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Key CBC bargaining issues remain unresolved after modest progress

Bargaining between the Canadian Media Guild and the CBC has entered a critical stage with just slightly more than two weeks before we are in a legal strike/lockout position.

Agreement has been reached on a small number of articles covering hospital, medical and dental benefits, callback, leave with/without pay, return to work after an illness and part-time employees.

We have also had some discussions on the core issue of employment status. The Guild has restated its willingness to address legimitate operational needs but will not agree to the creation of a non-permanent workforce at the CBC. We have offered to allow the hiring of non-permanent employees where the Corporation’s needs can’t be met by permanent staff. We also tabled language that would allow for significant flexibility in the way employees are scheduled, while at the same time eliminating the ability to average overtime over a four-week period.

Unfortunately, the Corporation continues to treat the bargaining process as an exercise in takeaways. On one hand, it agrees to eliminate the regresive practice of averaging overtime over four weeks. On the other hand, it proposes to get rid of key overtime provisions for working more than 12 hours in a day. It also seeks to pay overtime on a daily basis only after eight hours have been worked. That would be a significant monetary loss for more than 1,500 members in Unit 2.

The Guild has also made a major move on the issue of contracting out, recognizing the need to compromise in order to reach a fair collective agreement. While we had called for a complete ban on the practice, our new proposal would allow contracting out with some important restrictions. For example, contracting out couldn’t simply be based on whether our work could be done more cheaply by someone else. Our proposal would ensure that the union had all the information an outside organization had about the plan, allowing the union to offer alternatives in order to keep the work in house. We also seek enhanced rights for affected employees to get other work in the CBC or with the new contractor.

We also tabled language on pay and employment equity to allow the union to be a meaningful partner in ensuring that equity goals and legislation are respected.

The committees are breaking for the holiday weekend but have committed to resume on Tuesday and to bargain continuously until at least August 14. For more information, you can reach us at guild@interlog.com or by calling 416-591-5333 or 1-800-465-4149.

Your bargaining committee :
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 CMG staff representative

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