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CBC: Bargaining update

Negotiations between the Canadian Media Guild and the CBC continued last week with discussions that focused on two main areas: Hiring and Promotion and Producer’s Authority and Responsibility.

The Guild is proposing language that would ensure employees seeking positions or promotions are given a fair chance to compete. The language calls for a more open and transparent process. The Guild has tabled language aimed at creating a process where employees know in advance and in some detail what elements they will have to address in a selection board. In addition the Guild proposal calls for establishment of selection boards any time two or more qualified candidates seek the same position. A board would also be required for any internal candidate who meets the qualifications of the job.

Seniority would continue to be the tie-breaker in the event two equally qualified candidates sought the same position. In lower-level positions the Guild is proposing that qualified candidates be awarded any new position on the basis of seniority starting with permanent staff, followed by long-term temporary employees.

Under the Producer’s Authority and Responsibility section of the collective agreement, the Guild is seeking to have the Corporation recognize the roles of Executive and Senior Producers as jobs, rather than assignments. Currently they are regarded as assignments, meaning they can be given and taken away at management’s discretion. Extra remuneration now paid is also not part of base salary and as such, is not pensionable or used in as a factor in calculating benefits such as life insurance. We believe this is unfair. It is the Guild’s position that these roles have always been jobs and should be recognized as such.

This past week the bargaining committees were given a presentation by the Job Evaluation (JE) Committee. The JE process started in 1997 but this will be the first collective agreement in which new job titles and salary bands will be included. More details about JE will be provided in the coming weeks.

Also last week, the Freelance subcommittee met for the first time. A wide variety of topics were discussed in general terms. The Corporation’s representatives on this committee seem to be engaged and willing to discuss solutions that will satisfy the interests of the freelancers as well as those of the CBC. The Guild’s main objective for this part of negotiations will be to ensure that freelancers are paid fairly for their work and that their rights ? most notably copyright ? are fully respected.

Bargaining is scheduled to resume on February 7 in Toronto. Your questions and comments are welcomed; write to us at guild@interlog.com.

Your bargaining team:
Arnold Amber, Toronto
Pierre Claveau, Vancouver
Brendan Elliott, Charlottetown
Percy Hatfield, Windsor
Joe Hill, Toronto
Wendy Hunt, Toronto
Gerry Jones, Regina
Barbara Saxberg, Toronto
Lee Siemon, Toronto
Chris Turner, Fredericton
Rick Warren, Vancouver
Dan Oldfield, Senior Staff Representative, CMG

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