BBG Watch Commentary

Paul Westpheling, AFGE Local 1812
Paul Westpheling, AFGE Local 1812

Paul Westpheling, Vice President of AFGE Local 1812, a union representing federal employees of the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), welcomed new BBG Chairman Jeff Shell and other new Board members in remarks delivered at an open BBG Board meeting on Wednesday in Washington, DC.

The union has been pointing out for years that the top management in charge of the agency overseeing U.S. international broadcasting is rated as being one of the very worst in the federal government as measured by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey (FEVS).

The management has convinced various previous BBG Boards that the union is uncooperative and hostile. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth. It is the top agency management, largely centered within the International Broadcasting Bureau (IBB) that has created a culture of hostility and intimidation directed against BBG employees and their union. Practically all highly successful programs and other media projects, including local placement, have been originated by agency’s journalists and other rank and file employees. Some of the greatest agency disasters, including the loss of the highly popular Voice of America “Parazit” satirical television program to Iran, are the fault of top executives.

The union’s statement, delivered by Mr. Westpheling, showed that agency employees are more than willing to respond to good leadership from the BBG Board and are looking for a major change in the agency’s management culture.

View video on YouTube.

Also see: BBG Chairman Jeff Shell: ‘We have a lot of very good people who work for this organization’, BBG Watch.

Also see: BBG Chairman Jeff Shell: ‘Best way to showcase freedom and democracy is by free media’, BBG Watch.

Also see: BBG Governor Matt Armstrong: ‘Agency is a tremendously important part of our foreign policy and for the United States in general’, BBG Watch.

Also see: BBG Governor Ryan Crocker: ‘Insuring that our weave with the State Department and other relevant federal entities is solid and appropriate’, BBG Watch.

Also see: BBG Chair Jeff Shell says all new BBG members ‘want to be here,’ honors Victor Ashe and other recent former members for their service, BBG Watch.

Also see: Suzie Carroll appointed BBG Executive Director, BBG Watch.