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Guild takes on CBC over outsourcing

The Canadian Media Guild is filing a grievance against the CBC for its move to contract out the publicity function. Although the union asked for the opportunity to provide a cost-effective alternative to the plan, the Corporation has refused and is determined to proceed.

The CBC avoided real consultation with the Guild on the matter. The meetings held with the union on April 8 and 20 came too late for meaningful Guild involvement. At no time has the Corporation provided a complete business case.

We have received no information to change our conclusion that the CBC’s business case for contracting out is flawed. By its own admission, the Corporation did not properly compare the costs of contracting out publicity with the costs of doing the same amount of work in-house.

Even if the Corporation is able to shave some costs from its communications budget with the plan ? a presumption we doubt very strongly ? we believe its approach of acting like “any other” business is inappropriate for Canada’s public broadcaster. Following the philosophy of farming out our work to the lowest bidder will result in the dismantling of the CBC.

For now, we are seeking to have Guild members facing layoff redeployed to the five new promotions manager positions being created in the Communications department, positions we believe are covered by our collective agreement. As well, we are demanding that management abide by the collective agreement and provide retraining, relocation and reassignment opportunities for the employees affected by the contracting out.

For more information, please contact the Guild (guild@interlog.com) at 416-591-5333 or 1-800-465-4149.

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