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Message from branch president Colin Perkel

Dear Colleagues and Fellow CMGers

Some quick post-summer/pre-fall notes as we head into what promises to be a busy union season.

First, it’s a pleasure to let you know that your branch council has appointed Steve Mertl (Vancouver) as Acting branch vice-president/treasurer. Steve, who has long been active in Guild affairs, takes over for Gillian Livingston, who heads off on maternity leave at the end of the month. Naturally, we send Gillian (and Jeremy) our very best wishes.

In addition to stepping aside temporarily as branch VP, Gillian has decided to resign from the National Health and Safety Committee. Jane Taguicana, who represented Toronto at the CMG’s biannual convention in Calgary in April, will take her place on the committee, including participating in company pandemic planning. Thanks to Gillian for all her work on this committee in recent years.

As you know, our collective agreement expires at the end of the year. Negotiations for renewal will likely begin in late fall. To help us set our bargaining priorities, you will soon receive a short survey. Please think about what would improve your working life and conditions, discuss options with colleagues, and fill out the survey (online or on paper). Remember: we bargain on your behalf.

The bargaining committee will be chosen by the Branch Council when it meets in person at the end of October (28-29). Consider this a call for nominations. Any signed member in good standing is eligible to serve on the negotiating (or any other) committee. If you want to be considered, please talk to your local president or another executive member. You may be asked to submit a short outline about why you should be selected.

Many of you have been asking when we’ll see the two per cent wage increase already negotiated for 2006. The short answer is no later than Dec. 31. Moving it forward was predicated on the company getting pension relief from Ottawa. So far, that relief hasn’t been put into effect.

You may also be curious about the progress of the shift differential committee. You recall we surveyed earlier this year about potential changes to the shift premiums. We are in the final stages of discussions on a new model, which we will put to you for your consideration and approval once finalized.

We’re also hearing complaints about workload and quality issues related to convergence – and fears that orders to take photographs or produce video for the Internet in addition to filing audio and writing print copy will only exacerbate the situation. We will be discussing these and other issues with management at scheduled Employee-Employer meetings this month and next. Please talk to a Guild rep about any (unreasonable) demands you are facing or other issues we should be addressing.

That’s it for now. Keep an eye out for further communications from the Guild, and please let us know what’s on your mind.

Best wishes,

CP/BN national president
Canadian Media Guild

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