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A note from S-VOX Branch president Rob VanSickle

S-VOX Management met with the CMG on February 8 to discuss the latest developments in the ZML purchase of the S-VOX broadcast assets. We were informed that the first two steps of the CRTC process have been completed, i.e. gazetting and the call for comments, and we are currently in the response-to-intervention phase. Since there were no radically negative interventions, management is hopeful that the CRTC will forgo the hearing process and just issue a decision based on the merits of the deal.

Beyond those bureaucratic process issues, the deal states that the handover of the assets will take place at the end of the broadcast month following the month in which the CRTC gives its approval of the sale. The best guess, at this point, is that the deal will be completed or “closed” by the end of April or so. There’s a chance that the handover may be delayed by as much as a month or two, based on the CRTC’s workload and other issues related to differing fiscal year ends. As soon as the final closure date is known, management will advise employees and the Guild.

Some of you have expressed concerns about the “expiry” of our collective agreement at the end of August of this year. That date is the end of the term of the agreement, but it’s important to know that the agreement remains in full force and effect until a new (or “successor”) agreement is negotiated. Even with the change of ownership, the collective agreement remains in place and ZML is bound by it, just as S-VOX is now. You retain all of the rights and protections you have now.

In the next couple of months, we will be looking to you, the members, for your comments and assistance in bargaining the next collective agreement. You’ll have the opportunity – actually, the responsibility – to tell us what improvements you’d like to see, and we’ll also ask you to help us name a bargaining committee. I know all of you have opinions on what works, what doesn’t and what could be improved, and we on the executive are looking forward to hearing your constructive criticism.

I’d like to thank you for your patience and your support during this trying time. As and when we get new information, we’ll immediately share it with you.

As always, if you have questions or concerns, speak to any member of the branch executive (Christopher Beesley, Marie Lofranco or myself) or contact Keith Maskell at the Guild’s national office at keith@cmg.ca .

Rob VanSickle
President, S-VOX Branch
Canadian Media Guild

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