As COVID restrictions end, businesses and media organizations across the country are scheduling workers to return to in-person work. As we know, the same has been announced for the CBC.
Many of you will be soon receiving notice from the CBC to return to the workplace. Your health and safety is and will remain a priority for the union.
The CMG continues to hold health and safety committees in each CBC location. These joint union and management teams are dedicated to ensuring maximum health and safety measures are in place, and any issue raised to these committees will be reviewed within the full force of all applicable provincial and federal health legislation. This comes with heightened health and safety requirements that may include plexiglass partitions, increased distancing, greater space between working stations, access to masks and sanitation sprays and wipes, and increased cleaning and janitorial practises. If you feel there are health and safety issues in your workplace, please contact your workplace committee.
We have encouraged the CBC to be sensitive to individual needs through this return to in-person process. Members have told us – and we have shared with the corporation – the premium media workers put on maintaining the ability to be able to work from home in some regular schedule. The CBC has indicated that it will not permit any employee to work 100% from home, and we have suggested that their approach needs to be more flexible and grounded in the needs of individuals and the specific requirements of differing assignments. Furthermore, the CBC is required to be open to accommodating the needs of those who have medical conditions.
The CMG continues to work with the CBC trying to facilitate this process, including sharing data and research that shows productivity may be higher when workers are able to work from home, corporate costs are decreased, absenteeism is lowered, interpersonal conflict is down and general morale is measurably higher.
These discussions will continue. Our hope is that the corporation, like other progressive employers will soon acknowledge the benefits of flexible schedules, and the gains of working with workers in managing the changing expectation of Canadians in the workforce who, research largely shows, are inclined to actively search out employers who offer work from home as a regular option.
In the meantime, there is little the union can do pre-emptively to stop an employer from assigning employees to come into work. If you have health issues supported by medical documentation, please contact a CMG union staff rep who will assess your confidential and personal situation.
The CMG is committed to finding as many flexible arrangements as possible, and will ensure this issue of working from home continues to be a priority now and in the next round of bargaining.
We will hold a general virtual meeting to answer any other questions you have on Wednesday, May 4, 2022 at 8 p.m. ET. All members will receive a Zoom invite in the days ahead
CBC Branch President, Canadian Media Guild