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Update – Our union’s work at CBC/Radio-Canada

Many CMG members are also union activists, volunteering lots of hours to support and assist co-workers. I’d like to share an update on some of that work, specifically what we’ve been focused on through our committee work over the past few months at CBC/Radio-Canada.

Below you’ll find some information about our efforts related to the following:

– Pressing for more permanent positions at CBC
– Grievances that are being pursued at the national level
– CMG’s commitment to a relaunched Job Evaluation process
– Our participation at a national joint union-management health and safety committee

The CBC Branch Executive of the Canadian Media Guild (CMG) is also thinking of our co-workers on CBC’s news teams and all those involved with news restructuring during this time of transition. The National relaunch has been impressive and we understand the amount of work that is required to make something like that a success.

If you have any concerns, comments, or questions about the news rollout and how your work is being affected, we are available for discussion and support.

Highlights of some of the committee work we’re doing:

Corporate Steering Committee
The Corporate Steering Committee is a joint union-management committee, guaranteed under the terms of our collective agreement. It’s organized under a shared commitment to “work together to ensure the success of the CBC and provide quality careers for employees,” and to “deal creatively with the challenges ahead.”

At this committee, CMG continues to press CBC management to put more of the Liberal government’s reinvestment money towards permanent jobs that involve the work that our members do. We have seen years of job cuts due to reductions in funding from the federal government. Now that the CBC has been receiving additional funding since 2016 – refunding that will total $675 million over 5 years – we expect to see permanent jobs created. 

Although we have seen a stabilizing in the number of permanent positions, we want to see a reasonable increase in permanent jobs commensurate with the additional funding.

National Grievance Committee (NGC)
The National Grievance Committee (NGC) is another joint union-management committee. We met in September, in Toronto, to discuss a total of 48 grievances involving a range of issues including promotion, unfair labour practices, discipline measures, medical privacy and benefits, and annual leave requests.

Six new grievances are part of the 48 mentioned – four were sent to arbitration, and two are resolved. The increase in the number of grievances is of concern to the CMG members of the committee, and this trend has been raised with management with an eye towards curbing it. Discussions will continue and the committee is scheduled to meet again next week.

Grievance templates available:
For the convenience of CMG members, the National Grievance Committee is providing a list of 23 different generic grievance templates on the most common collective agreement violations. These templates range from Improper Classification to Temporary Employee Conversion through to Failure to Upgrade and more:

Job Evaluation at CBC/Radio-Canada
There hasn’t been a comprehensive review of CMG job classifications or of the Job Evaluation (JE) challenge process since 2005.  Of course, much has changed since then and the job descriptions and functions at CBC/Radio-Canada need to be reflected in their current form. 

Job Evaluation (JE) is a process used to establish the relative value of job classifications within an organization to ensure its employees are fairly compensated. Job Evaluation was first bargained in 1996 and the language has been modified and/or updated through successive rounds of bargaining. The current JE Plan, classification profiles, pay bands and process were finalized during collective bargaining in 2005.

Under the 2005 Job Evaluation Plan, we had 142 classifications (down from about 400) slotted into 13 pay bands.  The Job Evaluation project allowed the CBC and its bargaining units jointly to describe and categorize work the way it was being done at the time. The Collective Agreement (Article 55) contemplates the creation of new job classifications or the amendment of current ones where the duties and responsibilities of a classification have changed significantly. 

Our JE committee had been dormant between December 2016 and October 2017.  However, the union-management Job Evaluation committee recently met in Toronto on October 3rd, 4th and November 22nd to begin its work anew.

CBC management now has someone working on Job Evaluation full time for the Corporation. Our union, likewise, believes it is important to have someone committed to this process who has experience in the JE methodology as well as in the kind of discussions and negotiations that result in bona fide job descriptions and banding.

Therefore, in November, the CMG Branch Executive Committee approved funding for the engagement of CMG member Marianne Malo-Chenard in that role. Marianne has been co-chair of the Job Evaluation Committee since April 2015 and brings experience to the role.

Marianne will track and record the JE process (for example, new job descriptions and JE challenges) and monitor the development of new job descriptions (for example, jobs that get posted prior to being evaluated by the JE Committee) and help hold CBC/Radio-Canada accountable for respecting the Job Evaluation process. In addition, she will be available as a subject matter expert and consultant on JE matters.

National Policy Health and Safety Committee (NPHSC)
The National Policy Health and Safety Committee (NPHSC) met on 13 September 2017 in Montréal to review policies, procedures, practices, and training related to the health and safety of CBC employees across the country.

Along with attendees from the other unions at CBC and from management, Canadian Media Guild (CMG) representatives Natalie Clancy, Wil Fundal and Andrew Shipley, and Staff Representative Olivier Desharnais-Roy took part in the meeting. The other unions involved are Syndicat des Communications de Radio-Canada (SCRC), Association des réalisateurs (AR) and Association of Professionals and Supervisors (APS).

We had 24 items on the agenda, including training, the selection of local health and safety representatives, psychological health including PTSD, and reporting of work-related injuries and illnesses.

Read the full National Policy Health and Safety Committee report here.

We will send another update before the winter holidays.  Please contact your Location Unit or Branch union representatives for more information or if you want to connect with any of these committees on issues important to you.

Jonathan Spence – jonathanspence.cmg@gmail.com
President, CBC Branch, Canadian Media Guild
On behalf of the CBC Branch Executive Committee

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