Today CBC/Radio-Canada management issued a communiqué declaring a blanket prohibition on paid outside engagements by “on-air journalistic employees”.
CMG has always supported journalistic integrity and accountability at the national public broadcaster. Article 12 (Outside activities) of the CBC/CMG collective agreement is a longstanding provision designed to provide protection against conflict of interest. Our agreement sets out that recognized on-air employees must discuss outside activities with their supervisor before engaging in them and CBC has 10 days to make a decision. In other words, CBC management already has the tools it needs to avoid any conflict of interest situations.
Furthermore, we believe an arbitrary ban will not protect CBC from conflict of interest. Each case, paid or unpaid, must be examined on its merits and managed appropriately using the rules in place, including our collective agreement and CBC’s robust journalistic standards and practices.
This new ban is a clear violation of our collective agreement, an infringement on our members’ rights and a dangerous precedent. The CBC took this unilateral decision without input and agreement from your union.
CMG is objecting to this decision and we will keep you informed of any developments.