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CMG confronts CBC over inappropriate hiring of temps

The Canadian Media Guild has documented what appears to be a widespread practice of hiring people on a temporary basis to perform ongoing work at the CBC. Because the practice violates the collective agreement reached in October 2005, the CMG has filed a grievance and referred the matter immediately to an arbitrator.

A CMG audit revealed that the number of permanent employees at CBC dropped during the fall of 2006, as did the number of employees on long-term individual contracts. At the same time, the number of short- and long-term temporary employees increased to more than 22% of all employees.

Although the problem appears to extend to departments in English and French TV and radio, a number of areas stand out. For example, at CBC regional radio in Winnipeg, there are only four permanent Associate Producers on staff. Meanwhile, there appears to be enough ongoing work to fill another 11 full-time positions.

In CBC-TV’s News and Current Affairs department in Toronto, eight new permanent full-time jobs could be created for senior writers to handle the average ongoing workload.

In both cases, there is a sizeable list of temporary employees who have reported regularly for work without access to the benefits, pension and rights in the event of a downsizing that come with a permanent job.

In Calgary, Edmonton, Ottawa and Vancouver, it appears there are some departments with no permanent jobs in certain job categories. All of the work is being performed by temporary employees.

The union is demanding that the CBC immediately stop this abusive hiring practice and create permanent positions ? both full-time and part-time ? that could be filled by existing temporary employees.

According to the CMG-CBC collective agreement, temporary employment is legitimate under a limited set of circumstances:
– to replace a permanent employee who is on leave, disability or a secondment
– to do a special project
– to augment staff in the event of an emergency.

The CMG will continue doing research on hiring practices in all CBC locations and we will keep you informed of developments.

The grievance on abuse of temporary hiring was one of 30 grievances referred to the national grievance committee in February. This is the highest number of grievances presented at one time by the union since the current collective agreement came into force in October 2005.

For more information, or if you have concerns about your own job status, get in touch with the Guild (info@cmg.ca) at 416-591-5333 or 1-800-465-4149, or talk to a member of your location executive.

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