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Sad day at the CBC as 75 jobs cut

Official notice went out today that 75 jobs are to be eliminated at the CBC this summer. Some 41 positions are being lost as a result of the cancellation of Newsworld International’s contract with Al Gore’s U.S.-based company. As well, 34 positions are being cut across the country in the communications department due to the Corporation’s decision to contract out most publicity functions.

The Canadian Media Guild condemns the decision to contract out publicity work to a private PR firm, made so quickly after the regrettable news that NWI’s contract would not be renewed. In meetings with the Guild, CBC managers acknowledged that they had not done any detailed, written analysis comparing the costs of keeping the work inside the CBC to contracting it out.

The CBC estimates it will be able to cut $864,000 from its communications budget by eliminating 34 Guild jobs, hiring five additional managers and contracting $1 million worth of publicity services from an outside company. That money has been earmarked to help buy more English TV drama programming from outside production companies. However, it is clear that CBC shows will end up getting less publicity support at greater cost to the Corporation. (For more details,click here).

The Guild’s primary focus in the coming weeks is to ensure that all employees whose jobs are being cut get opportunities to continue their careers, preferably within the CBC, in a fair and transparent process. To that end, the Guild is:

? meeting in both national and local joint employment committees to help guide the process of reassigning affected employees to vacant jobs

?calling for a freeze on staff, contract and casual vacancies, so that all new and vacant positions be filled through the joint employment committee process, ensuring that those who are facing layoff have a first opportunity to fill the jobs

?demanding immediate support for employees in resume writing and interview skills, to help them get jobs inside or outside the CBC

?pressing the CBC to provide retraining, reassignment and relocation opportunities to staff in the communications department who are facing layoff, thereby following the provisions in our Unit 1 collective agreement related to contracting out

?urging the federal Minister of Labour to recognize the job cuts in Toronto, where more than 50 people will be affected, as a “group termination,” which would provide a longer notice period.

For more information, please contact the Guild (guild@interlog.com) at 416-591-5333 or 1-800-465-4149.

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