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CMG and CBC/Radio-Canada: better relationship behind the push for a new collective agreement

CBC/Radio-Canada and the CMG have just finished a fourth week of meetings focused on improving our relationship and resolving our issues. With the exception of August we’ve now met for a full week in every month since June and are extremely encouraged by everyone’s renewed commitment to a productive relationship.

In February, at the invitation of Hubert Lacroix, senior leaders within the Corporation and the Guild met and committed to invest the time and energy required to build a healthier relationship from the ground up. To help us do that, we engaged Warren Edmondson, the former chair of the Canadian Industrial Relations Board, as a facilitator and then brought more people into the fold during April and May.

Our goal is a relationship that allows both parties to focus on our common interests and to reduce conflict. A big part of that has involved re-framing our conversations so that we better understand one another’s issues and can focus on mutually satisfactory solutions to problems that exist in the workplace.

Since the beginning of the process, we have resolved several arbitrations, evidence that we are more capable and willing to work through problems ourselves, rather than having an outside arbitrator intervene. Working with Warren, we have also explored the issue of temporary employment (and have reached a tentative Agreement-in-Principle) and are continuing to wrestle with the issues of contract employment and workforce adjustment. Progress is being made on the substantive matters, but it is the tone and tenor of the discussions that have changed most significantly.

Three more weeks of discussions are scheduled in November and December and both parties are working hard to reach a new agreement by the conclusion of those meetings. In the meantime both parties are continuing to consult with their principals. The Guild is in the process of conducting a bargaining survey which will be available on-line to members this week.

Building on our enhanced relationship and problem-solving process, we are hopeful and encouraged that these ongoing meetings will lead to the renewal of the collective agreement. It’s a goal that both parties will continue to seriously pursue.

We’ll keep you posted.

Marc-Philippe Laurin and George C.B. Smith

Representatives from each organization are:

Marc-Philippe Laurin
Dan Oldfield
Barbara Saxberg
Glenn Gray
Brendan Elliott
Elaine Janes
Rick Warren
Harry Mesh
Chris Turner
Annick Forest
John O’Connor

George Smith
Fred Mattocks
Elizabeth Dalzell
Todd Spencer
John Bertrand
Michel Hamelin
Brigid Lumholst-Smith
Ron Ouellette
Jim Rogers
Martin Marcotte
Benoit Quenneville
Tricia Frantsi-Bhupsingh

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