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Update for CMG members at CP – Upcoming arbitration

Dear Guild members,

We want to update you on ongoing grievances at The Canadian Press.

Our union held a mediation hearing earlier this month with the employer.  We presented solutions for each open grievance and were ready to proceed to beneficial settlements for both parties. Unfortunately, the employer remained entrenched in their position, and the mediation session was cut short.

As you may remember, the employer claimed financial hardship in the last round of bargaining to deny meaningful wage increases to members. Yet management seems to suddenly have the cash flow needed to spend a quarter of a million dollars or more on arbitration hearings, just to chip away at the pay of dedicated, hard-working employees.

Our message to the employer throughout this process is that the Collective Agreement was bargained in good faith and it is time to respect it. The union has been clear that we are always open to fostering good communication and promoting positive labour relations, but we cannot do so by allowing repeated violations to the Collective Agreement or basic employment standards to occur. We have expressed our disappointment at the choice made by The Canadian Press to consistently violate members’ rights.

We are now scheduling arbitration dates for the following grievances:

-Weekend Editor
The Guild role has been eliminated – Copy editing and supervisory tasks are bargaining unit work, and this position should not be a managerial excluded role
-Benefits when reaching 65 years of age
Members who reach 65 years of age have been denied group insurance benefits and LTD
-Federal Elections and out-of-town assignments
Unpaid legal breaks, premiums, and bank of hours are not being carried through as per the collective agreement up to July 1st of the following year
-Part-Time hours of service settlement
There is violation of a settlement already signed and executed
-PMNA performing bargaining unit work
Bargaining unit work must be performed by bargaining unit members. This is a jurisdictional dispute
-Facebook Project
The Guild has not granted a waiver of 1 year for the extension of this project. The collective agreement states a project can only last 6 months, yet the jobs have been posted
-Provincial Elections
Travel time considered paid time
-Sick leave for members who reach 65 years of age
Members who are sick have been denied sick leave under article 11
-Red circling agreements
Transferred assignments and frozen wages
-British Columbia averaging agreement

Members should know the items listed above represent less monetary value to resolve than the cost of arbitration.

The Guild will continue to work towards resolving these issues outside of the grievance process when feasible. When it is not, we will move towards arbitration to help ensure members’ rights are respected.

Arbitration will commence September 1, and will be ongoing through the year.  

Thank you everyone for your continued support and dialogue. As a group, we remain stronger together.

We will keep you posted on arbitration developments. If you have questions, please write to karina@cmg.ca.

Julie Anne Vondrejs
Staff Representative
Canadian Media Guild | La Guilde canadienne des médias 
CWA Canada, Local 30213 (Communications Workers of America)
SCA Canada, Section locale 30213 (Syndicat des communications d’Amérique)
www.cmg.ca | www.laguilde.ca

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