - by any board
> member.
>
> However, the tone of this conversation was unsettling and seemed more like
> I was being interrogated or directed by Conch - which is a policy
> violation. Our conversation was interrupted by Erin, at a point where we
> were about to talk further about the recent leaks of information, and
> membership concerns. Conch left abruptly, even though Erin was willing to
> wait to speak to me.
>
> Again, the whole thing makes me feel uneasy and the tone used in asking me
> about things was more accusing than inquisitive. When I returned home about
> 8:00pm last night and read the board agenda - I was even more concerned.
> Why was I not informed about the motion by Conch regarding the collective
> bargaining agreement? I was quizzed about what I would do after the
> election, but not even told I was not going to be part of the negotiating.
>
> Anyway - that's it. Thanks for listening and for your support.
> Lynn [KBOO Station Manager, amazing that she's lasted this long despite the insanity coming from the 1%]


On Wed, 29 May 2013, Rabia Yeaman wrote:

One thing I am curious about is whether since your conversation with Lynn
Fitch yesterday, have you also had conversations with Staff?

Conch, since your conversation with Lynn, *which the Board did not
authorize you to have*, have you also shared or gathered information from
Staff?

Did you share in the last 24 hours via email, telephone or in person any
content of the conversation you had with Lynn Fitch with any employees of
KBOO?

Did you share your conversation or bits of it with any other Board Members?

Which members of the original Strategic Planning committee have you spoken
to about meeting again? When did you meet with them? Will you be reporting
on who you met with, when and what was discussed? Can you provide records
of such a meeting?

Thanks!

Rabia [Board member who is not in the can for Ani, Theresa, and Staff]

untruths compiled 30.May.2013 22:28

Aristophanes

On May 4, 2013 Lynn Fitch answered questions from KBOO members. Then she subsequently made statements and responded to questions on the air the evenings of May 19 and 20. On all three occasions, she made very questionable statements - untruths.

UNTRUTHS

At Will v Just Cause
Fitch said that KBOO has been an "at will" employer for years but in fact, KBOO has had "just cause" as an employment standard since 1991. The current Board changed the policy in January 2013. Fitch informed programmers of the change to "at will" at recent group meetings.

New Employee Handbook
When Fitch was asked if it was a cookie cutter/generic product, designed for businesses and non-profits, she replied that it was a generic manual, but that it was adaptable to non-profits, and was a "good deal".1 Fitch also stated that KBOO was a corporation, and that a corporate handbook was appropriate. Actually, KBOO is a public benefit corporation, under Chapter 65 of Oregon Revised Statutes organized for the purpose of the promotion and operation of a listener-sponsored, non-commerical, community radio broadcasting station.

New Employee Handbook II
Fitch described it as a "living document", which can be added to or tweaked. She claimed that staff had had a chance to "mark them up" with their concerns and additions. In reality, staff members voiced objections and questioned benefit reductions, but were told that nothing could be changed. When the PM News director pointed out that she could not do her job if she followed the Handbook rule that she was not allowed to download anything from the Internet. Fitch finally granted that this would be changed, but stated that every other provision stood as presented. The employees were told they had to sign the Handbooks as presented, with the one modification.

No handbook was marked up.

Benefits
Fitch claimed that KBOO employees had "inflated" benefits to make up for low wages. What she left out was that when KBOO employee benefits and employment standards were adopted in the 1990s, it was the practice of progressive organizations to be "model employers", offering benefits that were fair to workers. The Board of Directors 1999-2005 made numerous improvements to the employee pay-scale, using information on comparable pay offered by the National Federation of Community Broadcasters. The comparisons were made with other non-profit listener-supported radio stations, not donor driven non-profits.

Employee benefit Reductions- Sick leave carry-over
Fitch said that if every employee took 10 weeks sick leave the result would be an unsustainable burden for the station. However, since 1990, employees have been allowed to carry over unused sick leave (full time employees earn 81 hours of sick leave per year). Accumulated sick leave was capped at 480 hours. It would take an employee six years with no sick leave use to accumulate that much leave. Since 1990 there has been no instance of an employee using significant amount of accrued sick leave, except in the two employees since 1990 who used saved sick leave as part of maternity leave.

