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CMG gives Corus notice to bargain – Next step: Setting negotiating priorities

First, an update

CMG received the union certificate from the Labour Board on Wednesday, February 1, and immediately gave notice to bargain to Corus. We are now working to schedule dates to meet with the company, so that we can start negotiating a collective agreement that improves working conditions and works well for Corus, too.

As mentioned earlier, there is now a freeze on changes in your working conditions: if you were previously a Shaw member, the terms of the existing collective agreement continue to apply to you, and if you are a Corus employee who is new to the union, your terms and conditions stay the same as they were before the vote.

We know that Corus has been sending notes and making announcements in the workplace about changes that affect your working conditions, and we know this has introduced anxiety and confusion about your benefits, pension, sick days, night differentials, parking and more. We are working to address these issues. CMG’s lawyer has already written to Corus to advise that the company cannot unilaterally introduce changes to any of your terms and conditions of employment and must negotiate any changes with the union.

You have no obligation to personally sign anything that is asking you to revoke your rights to existing benefits, or to change your working conditions in any way. However, we are concerned about anyone falling through the cracks when it comes to important things such as benefits. So if you are asked to sign to enroll in new benefits programs, go ahead and do so. As your union, we have put Corus on notice that until a collective agreement is negotiated each employee is entitled to the benefits that they were entitled to before the union vote. The union will be addressing these issues with the company at the first opportunity.

Stay tuned for more on these questions.

Tell us your priorities for your first collective agreement at Corus

In the coming days, we will be working together to set bargaining priorities as we prepare to negotiate our first collective agreement at Corus. To start, we are asking members to tell us what’s important by filling in this bargaining survey: http://www.cmg.ca/en/corus-bargaining-survey-2017/. The survey and your answers will remain confidential. Please complete the survey by Sunday, February 12.

For more privacy, we recommend you complete the survey on your personal mobile device or home computer.

Choose your workplace reps

Each department should choose  one or two reps in the coming week. The role of the member rep will be to make sure information and questions are passed from members to union staff representatives – and later the bargaining committee – and vice versa. Reps should be prepared to put the interests of the whole group first and feel comfortable communicating with their colleagues. But you certainly don’t need to be a union expert. There will be lots of  guidance and support along the way.

To get the ball rolling, here’s what we have in mind:

-Master Control (2 reps – from different shifts)
-Engineering (2 reps – 1 Corus, 1 former Shaw)
-INR (2 reps – 1 Corus, 1 former Shaw)

Once reps have been selected, send your name, contact information and the group you are representing to kat@cmg.ca. Please try to  do this by Sunday, February 12. 

Reps can then work together to start preparing for bargaining and to recommend a negotiating committee. The reps and the negotiating  committee will have support and advice from CMG staff representatives.

Membership Meetings

We will be holding membership meetings at a nearby location over two days to accomodate the different schedules as much as we can. More details to come next week. 

Union dues

Some new members have asked when they start paying union dues: New members pay union dues after a collective agreement has been negotiated and signed.

If you know colleagues who did not get this CMG update, please share it with them, and ask them to send their personal email and phone number to Kat Lapointe (kat@cmg.ca, 416-795-8598) or Matt Douglas (matt@cmg.ca, 647-449-8169). You can also visit: www.cmg.ca, www.cmg.ca/corus and follow us on Twitter @CMGLaGuilde


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