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Update on vacations, leaves and benefits during a work stoppage

The Canadian Media Guild has been getting questions from members about what would happen with vacations, benefits and leaves in the event of a strike or lockout at the CBC. We are committed to getting a new collective agreement with the Corporation at the negotiating table; however, we have had discussions with the CBC about what would happen in a work stoppage and have been given some answers.

In terms of medical benefits, the Communications Workers of America, the Guild’s parent union, would pay for continuing coverage of employees’ benefits (eg. drugs and chiropractic care) during a work stoppage. Employees would continue to fill out claims with Great West as usual.

The CBC says it would :

? honour authorized vacations, maternity leave top-up payments, as well as other paid or unpaid leaves, as long as these have begun before a work stoppage.
? make payments for Long Term Disability insurance on behalf of employees and recover the cost after the end of a work stoppage.
? continue paying Northern Benefits (ie. private accommodation allowances and special accommodation allowances) and providing CBC subsidized housing without collecting rent until after the work stoppage is over.

What are in limbo are vacations, maternity leaves and other pre-approved paid and unpaid leaves scheduled to start after the beginning of a potential work stoppage. Our legal analysis suggests that employees with scheduled leaves and vacations have already earned them and must be entitled to take them. The Guild urges the CBC to reconsider its position. If not, we are prepared to arbitrate the matter, if necessary, by mid-August.

Note that dental coverage would not continue in a work stoppage. The union would provide reimbursement for emergency dental care, but not for regular dental work.

For further information, please get in touch with us (guild@interlog.com) at 416-591-5333 or 1-800-465-4149.

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