Monday, September 29, 2008

DeFund Fundfest! Support Mediation and Legal Action!!

Attention Community, Students and Volunteers:

Do you miss your favourite shows on CKLN? Are those DJ’s and Hosts who you have supported over the years no longer on the air?

The rogue and illegitimate management currently controlling CKLN has decided to hold FundFest, CKLN’s annual fundraising drive, one month earlier beginning Sept. 26th and running until Sunday Oct. 5th. After unjustly firing and locking out over 35 programmers (mostly people of colour, queer, trans, and feminist programmers), dismissed management and removed board members have the AUDACITY to ask listeners for money to continue to support their illegal operations and machinations under the false claim of celebrating “25 Years of Independence”. Most of those programmers who are responsible for the most "in-depth, edgiest and freshest content" have been let go after providing years of service to the station, their listeners and their communities.

As it stands, the RYERSON STUDENT UNION has decided to hold fees collected from students for CKLN in trust until a fair resolution to this situation is reached.

We believe you should support community/campus radio but not during this FundFest and not until order has been re-established at CKLN. Instead consider making a contribution to the Take Back Our Radio legal fund. Email for more info.

And if you can, take some time and call the On Air line and let those inside know why you are not pledging money this year!

416-345-8810 and 416-595-8810 are the numbers to call.

Support the reclamation of CKLN, by the people and for the people!

"Jam the lines, because the lines are broken; Jam the lines, because the people have spoken!!" Nik Redman (locked-out host/producer, AfroTransit)

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Repression at CKLN! Teach-in this Thursday!!

Find out more about what is happening at your radio station!

Teach in: Thursday, September 25th, 20087:00 - 9:00 pm

At Oakham House, 65 Gould Street (corner of Church and Gould)

Confirmed Speakers: Barbara Goslowski, Don Weitz, Owen Sankara, Joeita Gupta

Recent Developments:

· 30 volunteers have been locked out of campus and community radio station CKLN 88.1 FM
· CUPE 1281 is contesting the recent dismissals of several paid staff
· A Special General Meeting in February overwhelmingly voted (90%) to dismiss management and impeach the Board of Directors
· Although A new Board has been elected in accordance with CKLN By-laws, the illegal board continues to occupy the station and control its funds

What you can do:

· Come out and Join us at this session!
· Sign our online petition
· Join weekly pickets every Sunday at Noon
· De-fund fundfest - instead donate to "Take Back Our Radio" (Acct # 4882570 at Alterna Savings branches at Bay/College or Ryerson University - Jorgensen Building)

Further Info:
Check out this blog for more info and updates!
Send us an email: or call us at (416) 533-6630

Monday, September 15, 2008

CUPE 1281 fights firings at CKLN-FM

"The struggle to negotiate a first contract at CKLN-FM, Ryerson University's student supported campus/community radio station, has turned into a fight against the illegal firing of two staff.

The small group of paid staff at the mostly volunteer station voted to join CUPE 1281 almost a year ago. Well into the negotiation process, management argued that news director Kirstin Schwartz and music director Tien Providence should not be in the bargaining unit – a case usually made when a bargaining unit certifies and one that the employer could still try to make today at the Canada Industrial Relations Board.

Management's solution? Forget the Board; fire the workers. Schwartz, who had just returned to work from parental leave, and Providence were terminated in a move that CUPE 1281 calls clearly illegal.

You can help this Sister and Brother to be re-instated in their jobs by sending a message to CKLN management."

Letter of Support from Vancouver Co-op Radio CFRO

To the acting Board and Staff of CKLN,

Vancouver Co-operative Radio, CFRO, 102.7FM is one of Canada's oldest community radio stations. We were founded in 1974 as a volunteer-run, listener-supported radio station. With over 30 years of functioning in a co-operative model providing alternative perspectives and music to our listeners, we have provided Canada with a model for sustainability in our sector. We base our core values on shared governance and a responsibility to bring under-represented voices and stories to the airwaves.

We are writing to express our concern over the current situation at CKLN. We have reviewed on-line materials from the CKLN website and the "Take Back Our Radio Station" blog. We understand that several volunteers have been expelled from the station without any apparent process or reason. Specifically, volunteers were given a one-sentence letter stating that their services were no longer required and were kept out of the radio station through the use of hired security guards. We have also learned about the firing of staff member Kristin Schwartz shortly after her return from maternity leave. From the information we have been given, there was no just cause for this dismissal and no disciplinary process preceding the dismissal. We have tried to contact Mike Phillips in an effort to find out your views and rationale for the actions that have been taken. Unfortunately, we did not receive a response. As such, we write this letter with the information we have gathered. We feel it is our responsibility to contact you, as fellow community radio producers, to express our concerns and appeal to you to follow your own internal policies for fair process around programming and staffing decisions.

Co-op Radio and CKLN share a lot in common. We both share a long history of covering progressive politics and providing training and airtime to marginalized members of our communities. Like you, our programming is produced entirely by volunteers and we have policies and procedures to follow when dealing with programming concerns. These internally-created processes ensure that volunteers are treated fairly and that there is due process for any decisions being made. From the information we have gathered, there is no evidence that CKLN staff used due process in their decision to expel approximately 30 volunteers from programming. In fact, there is no information about the reasons for these dismissals. As a community radio station, we feel it is imperative to follow internal procedures and guidelines when making decisions.

