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More unjustifiable cuts at TFO

The Canadian Media Guild (CMG) denounces heavy job cuts at Ontario’s French-language public broadcaster, Groupe Média TFO. Ten CMG positions are affected, including four permanent jobs and five contract positions.

These cuts target programming for adults, including TFO’s shows 24.7 and #ONfr.  The cuts also follow a reorganization that occurred within TFO 24.7 that resulted in the loss of another CMG position last March. This is the third round of cuts in three years, including cuts that resulted in the loss of TFO programs BRBR and Carte de visite in 2016.

These cuts at TFO have produced a chronically stressful environment for CMG members and they are unhelpful in terms of our professional growth and the development of our talents.

CMG is concerned about the direction that Groupe Média TFO management is taking in allocating fewer and fewer operational resources to the internal production of programming to serve Ontario’s Francophones. These decisions will significantly impact services to the Franco-Ontarian community which is at the heart of the TFO mandate.

CMG also questions the “external factors” cited by Groupe Média TFO management to justify today’s layoffs.

Many of the reasons suggested, such as stagnating operational funding from Ontario’s Education Ministry, lower revenues from cable broadcasting, and a growth of salary costs should have been taken into account as part of Groupe Média TFO’s budget planning in order to mitigate their impacts.

It was only with much difficulty that CMG members were able to obtain an annual raise of 1.25% in the fall of 2015.  We also note that, according to public sector salary disclosures for 2017, several members of senior management at TFO were given significant raises. This includes the President and CEO of Groupe Média TFO, Glenn O’Farrell, who received a salary of $331,997 in 2017, a 35.5% raise.

Once again, CMG members and the people of Ontario are paying for questionable decisions made by senior management at Groupe Média TFO.

CMG calls on the Franco-Ontarian community, in particular, to react quickly before it’s too late, to demand that our French-language provincial public broadcaster, which the community fought so hard to obtain, invests in its human resources so that it’s better able to serve Francophones across the province and the country.

Kamala Rao
President, Canadian Media Guild

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