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Pay increases are top priority for CP/BN employees

More money! That was the clear message delivered by CP-BN employees who completed our recent survey on potential bargaining issues.

While there were many other topics highlighted in the survey, the clear winner was pay, probably to a greater degree than at any time since 1998, when we had to begin making up lost ground after years of no wage increases at all.

Workload took the No. 2 spot, followed closely by convergence/integration.

The survey revealed that these three issues are closely related in your minds. Many of you feel you are being asked to do more for the same amount of pay, and it bothers you. In addition, people don’t always feel their efforts to balance increasing and often competing demands are being appreciated or respected.

You continue to express concerns about quality related to workload and integration, and there is a fair degree of consternation about what the introduction of Internet video will mean to already heavy workloads.

Further worth noting is that when you were asked whether the company had made it clear what the changing media landscape will mean to your department in the coming years, the resounding response was no. By the same token, 83 per cent believed they will be asked to do more with the same or fewer resources.

Another message that came through clearly from the bargaining survey was that you expect your Guild representatives to fight even harder on your behalf. It’s a message we take seriously.

Bargaining Committee Selected
At a meeting of the Branch Executive Council on Oct. 28-29, the following members were selected to represent you at the bargaining table:

Scott Edmonds (Winnipeg), Terry Pedwell (Ottawa), Sylvain Larocque (Ottawa/Montreal), Ken Trimble (Edmonton) and myself (Toronto). National staff representative Kathy Viner will also sit on the committee.

Our collective agreement expires at the end of the year, and we expect preliminary talks on renewal to begin within the next month or two. What was especially gratifying was the number of strong candidates who stepped forward. A big thanks for offering to serve your colleagues.

Other issues
Besides discussing the coming round of bargaining and selecting a negotiating committee, the branch council also heard from each location president, and discussed several issues that are of widespread concern.

The introduction of Internet video ? while people are still grappling with print/audio convergence ? is one of those issues. We are in talks with management about how best to introduce this new product, which is being demanded by our clients. We will be issuing a separate communiqu? on this topic soon.

Another area we will be watching closely is the integration of the Main Desk in Toronto. Many details must still be worked out and we urge those of you affected directly or indirectly to voice your concerns and to keep in touch with us. BN staff in particular are alarmed at what they see as the ongoing degradation of the service and are loath to see any further erosion.

While we have made strides in recognizing the importance of proper training and equipment, there are ongoing frustrations in both regards. We have complaints both about unsuitable equipment and inadequate training on equipment that is being sent out with our members.

There are also concerns that JIMI, while boasting an impressive array of features, has a long way to go before it will live up to its advanced billing as a user-friendly, powerful and stable integrated system.

Finally a word to our newest members: remember that your issues and concerns are our issues and concerns. Please take a minute to talk to your local union representative, call me directly, or talk to the Guild national office. Your opinions and thoughts are important to us and we want to serve you in the best possible way.

Best wishes,

Colin Perkel
CP/BN Branch President
Canadian Media Guild

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