Similarly, staff members must be given a fair process prior to any disciplinary action. The fact that a long-time staff member was fired without reason shortly after returning from a maternity leave leads us to believe that there is a lack of organization at CKLN and that decisions are being made for personal rather than professional reasons. These are unacceptable working conditions.

We have also learned that there was a Special General Meeting of the membership in which there were concerns raised about the current leadership. While we understand that there is some debate about the legality of this meeting, the spirit of this process clearly shows that a significant portion of your membership are not satisfied with the direction the station is currently heading. Regardless of whether or not the meeting was legal, it seems evident that a Board and Staff who value the input of their members are required to act in response to this meeting. Rather than focusing on the details of legality, it would be more productive for you to focus on the spirit of the concerns being raised and begin responding to them.

Without the support of volunteers, staff and the community, we cannot do what we do. Community radio cannot operate on the efforts of a handful of people. It takes the on-going hard work of volunteer programmers, board and committee members and staff to keep the station running in a sustainable way. We are concerned that your recent actions will ultimately result in the destruction of your radio station.

The community radio sector faces many challenges in our country. We want to show our solidarity with our brothers and sisters in our sector. We want to ensure that the voices, stories and sounds not heard in the mainstream media continue to have a place on our airwaves. As such, we intend to air re-broadcasts of some of your suspended programming while these programs await their return to live broadcast on CKLN.

We urge you to keep your promise of performance to your listeners. We appeal to your responsibility to the campus and community radio sector to keep under-represented and marginalized voices and perspectives alive. We urge you to reconsider your recent decisions around volunteer and staff dismissals. We appeal to your responsibility to your membership and listen to their requests. For the sake of community radio, we sincerely hope you are able to consider these requests seriously.

Our community will continue to follow the situation at CKLN in anticipation of a swift and just resolution.

The Board and Staff of Vancouver Co-operative Radio, CFRO, 102.7FM

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Eyeopener Article

Be sure to check out the new article in this week's edition of The Eyeopner. The link is in the Media Coverage sidebar. You can leave a comment on their website.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Letter to the Editor Published in NOW Magazine This Week

CKLN takeover

Interim CKLN station manager Mike Phillips is full of shit (NOW, August 28-September 3).

Phillips need look no further than himself, interim program director Tony Barnes and democratically impeached board member Josie Miner for any undemocratic secrecy and censorship going down at what was once a damn good community-campus radio station.

Since last May 5, Phillips has fired (“dismissed”) and locked out 30 of us volunteers arbitrarily and unjustly axed 19 programs, including the grassroots OCAP Show and my monthly “Anti-psychiatry Radio” – the only anti-psychiatry program in Canada.

Our dissident and grassroots voices have been silenced for now, but many of us are fighting to take back CKLN as the powerful and empowering community station it was and will be again. Please join our weekly pickets every Friday at 6 pm and Sunday at noon in front of Ryerson’s Student Community Centre (55 Gould).

Don Weitz

Radio heads blowing hot air

I’m a former tech for Friday’s Word Of Mouth show. The CKLN membership removed Tony Barnes and Mike Phillips from their positions on February 23, 2008, by a vote of 135 to 7. Since that time, the two have been illegally occupying the station and paying themselves salaries from CKLN’s account. These people are not “management.”

Dale Whitmore

Monday, September 1, 2008

Letter of Support from Anna Willats and Mayworks

August 26, 2008

To Whom It May Concern:
I am writing on behalf of the Board of Directors of the Mayworks Festival of Working People and the Art. Mayworks is a multi-disciplinary arts festival that celebrates working class culture. Founded in 1986 by the Labour Arts Media Committee of the Toronto and York Region Labour Council, Mayworks is Canada's largest and oldest labour arts festival. The Festival was built on the premise that workers and artists share a common struggle for decent wages, healthy working conditions and a living culture. Mayworks' goal is to promote the interests of cultural workers and trade unionists, and to bring working-class culture from the margins of cultural activity onto centre stage.

We are outraged at the recent actions of the CKLN Board of Directors and management, who have fired News Director Kristin Schwartz (a journalist and producer of programming which has aired across Canada and the United States) and staff member Tien Providence, and dismissed over 30 volunteers – all without cause. These are violations of Kristin and Tien’s rights as unionized workers in the midst of bargaining for a first contract, and profoundly disrespectful toward volunteers – activists like Adhri Redman, Verlia Stevens, Nik Red, Don Weitz and many others - who have given many many hours of their time and their passion to CKLN and its listeners.
Up until recently, we have been able to rely on CKLN's news department for broadcasting progressive perspectives on the critical issues of our time and for providing access to the airwaves to marginalized people who are underrepresented or misrepresented in mainstream media. CKLN also created opportunities for students, youth and community members to learn about broadcasting. As a small non-profit organization, Mayworks was very appreciative of Kristin Schwartz’ and the CKLN team’s excellent support for community events such as ours. But with these most recent actions, we must conclude that the CKLN board no longer is committed to a social justice or community building perspective.

Mayworks joins many in our community who protest this unjust treatment of staff and volunteers, which seems targeted at those who have challenged the board, and we demand that all those who have been dismissed be reinstated, and that the people currently controlling the board step down and that the legitimately elected board be reinstated, to return CKLN to its former well-respected position.

Yours truly,

Anna Willats, Chair

Mayworks Festival of Working People & the Arts