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Election Overtime Concept at The Canadian Press 2008

Shared Principles

• Election coverage is a showcase opportunity to make ourselves indispensable to members and clients, and to successfully meet competitive challenges posed by other news organizations.

• Staff should be compensated for all work they do covering election campaign tours, within an appropriate financial framework and with the company having a high degree of certainty about its overtime costs.

• Compensation for election tour overtime may include both pay and accumulated time. Employees and the company should both have a say in deciding how it is paid.

• Election tour coverage usually involves work days longer than seven hours, and sometimes more than five days in a week. Hours worked will vary from day to day. Tour staff and supervisors are both expected to take into account the need for down time during tour coverage assignments.

• Tour staff should not be forced to take significant amounts of time off in mid-campaign. However, it may be appropriate to provide a few extra days off to an employee who has worked a six- or seven-day week on tour coverage.

• Any arrangement that takes effect for the next federal election will be on a trial basis, subject to a joint Company-Guild review approximately midway through the campaign. If the parties agree, the arrangement may be modified for the remainder of the campaign.

2008 Model

1. This arrangement applies to employees who travel with a campaign using a tour ticket that has been purchased by the company from a political party (“tour employees”). Employees who cover the election “from the ground” are subject to all provisions of the collective agreement.

2. Salary payments will continue as usual, but no compensation specifically for campaign coverage will be provided to tour employees until a final accounting is done after the campaign.

3. Hours worked must be reported by tour employees daily throughout the campaign.

4. Overtime will be calculated as set out in the collective agreement (i.e. time and a half for all hours worked beyond seven in the first five days in a week, time and a half for all hours worked in a sixth day in a week, double time for all hours worked in a seventh day in a week).

5. A tour employee who works a sixth day during a week may be required to take two extra days off the following week or at some other mutually agreeable time during the campaign. A tour employee who works sixth and seventh days during a week may be required to take three extra days off the following week or at some other mutually agreeable time during the campaign. Such days off will be scheduled after consultation between the employee and the company.

6. If this provision for extra days off is applied, the affected employee will have his/her overtime hours total reduced at the final accounting by seven hours for each extra day off taken.

7. After the final accounting, overtime will be distributed to tour employees as a combination of cash payment and accumulated time. Accumulated time must be taken as time off and may not be paid in cash unless the company agrees otherwise.

8. Because of varying demands and resources, it may not be possible to allocate overtime in the same manner to employees in all services (English, French, Pictures). However, affected employees within a particular service will be treated the same as all others within that service. For instance, photographers might all get 75% in cash and 25% in time, while employees of the English Service might all get 25% in cash and 75% in time. For clarity, these figures are purely for example and are not necessarily indicative of how any particular service will allocate overtime to its employees. Allocations for each service will be determined by the company based on operational requirements and subject to the overall cash spending limit set out in No. 9 below.

9. The total amount that will be spent on the cash portion of overtime for all tour employees and services combined is $50,000. Any overtime above the $50,000 threshold will be paid as accumulated time and must be taken as time off.

10. All employees will have the option of taking at least 25% of their election overtime in time.

11. To avoid the possibility of accumulated time being held in reserve so long that it must eventually be paid out in cash as per Article 16.02 (b), the company and Guild have agreed on the following procedure:

11.1. Once the amount owing is known after the final accounting, the employee and his/her manager will meet to develop a plan for when the time off will be taken.
11.2. The company will endeavour to schedule time off as requested by the employee, taking into account operational requirements.
11.3. If any accumulated time remains unused as of July 1 in the calendar year after the election, another meeting will be held between the employee and his/her manager. The two will agree on a schedule to use the remaining time before the end of that calendar year.
11.4. In the unlikely event that agreement on usage of accumulated time cannot be reached, the company may schedule time off at its sole discretion. Any application of this provision will not take place without prior consultation between the company and the Guild.

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