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Letter from CP branch president Colin Perkel

Dear colleagues and fellow CMGers:

The bargaining committee will be bringing you up to date on the latest developments in negotiations, which, at this point are not terribly encouraging. Many of you have told us that a further “contribution” (or wage rollback) as the company is requesting is unacceptable. Many of you have also e-mailed that message directly to Eric Morrison. While your bargaining committee will continue to negotiate vigourously on your behalf, it is important senior management hear from you exactly how you feel on this issue.

As mentioned earlier, the employee-employer committee has embarked on an ambitious, even cutting-edge project. CP/BN operates in a dynamic environment, where competition and challenges are fierce. To hold its own, the company needs a dynamic human resource policy. That means hiring people with strong potential, then progressively training, challenging and deploying them in a way that maximizes that potential. It’s a complex, longer-term initiative that will mean, in part, venturing into unchartered waters. Rest assured, we will be seeking input and comments every step of the way and Guild reps will agree to nothing without your buy-in.

We are also still waiting to hear how the Guild can best be involved in the strategic planning exercise Eric has previously announced in which the company, in consultation with its owners and clients, will attempt to forge a longer-term plan. If we are to be effective as an organization, it is obvious we need to know where we’re headed so we can attempt to get there in the most efficient manner possible.

I want to offer a word of appreciation to our CBC colleagues, who endured a bitter lockout before winning a strong contract. In particular, the CBC bargaining committee, under the leadership of branch president Arnold Amber, deserves special praise for holding strong in the face of immense pressure. CMG staff also came through with flying colours under extremely trying conditions. Ultimately, however, it was the rank and file who stuck with it, maintained their spirits and determination, and even managed to produce some incredible radio, web, and other information packages while they pounded the pavement. This was a decisive Guild victory in the face of an ugly attack that has surely backfired on its perpetrators.

It should be noted that the lockout had a severe financial impact on the Guild, although we weathered the dispute remarkably well. The national finance committee is now pondering how best to return the Guild to robust financial health so we can continue to effectively weather whatever storms may buffet us. Among various options being considered are cuts in discretionary spending and a small, short-term emergency dues levy. Whatever is ultimately decided, union leaders remain determined to ensure the high level of service to which you are accustomed will not be compromised.

Just a reminder: Under CMG bylaws, elections for location units must be held by the end of February. If you have ever wondered about giving something back to both the Guild and your colleagues by running for elected office or serving on a joint committee, now is the time to consider taking the plunge. Please talk to any executive member for information on what’s involved. We are into interesting times, as they say, and many hands (and heads) make lighter work. Watch your e-mail or bulletin boards for further details on the vote.

Best regards,


CP/BN National Branch President
Canadian Media Guild

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