CUSIB Applauds Breakthrough in the BBG’s 5-year Log Jam for Radio and TV Marti Workers

Ann-Noonan-and-Ted-Lipien-at-BBG-Miami-Meeting-June-20-2014-300

For Immediate Release

CUSIB - Supporting journalism for media freedom and human rights

November 19, 2014

CUSIB Applauds Breakthrough in the BBG’s 5-year Log Jam for Radio and TV Marti Workers

The Committee for U.S. International Broadcasting (CUSIB – cusib.org) has learned that the illegally fired employees of the Broadcasting Board of Governors’ (BBG) Office of Cuba Broadcasting (OCB) have just received some partial payments for the back pay they are owed. According to a ruling by a Federal Arbitrator, these Radio and TV Marti workers had been illegally dismissed in 2009 through management-imposed Reductions in Force (RIFs).

Former BBG Governor Ambassador Victor Ashe, who championed for their cause during his tenure at the BBG declared: “At long last something is being paid out. I could not be more pleased that justice is occurring.”

CUSIB Executive Director Ann Noonan stated: “CUSIB recognizes the dedication of Local 1812’s President Tim Shamble, who also serves as a Member of our Advisory Board. His efforts and those of the union pushed for these results. We are encouraged that BBG Chair Jeff Shell and BBG Governor Michael Meehan have made sincere efforts during these past few months to right this wrong. Although we are sure that the illegally fired Radio and TV Marti journalists and workers who have suffered enormous hardships are thankful for the partial financial relief that they are due, we will continue to raise our voices on their behalf until they receive the balance of their back pay and reinstatement.”

CUSIB Director Ted Lipien said: “Having observed that Radio and TV Marti newsroom in Miami was almost completely empty and partially dark even while Broadcasting Board of Governors board meeting was being held in an adjoining room, these brave OCB journalists should be immediately returned to work to stop the waste of taxpayers’ money and to help bring more uncensored news to the people of Cuba who desperately need to be better informed. I’m grateful to former BBG Governors, Ambassador Victor Ashe and Susan McCue, current BBG members, especially Chairman Shell and Michael Meehan, for helping to put an end to this injustice. I’m hopeful that the BBG Board and CEO designate Andy Lack will continue management reforms to make sure that International Broadcasting Bureau (IBB) officials will never again engage in conduct that has diminished impact of U.S. international media outreach. These past management practices have brought incredible suffering to many BBG-employed journalists. They have placed IBB, Voice of America (VOA) and OCB among worst-managed and worst places to work for in the federal government, according to numerous Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Federal Employee Viewpoint Surveys (FEVS). This latest encouraging development for OCB journalists should signal the beginning of the end of mismanagement at this government agency which is so enormously important and critical for the United States.”

For further information, please contact:

Ann Noonan, co-founder and Executive Director
Tel. 646-251-6069

Ted Lipien, co-founder and Director
Tel. 415-793-1642

The Committee for U.S. International Broadcasting (CUSIB – cusib.org) is an independent, nongovernmental organization which supports free flow of uncensored news from the United States to countries without free media.

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