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Bargaining Communique No. 1

Negotiations under way

We just concluded our first week of bargaining for a new collective agreement. As you know, we use an interest-based model which means neither side comes to the table with piles of predetermined changes to the collective agreement. Instead, we work to identify common needs and interests.

Location units held meetings across the country prior to bargaining to get a feeling for what employees want to see out of this round of negotiations. The pressures of work and increasing demands remained at the top of the list. So we are bringing that, and other concerns you raised, to the bargaining table.

We can tell you that some of our concerns are shared by management. Everyone knows we are working harder than ever before and The Canadian Press is under great pressure. But we told management that the demands and expectations cannot keep growing. New technology – such as the ubiquitous BlackBerry – can be a valuable tool but also can create new problems for an already overworked staff.

We have suggestions that we believe can help reduce that pressure, while recognizing that money is tight and the future of the Canadian Press remains at stake. For example, we have discussed the need to determine what work needs doing, what can be eliminated and what can be handled differently. We need to find ways to keep employees engaged and ensure that they feel valued.

Management’s bargaining committee is HR Director Paul Woods, Ontario Bureau Chief Wendy McCann, Customer Service Supervisor Joe Sintzel and legal counsel Harvey Beresford.

Our next meetings are set for the first week of February when we will receive a detailed financial presentation from The Canadian Press. These talks are being held while the restructuring of The Canadian Press is proceeding. The Guild expects to say more about that in the coming weeks.

Your Bargaining Committee:

Scott Edmonds
Fareed Mohammed
Terry Pedwell
Sylvia Strojek
Kathy Viner

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