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Guild seeks to address unpaid overtime at CP/BN – Bargaining update #5

This week, we discussed two issues that go to the heart of how you are compensated for your work and how your work is valued. Over the last several years, Guild members have worked hard to help the company face challenges and control costs. While we may have entered into these arrangements for good reason, you have told us these measures no longer work for you.

For example, the reduction of overtime on out of town assignments longer than 5 days is causing problems for many employees and must be revisited to address their concerns. Another concern is the deal that allowed the company to control the cash it spent during the last two federal elections. The protocol expired following the last election and we have serious questions as to whether it can be replaced.

On the issue of out-of-town assignments, the Guild pointed out:
? some employees are spending too much of their year working under this arrangement;
? the deal has been unilaterally widened to include assignments for which it was never intended, such as spot news coverage;
? it is unfair to have bureau employees working under one set of rules beside colleagues from out of town who must work longer hours before claiming overtime;
? we can no longer allow CP management alone to decide which assignments fall under this arrangement.

We have just as many reservations about entering into a new federal election protocol.
We understand the need to manage costs, but we don’t believe it should be done simply through reducing compensation for reporters and photographers.

As one employee has noted, a forward-looking company that wants maximum productivity should be paying its traveling employees a premium for the disruption to their lives and families, not loading on ever-increasing multi-media demands while asking for wage concessions.

We rejected the suggestion that employees should not be paid for hours spent sitting on a bus or plane far from home, just because at that moment they are not working on their laptop.

During our next meeting, we’ll be discussing Averaging ? which many of you have already told us is just one more way to reduce your compensation by avoiding overtime.

We finally agreed on exactly how the new shift premiums will be paid and the words that will go into the contract to ensure that happens. As many of you know, staff will now receive 6.5% of daily pay for weekend shifts; 7% of daily pay for nights (minimum two) and 8% for overnight shifts. We’ll be issuing a detailed explainer in the near future.

Your CMG Bargaining Committee
Scott Edmonds
Sylvain Larocque
Terry Pedwell
Colin Perkel
Ken Trimble
Kathy Viner, CMG Staff Representative

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