Content creation professionals at Chicago Public Media have reached an agreement with management on their first union contract. The unit includes anchors, hosts, reporters, producers, editors and those who create digital content.

The two-year contract includes newly established scale rates for each covered position, annual increases, professional development in job classifications as well as progressive discipline and a grievance and arbitration procedure.

“This contract achieved the bargaining unit’s highest priority: a voice in the workplace,” stated Chicago Local Director of Broadcast Paula Weinbaum, who served as chief negotiator.

The bargaining unit voted to unionize in December 2013 and negotiations began in March 2014. The unit employees participated in significant numbers at each stage of the process, and took an active and critical role in the success of the negotiations.

“My colleagues have worked hard the last two years. The contract we voted on today is a great step toward building a stronger future at CPM — a future that includes the voices of all content professionals at WBEZ, Vocalo and Sound Opinions, trusted by listeners across the Chicago area and beyond,” stated Becky Vevea, a member of the bargaining committee. 

The CPM vote came the same day as public media professionals represented by SAG-AFTRA at KPBS in San Diego voted on their first contract negotiated by the union.

“Public media is growing and our two successful contract votes today demonstrate the growing desire for public media professionals to have a voice in their workplace to build an even better environment for generating news, talk and digital content,” said SAG-AFTRA Chief Broadcast Officer Mary Cavallaro.

SAG-AFTRA represents several public media professionals across the country, including those at National Public Radio, KPCC in LA, KQED in San Francisco, WNYC in New York and  KPLU in Seattle.

SAG-AFTRA represents approximately 160,000 actors, announcers, broadcast journalists, dancers, DJs, news writers, news editors, program hosts, puppeteers, recording artists, singers, stunt performers, voiceover artists and other media professionals. SAG-AFTRA members are the faces and voices that entertain and inform America and the world. With national offices in Los Angeles and New York and local offices nationwide, SAG-AFTRA members work together to secure the strongest protections for media artists into the 21st century and beyond. Visit SAG-AFTRA online at