Today, the Canadian Media Guild bargaining committee tabled an offer of settlement with the Corporation. The offer is a complete package dealing with all outstanding issues at the table.
The Guild presented the offer in response to the slow rate of progress of the talks. It took more than a week to reach agreement on the outsourcing language. It has been a week since we presented our language on the important issue of rules and procedures regarding layoffs and it appears there is a long way to go to get a settlement.
“With 5,500 members on the street, this is no time to turn the negotiations into a debating society. We need real negotiations on all the remaining issues. The dynamics of the talks had to be changed and management has to realize how important it is that we get our work done as soon as possible. With our offer of settlement, the Corporation now has an overall view of where the negotiations must go,” said Dan Oldfield, the Guild’s chief negotiator.
Our offer proposes a 60-month collective agreement expiring on March 31, 2009. We have proposed across-the-board wage increases of 3.5% in every year of the agreement, fully retroactive to April 1, 2004. We are also seeking a signing bonus of $1000 for each member who has worked 60 days or more in the 12 months prior to the lockout. The bonus would be paid out of the money saved by the Corporation during the lockout.
The agreement includes a new proposal on Employment Status that addresses the Corporation’s need for operational flexibility and improves job security and benefits, including pension, for contract employees. The proposal also permits contract employees who have been engaged for more than three years to convert to permanent staff. We’ve also proposed a type of seniority for temporary employees for access to work, and protection from termination before the agreed-upon end of engagement. And we are asking for a complete review of all non-permanent engagements to ensure that our members have been hired properly and that they are getting all their entitlements.
Some of the other highlights of the Guild package include proposals for:
? a standard workweek of 38.75 hours for all employees except those engaged in the former Unit 3 whose hours will remain at 36.25
? overtime beginning at the end of a regular work day or the end of a regular work week
? a layoff and recall process that preserves the seniority based system and provides increased opportunities for many employees to retain employment during downsizing
? better rights and fees for freelance workers
? improved annual leave entitlements
? multilingual compensation for employees who must work in two or more languages
The Guild bargaining committee has tabled its offer in an effort to bring negotiations to a conclusion. We believe our proposals are fair to CBC workers and they address the stated goals of the Corporation around flexibility. We have advised the management bargaining committee that we are prepared to discuss our offer and believe it forms the basis for an agreement.