Elimination of Sabbaticals
Fitch stated that sabbaticals in non-profits were less and less common. She stated that it was more common for nonprofits to grant sabbaticals after 15 or 20 years, instead of the 5-year period at KBOO. What she neglected to say is that KBOO's policy allowed for requests for sabbaticals after 5 years of service. Upon approval, a sabbatical could be for up to 3 months. Sabbaticals were unpaid leave, although accrued annual leave and compensatory time could be applied.

Since 1989, one employee has used this benefit.

Benefit Costs
Fitch stated that when employees take vacation or sick leave they are paid. She failed to comprehend that KBOO incurs no replacement cost when an employee is on vacation or sick. Historically, KBOO has not paid to cover anyone on annual or sick leave. If the employee is replaced at all it is by volunteers. It is more usual for fellow employees to cover absences, and coordinate the activities of the department's volunteers. There have been only three exceptions between 1989 and 2013.

Better salary/fewer benefits
Fitch explained in her Monday interview that if staff salaries were increased, there would be less need for "inflated" benefits, because staff could save to provide for themselves. However, Progressive organizations provide fair wages and decent benefits
for their employees.

Staff Collective-Job Descriptions
Fitch said that the job descriptions that staff have now are the ones that they
kind of developed for themselves during the staff collective time. There actually was never a staff collective because that would have taken a board decision. In addition, the personnel committee, not the staff, changed the job descriptions for program manager and engineer.

staff collective? Yeh, well that kinda happened! 31.May.2013 00:02

Read on.....

"There actually was never a staff collective because that would have taken a board decision." Yeh, well that kinda happened!

 http://kboo.fm/node/20312

The Board accepted the report from the Staff on the transition plan for Station Manager responsibilities. See appendix for document.

Erin moves and Nia seconded the resolution: The Board approves that the Program Director or his designee will be the point of contact for any policy that refers to the station manager.
6- in favor, Judy and Maire abstains. Resolution was passed.


Transition Plan for Station Manager Responsibilities

Arthur worked with the staff to develop a plan to ensure all major responsibilities of the station manager's position will be covered when he left. The staff bring this to the board for your approval to continue the essential functions of the Station Manager's job, as outlined below, effective immediately, and until a new management plan is implemented.

In many cases, staff are working in pairs to carry out the tasks. This is done to maximize the specific skills of the current staff, and to minimize impact to an already full work load, while increasing accountability.

As the board is not seeking to fill the station manager's position, during this transitional period, the Program Director will be the point of contact for any policy that refers to the station manager. He may delegate the responsibility / role indicated in the policy, but will be accountable that the policy has been executed.

This re-allocation of management responsibilities is designed to take care of immediate needs.The staff look forward to working closely with the board to design a management structure that is in keeping with our values, sustainable, and effective. To alleviate impact to workload, the staff request the board approve additional funds to increase hours for Erin Yanke and Zale (up to 7 hours / week for Erin; up to 10 hours / week for Zale), for the rest of the 2010 FY, or until a long-term management plan is implemented. A full proposal for this expense will be made at Finance next month. That said, we ask the board to approve up to a total of 15 hours of additional time available in the next four weeks, to be paid at current rate, to both Erin Yanke and Zale Chadwick, to help alleviate immediate needs.

Here is the breakdown of essential responsibilities that Arthur identified that needed to be assigned to other staff, and the staff people now responsible.

1) Communications Chris & Ani

a) Board/staff liaison: e-mails between meetings, regular communications with board president, board updates to staff and staff updates to board, monthly report to board.

Check mail / voice mail / email --> pass along to other staff or board as appropriate.

c) To encourage a cooperative atmosphere while designing an effective transition in management, Board members are invited to attend staff meetings as appropriate.

2) Legal

a) Forrester Case: Becky is the primary contact for this lawsuit, Chris will work with her, and is the staff contact.

b) Primary Contact: The staff person authorized to contact our attorneys is Chris.

c) Contracts
i) Write Contracts: Andrew working with Debbie

ii) Approve Contracts: The staff person working most closely with that contract, working within policy guidelines (policy # 39 Contracts over $1,000).

iii) Authority to sign contracts on behalf of KBOO. Debbie

iv) PortlandTribune agreement: is in process - Jenka is the point person.

