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Working towards Employment Equity at CBC/Radio-Canada

Members of the Canadian Media Guild (CMG) have contributed to recent conversations about cultural appropriation and systemic racism, as well as the concurrent need for substantive diversity, equity, and inclusion in our workplaces and within the wider media industry.
The difficulties and concerns that have been raised are certainly not new. Insensitive comments and attitudes from those who may affect our working lives make real our worst perceptions.

Nevertheless, CMG members and other media workers have made valuable contributions, through a variety of channels, advancing vital perspectives in connection with recent events. No doubt, we will need to continue addressing issues of equity and inclusion as they relate to our workplaces and our wider communities.

In that regard, CMG supports the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada as they pertain to Media and Reconciliation. As ever, these calls to action are worth reviewing, considering, and advancing.
Our union is likewise committed to equity, diversity, and inclusion at all members’ workplaces. This intention is in our bylaws and repeated at many of our meetings.

At the CBC/Radio-Canada Branch of the Canadian Media Guild, we have also devoted considerable effort towards making our national Joint Employment Equity Committee (JEEC) into a committee of real change and principle. The JEEC is comprised of representatives from various unions at CBC/Radio-Canada and also representatives of CBC/Radio-Canada management.

Our intention is to broaden the spectrum of voices and workers at CBC/Radio-Canada by ensuring that hiring and promotion practices are consistent with the federal Employment Equity Act. We work with the employer towards ensuring that happens. Yet there is clearly still more to do.

As a Crown corporation, CBC/Radio-Canada is mandated to have its employees reflect Canada’s diversity. There are four groups that the federal Employment Equity Act considers as having had historical and social difficulties in securing proper employment: women, people of colour, Indigenous people, and people with disabilities.

In order to create a fair, equitable and representative workforce, all Canadian crown corporations are mandated to have a hiring plan geared towards fully reflecting the people of Canada.
Over the years, CBC/Radio-Canada management has had to develop a diversity and inclusion plan to show how it will achieve this goal of representing Canada’s population across its workforce.

CBC/Radio-Canada management has struggled to increase and maintain representation from the four designated groups. However, our union has tried to support CBC/Radio-Canada management in achieving these goals. The Joint Employment Equity Committee oversees the diversity plan, measures its goals, and strategizes for the future.

Our next Joint Employment Equity Committee meeting takes place today, Wednesday, May 31, in Toronto. We will raise recent events, press for results, and report back to you.

If you have any thoughts connected to these issues that you wish to discuss, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Jonathan Spence, CBC/Radio-Canada Branch President
Canadian Media Guild

Kamala Rao, National President
Canadian Media Guild

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