The Guild and CBC management have settled a number of thorny issues in recent months related to pay equity, accommodating the return to work after a disability leave and the discipline process. The settlements are the result of open and fruitful discussions between the union and management. In every case, the dispute was settled to the satisfaction of the member or members involved.
“From our perspective, the dispute resolution process is working well,” says Elaine Janes, chair of the Guild’s national grievance committee. “The number of disputes we end up having to send to arbitration is now very low compared with two years ago and we’re also seeing fewer issues being sent to us from the locations. I hope that means any problems that arise are being solved locally.”
In the discipline process case, an employee was asked to have a conversation with their manager, without union representation, and was later suspended based in part on that conversation. If you are ever asked to participate in a conversation that you believe may be related to discipline, make sure to request to have a Guild representative with you. If you’re already involved in a conversation that you feel has taken a turn toward discipline, bring it to an end and get in touch with a local Guild representative.
The grievances that remain unresolved for now include a number related to promotion. The Guild believes in each case that subjective criteria outweighed the objective criteria, including skills and seniority, in promotion decisions. When CBC is choosing between two internal candidates with relatively equal qualifications, management is required to give preference to the more senior candidate.
We are also in discussion about the use of interns at CBC. The rules in the collective agreement are not being followed consistently. The Guild is awaiting information from management on which interns are working where and doing what. Remember, interns should not be paid unless they are part of a recognized program established by the CBC in consultation with the Guild. CBC cannot use interns to replace existing staff or to avoid filling a vacancy or hiring a temporary employee. For more information, see article 32 of the collective agreement.
And don’t forget: the best way to resolve any workplace issue quickly is to use the dispute resolution outlined in the collective agreement (Article 16). The first step is a conversation with your supervisor. If you’re not satisfied after that meeting, get in touch with a Guild representative in your location.
Your national grievance committee:
Elaine Janes, Chair
Jean Broughton, Union Services Co-ordinator
Bruce May, Staff Representative