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More devastating cuts at The Canadian Press

The Canadian Press announced today the fourth significant round of layoffs since last spring, this time affecting reporter-editors in Halifax and Toronto as well as office administration in Vancouver.

The Guild is here to support members affected directly by today’s announcement and we will ensure that our rights under the collective agreement are respected and are working to mitigate involuntary job losses. You can find the rules related to layoff in Article 6 of the collective agreement.

Over the last year, the impact on operations across the country has been extremely difficult. Our work demands great responsibility, integrity and skill. Asking staff who are already working all-out to carry an ever-increasing load, while our colleagues are laid-off, is neither fair nor reasonable. The owners of the company, The Canadian Press Enterprises, need to understand how demoralizing and disappointing this all is. Ultimately, the employees who remain will once again carry the weight.

At the same time, we must support each other, in each bureau and city as we reckon with the impact of these successive cuts that affect both our journalism and the infrastructure that makes it possible. It is devastating and angering to witness the shrinking of our 102-year-old press service. Cutbacks are not a path to excellence.

Corporate clients value and rely on the excellence and dependability of The Canadian Press. We are the backbone of Canadian journalism. We understand the job cuts are due to declining revenues at The Canadian Press. This is not new, but these deepening cuts come at a time when the strength of democracy and media’s role to hold power to account are being sorely tested.
Therefore, we will ask hard questions about how the situation can be turned around.

After the cuts announced today come into effect, we will have shrunk by 15 per cent since a year ago. We have told the company that we are unable to keep delivering at the same pace as before the cuts. There must be realistic expectations of what can be accomplished each day. This is the reality due to the recent loss of colleagues on the video desk, the loss of IT and administrative support, and the imminent reduction of French language audio services and reporters in Halifax and Toronto.

Members have already bent over backwards enough. Management must come up with a realistic plan to reduce workload for our members. There should be no expectation that we will simply continue to do more with less. Our members cannot fill in the service gaps that have been created by CP management’s decisions to make cuts.

If you need assistance from a Staff Representative of the Guild, you can reach out to Karen Wirsig (karen@cmg.ca) or Olivier Desharnais-Roy (Olivier@cmg.ca). You can also talk to your local Guild president and/or get in touch with any of us.

Terry Pedwell
President, Canadian Press Branch, Canadian Media Guild

Mike Blanchfield
Vice-President, Canadian Press Branch, Canadian Media Guild


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