3) FCC reports and compliance

a) Annual ownership reports (due in September) Chris

b) Public file: Zale and Chris

c) Mock FCC inspection: Chris and John

d) EEO report (due September 30th) Chris and Zale (Jenka will provide info for web hire)

4) Finance

a) Third staffer to sign bank card (at three banks) Ani will be added. Kathleen and Chris are the other two. Debbie will access information and facilitate the change.

b) Third Check signer will be Ani, with Chris and Kathleen

c) Approve expenses for payment-- staff person in whose department the expenses were budgeted.

d) Approve underwriting agreements: Kathleen with Justin

e) Track budget items including auxiliary: Debbie will work with the staff person who is responsible for item - this may be primarily tracked as a group during staff meetings as necessary.

f) Develop budget with finance. Debbie and Andrew will do initial work.

g) Radio Korea. Finalize month-to-month agreement and then make new agreement with them or other broadcaster by July. The staff agree that Justin has demonstrated great skills in this area, and we would like to see him assume this role. Unfortunately, Justin has not been able to meet with us about this and is considering whether he is able to take on additional assignments at this time. If Justin declines, then Chris, with John consulting on engineering issues.

h) Attend Finance Committee: Sun

i) 401(k) administrator: Debbie with assistance from Chris

j) Review payroll & bank statements before Debbie opens-- Sun, with Ani covering while he is on parental leave.

k) Oversight of Financials - There are currently two proposals to address this. One from Linda Barkus, and one from Debbie, that would involve creating a temporary position

These proposals were discussed briefly, and staff sent them on to Finance Committee for their recommendation.

5) Grants

a) NTIA/PTFP oversight and reporting for studio board replacements, next reporting period is April- Chris with John

b) NTIA/PTFP annual report on transmitter and air room. Chris with John

c) Pittman grant. There are $4,000 in expenses pending. Much of this is time off to listen to the radio, but we need to have community meetings and surveys at the end of the year and then request the $4,000 before January 1st. Discuss with grantor. Jenka is point person, other staff involved as needed.

d) RACC Grant: Oral History at Roosevelt - Reporting and request for second half of funds. They pay $3010 now and the other $3010 after receive online final report (July 2010). Erin Yanke is the staff person doing the program work. Sun will be primary staff responsible, working with Erin.

e) RACC Grant: Mural - After Kevin Fitzpatrick (the artist) completes project, we submit final report with photos to spec. We then get the second half ($500). We have already paid Kevin $500 out of the $1,000 total. Sun and Kathleen

f) Audio Archive grant: Bruce is researching, Sun will assist

g) Any New Grants: Sun

6) Personnel

a) Web hiring Committee - point person for committee and all legal compliance issues: Jenka (with Zale incorporating information about this hire into the EEO report)

b) Weekly staff meeting agenda - Ani

c) Conflict resolution - point of contact, case development and possible arbitration: Chris

d) Staff evals and related follow up- Erin Y & Ani working with the board member who works most closely with the staffer's department. When either Erin Y or Ani are evaluated, that person will stand aside for their own evaluation, and Jenka will assist.

e) Monthly engineering meetings and staff meeting items for engineering- Chris and John will work together on this (every other week meetings include John, Chris, Kathleen, Jenka, and Ani)

f) Work plans -- We have tabled work plans at this time, to be addressed as part of station goals/ strategic planning and structural changes to management.

7) Planning

a) Point people for rebuilding trust: addressing internal conflict at board and staff levels, planning for and co-creating retreats with board, designing community clearing the air meeting or figuring out another format: Jenka, Ani, and Chris

b) Lead strategic planning and staffing: Debbie and Erin Y.


8) Pendleton -- Jenka is point person, especial in re: press release, coordinating information, organizational interface. John will be involved for technical input, and Chris will be the legal contact.

9) Listener's Guide Replacement: developing a printed promotional piece to replace the monthly guide. This item was tabled to invite further discussion next week, determining if it is most appropriate for to be assigned to the Membership, Programming, or Development department.
a) On-going community outreach: Sun has assumed many outreach roles since the ending of the Outreach Coordinator. There is recent discussion of developing an ad hoc Community Outreach Committee, to make sure we are engaging all communities that we serve.

10) Represent KBOO to the public - All staff will be mindful of our contacts and seek opportunities that will enhance KBOO's connections with community groups and other organizations.

