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CBC denies overtime for contract employees in factual entertainment

The Canadian Media Guild is pushing for compensation for contract employees denied the right to claim overtime and other scheduling premiums. The employees in question work on a show where they must meet daily deadlines but were told they were self-assigning or weekly scheduled and were expected not to claim overtime.

A cash settlement has been made in one case. The Guild is also trying to address widespread problems with scheduling in CBC-TV’s Factual Entertainment department. A grievance involving numerous employees is headed to arbitration.

Remember: self-assigned means you can come and go as you please as long as you get your work done; you don’t have scheduled hours and you don’t need to ask anyone’s permission to take time off. If you work on a daily or weekly schedule, your hours or days of work are fixed and you should claim overtime if you must work more. If you are expected to meet daily deadlines, you should be daily scheduled and claim overtime for work beyond your scheduled hours. (See Article 58 of the collective agreement for more information on Daily Scheduled, Weekly Scheduled and Self-Assigned.)

Cash settlement for temp dismissed before 18-month mark
An eleventh-hour settlement was reached for a temporary employee who was let go from the CBC in January, just weeks before he would have had the right to convert to permanent status. The union submitted a grievance claiming CBC management had dismissed the employee specifically to avoid giving him a permanent job. The matter was about to be heard by an arbitrator when the settlement was reached.

The Guild’s grievance on the systemic abuse of temporary hiring at the CBC has been referred to arbitration.

Best-qualified, most senior employee denied promotion
An employee was denied a permanent promotion to a job she had already performed satisfactorily on a temporary basis in favour of a more junior and less experienced colleague. The Guild believes the more senior employee was the most qualified and should have been promoted. The union has referred the matter to arbitration.

CBC management refuses to accommodate employee’s disability
CBC management is refusing to recognize and accommodate an employee’s learning disability after threatening to fire her under the Improvement Plan provisions of the collective agreement. The 17-year employee was recently assessed by nationally-recognized learning disability professionals and CBC management has not accepted the results. The employee in question was given a choice between accepting a lower-skilled job or termination. No effort was made to accommodate her disability in her original position. The Guild has referred the matter to arbitration.

CBC denies additional bereavement leave
An arbitrator will be asked to decide whether CBC management was unreasonable when it denied an additional two days of bereavement leave to an employee whose father died. The employee’s parents lived out of town and she was required to travel, care for her aged mother, make funeral arrangements, and arrange burial in a different city. Our collective agreement says that CBC management can grant additional time for special circumstances.

The funeral service in question was attended by numerous CBC employees, including managers. The bereaved employee’s co-workers were required to use annual leave to attend the funeral.

Settlement on denial of special leave
An employee who was denied a special leave has gotten a settlement with the Corporation. However, the union continues to be concerned that there is no rational application of the special leave provisions. Each request should be considered individually and the leave granted based on the merits of the request.

Is there a medical practitioner in the house?
The CBC has refused to accept a note from a Chiropractor that excuses an employee from work for medical reasons. CBC management is insisting that a chiropractor is not a medical practitioner, despite the fact that chiropractors are licenced and recognized as such by CBC’s own health benefits plan. CBC management’s absurd position is forcing employees to see a second medical practioner (ie. a medical doctor) simply to get the required note. The union has referred the issue to an arbitrator.

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