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Handling member-to-member conflict by CMG

Many members have been asking questions about the union organization’s role in the case of the recent public dismissal of a CBC Radio host.

Under the Canada Labour Code, the union has a legal obligation to represent all members, and any member has the right to file a grievance. The union has to file a grievance, if requested. Please see our post on CMG members’ rights at CBC.

We are also getting questions about how the union helps members who report sexual harassment at work or conflict with a co-worker. The union takes these issues seriously and CMG has specific protocols for dealing with them.

After a number of sexual harassment and workplace complaints many years ago, CMG developed a specific protocol whereby a staff representative, employed by the union, is assigned to each member involved in a harassment complaint. Our standard practice is that our most senior staff representatives deal with these situations.

We are aware through media reports this week that a female CMG member reported concerns about inappropriate treatment to a person identified as a representative of the union. Since then an investigation reveals a volunteer (not a union staff rep) was not told the specific nature of the complaint, and even though it was shared with a manager, neither was aware of the details.  This is especially regrettable since the CMG has a strict zero tolerance policy on harassment that would otherwise have come into play.

All members should know you have a right to a harassment free workplace. Detail in Article 6, (Discrimination), Article 7 (Harassment) and Article 8 (Respect in the Workplace) of our collective agreement.

We want to remind you that these measures are available to all members in every circumstance, to empower you to proceed as you deem appropriate.

You should know we know we need to strengthen our overall capacity as a union in these   areas.  CMG is now reviewing our protocols at various levels to ensure that our practices are in line with our policies.

As someone who has spent many years in newsrooms across the country, I know our industry can be a mesh of competing interests and very difficult pressures. None of us should have to face the most challenging of these pressures alone.

Please take the time to read CMG’s policy on Member to Member conflict so that we can make sure, together, that we deal well with these circumstances when they arise.

Carmel Smyth
CMG National President



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