Yesterday, Guild members received an update from Shaw Media. A number of members have asked questions about specific references to non-unionized employees, and what they mean for people who already belong to a union.
As you know, we will be starting to bargain a renewal of our collective agreement next week. That is our opportunity to negotiate new terms of employment and working conditions directly with the new company. The advantage of collective bargaining is that the employer can’t just change the terms ? including taking things away ? whenever they feel like it. They have to consult the union before making changes and the union has to agree. That makes you more secure than your non-union colleagues. Even so, there is nothing stopping the employer from offering improvements to *all* employees to things like pay and pensions. In this case, Shaw Media has not approached us about making any of the changes proposed for non-union employees.
Some of you have asked whether Guild members will be moved over to the Shaw Media pension and benefits plans. That’s one of the things we’ll be talking about at the bargaining table. From a practical standpoint, it doesn’t make a lot of sense for a single employer to have to administer a large number of plans, so that’s an argument in favour of moving to a single plan. That said, we will want to make sure that any plan that’s on the table represents the best possible deal for our members.
There have also been questions about the Employee Success Sharing Bonus. The Guild isn’t in the habit of turning down offers of money. The difficulty we have with bonus plans, though, is that they’re entirely discretionary. An employee can bust their @$$ and be super-productive, but if their supervisor doesn’t feel like handing out a bonus, or if the company isn’t meeting some fuzzy “metric”, the employee won’t get one. More importantly, bonuses aren’t salary increases. Your base salary doesn’t go up at all. Unions like the CMG tend to push for across-the-board salary increases. In some cases we’ve even tied salary increases to the employer’s financial performance, so everyone does better if the company is doing particularly well.
The Guild is looking forward to discussing this, along with many other things, at the bargaining table. We’re convinced that Shaw Media doesn’t want to create two classes of employees, so we’ll work hard to make sure that Guild members are treated at least as well as everyone else within the organization.
For more information, contact CMG staff representative Keith Maskell (email@example.com) at 416-591-5333 or speak to one of us.
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