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Constant cuts at CBC take a toll

With recent announcements of cancellations at CBC, we are sad to see that colleagues and CMG members who work on long-running shows George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight and The Ron James Show as well as cooking shows Best Recipes Ever and In the Kitchen with Stefano Faita will not have their contracts renewed.

We know some of the main reasons behind these cuts: the ongoing reductions of CBC/Radio-Canada’s budgets such as the $115-million cut announced in 2012 now in its third year of implementation; the disappearance of the Local Program Improvement Fund; the loss of NHL hockey rights and a very tough advertising environment.

There is a great deal of fear and stress caused by the ongoing uncertainly.  Along with the sadness to see colleagues go, there is worry about how our future will unfold. We encourage you to contact us with your questions and concerns. We will continue to update you as precise information becomes available, but here is what we know so far:

• Negotiations continue on details of how CBC will work with Rogers to provide hockey content. We know CBC will have HNIC on Saturdays and this will involve many CMG members. In some cases, this will involve CMG members working side by side with Rogers employees starting this week. We are told that there may be other work possibilities but no details on those as of yet.  CMG is monitoring the collaboration closely and will be available to assist with questions, concerns and best solutions for all involved.

• With the end of the fiscal year, we expect to find out in April about the new CBC/Radio-Canada budget decisions and how they will impact our members. We expect decisions on planned changes to be announced in the coming weeks. Through our collective agreement, CMG will work to help members who may receive redundancy notices.

There is no question that the constant cutbacks continue to take a toll, but CMG members have proven time and again that you are an incredibly talented and versatile group.  We should all continue taking pride in the work that we do, and support one another as best we can. CMG staff and volunteers will be there to make sure your rights are respected under our collective agreement, and the union will keep pushing for adequate and predictable funding for CBC, including as part of the ongoing CRTC review of Canada’s television system and the current Senate study of the challenges faced by CBC.

We will share information as it becomes available to us, but please feel free to contact us, your local executive or CMG staff representatives with your questions and concerns.

Marc-Philippe Laurin (mplaurin@sympatico.ca)
CBC Branch President, CMG

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