11) Maintain contact with like minded organizations - All (same as above)

12) Chart of contracts - Arthur will sketch this out prior to leaving. Zale will add information and keep it current. Debbie will also look at it. For NTIA/FCC contracts, John and Chris will review.



Yeh, well that kinda happened! BY NOT MAKING A DECISION, the Board did in fact approve the interim staff collective management.....Read on:  http://kboo.fm/node/28073


Staff Management Proposal
Kurt: there has been no station manager for nearly a year, and recently the holes in the interim plan have been obvious and challenging, things are falling apart, think it would be in the best interest to have a deadline for the staff management to have a working model complete.
Ani: disagrees that the collective is falling apart, there are definitely holes that need to be filled and the staff is ready to have a proposal before the Board for the April board meeting.
Erin: feels that if we had a proposal at the Board/Staff retreat,we could offer feedback.
Paula: agrees with setting a deadline because at the end of the day the board is responsible to the membership. It would help me to know, as a volunteer not just a board member, what's going on. who is in charge of what, etc. Would like to see that the staff believe that this is a functioning plan and not a wish list.
Judy: does not know if the Board needs to know what the final plan is before we figure out what our role is.
Keller: we should be working on what we, the Board, feels our role should be within the organization independently from the staff, then we take what we think and what the staff believes our role should be and coalesce them into a real working relationship.
Zale: it would be helpful for the staff to get an idea of what the Board is looking for in the plan; for example do we have goals and objectives for the staff collective, which in the past would have gone to the station manager to be relayed to the staff?
Erin: evaluation for station manager included a work plan, we need to give some direction to the staff as an entire body; how are we holding people accountable. Also in concerned about the Board president burnout factor, has seen the Board president having to act as station managerin the past few week.
Andrew: not happy about hearing about what the staff have failed to do; this has not been an easy process; a lot of pieces to pick up and many staff members have taken on more responsibility, lots of things have been left undone when we had a station manager; learning how to deal without there being a point person, chris and ani have taken that over a significant portion of tasks
Keller: wants that staff to take credit for the things to that they already do, putting on paper what is already happening on practice
Ani: suggests a Board/staff meeting to deal specifically with collective management proposal.
Erin will send out an email to coordinate collective management board/staff meeting.
Nia: wants to see us develop a system so that the Executive Committee is not having to meet so often. Try to anticipate and deal with emergencies.
Yvette: feels that the public is bypassed in the decision, thinks that all things need to be in the open to honor the public
Paula: encourages people who are concerned and interested should attend committee meetings
Gary: for the collective to work, there must be open communication with all collective members.
Alicia: we do have many opportunities to avail ourselves of information not just going to meetings, there are things being posted on the website including the Board meeting minutes and staff collective updates
David: i'm not really involved but you guys really need a manager, think we need to be more on the street and that's how to get people involved
Erin moves that the Board gives the staff an April 20 deadline to submit a completed staff management proposal.

"bloodbath" 31.May.2013 07:33

perspective

We're talking about whether a community station uses a more or less accessible and transparent paradigm. No blood will be spilled. Friends will be greeted, coffee shared.

Another "Inside" Tribune scoop 31.May.2013 15:01

***

 link to portlandtribune.com


KBOO staff votes to join Communications Workers union
Created on Friday, 31 May 2013 11:00 | Written by Steve Law | Print

Employees of KBOO Community Radio have officially voted to be represented by the Communications Workers of America Local 7901.

In a secret ballot vote conducted May 30, the nonprofit radio station's staff voted 8-0, with an additional vote voided, to join the union, according to the National Labor Relations Board in Portland, which conducted the voting.

KBOO management has seven days to file objections. If there are no objections, the union election will be certified by the NLRB, and the union can commence collective bargaining with station management on a labor contract.

The station, at 90.7 FM, celebrates its 45th anniversary this year, while experiencing financial difficulties.

Several KBOO staff approached the Communications Workers of America about unionizing after station manager Lynn Fitch cut employee benefits and discussed the prospect of laying off the entire staff and requiring people to reapply for jobs.

Fitch, who initially opposed the union drive, has since promised to work with the union.

The station's board of directors is scheduled to discuss the vote at a meeting on June 3.


----------------

Questions arise about Steve Law's objectivity. OTOH it is interesting that he shares management has 7 days to file objections. Somehow I think any objection, however reasoned would be spun as a Corporate Take over.