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Talks head into most critical phase

With the first month anniversary of the lockout (August 15) only one day away, the contract negotiations between the Canadian Media Guild and the CBC are heading into their most critical phase. The two sides are now grappling with the six issues that will make or break the talks.

When negotiations ended late last night the two sides were attempting to reach agreement on one of the key items ? the rules, limitations and processes for any plans by the CBC to contract out work being done by Guild members.

Also still to be settled are five other major issues: employment status, layoff, freelance workers, job evaluation and many money matters. Extensive discussions have already been held on layoff and recall, freelancers and job evaluation. However, talks about money have been brief and employment status has not been discussed at all
“In addition to those items, we have some work to do on a handful of important but less contentious items,” said Arnold Amber, president of the CBC branch and a member of the CMG negotiating team.

“To an outsider the list may appear long but in terms of getting a new contract, the goal line is in sight. Both sides know that with a lot of hard work all issues can at least be discussed in the next few days.” Amber added.

The sides did reach agreement yesterday on the articles on foreign correspondents and corporation policies.

Language related to layoffs, contracting out and job evaluation is expected to be discussed today.

The two sides returned to the table two weeks ago and have steadily, although slowly, chipped away at the more than 40 issues that were still outstanding when the lockout was imposed. Talks are scheduled daily through the weekend.

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