CBC Finances

CMG members have expressed anger, confusion, and frankly distrust over what seemed to be an increase that CBC must have known about before February 29/24.

Your elected union representatives and bargaining team feel the same. We were just as surprised by Thursday’s news.

Yesterday the Treasury Board released figures that showed CBC-Radio Canada would receive an additional $94 million, just a few days after we signed a tentative agreement.  Immediately union leaders met with senior CBC management  and were told that this money represented wage increases for the past two years and the coming fiscal year, and was not new money.  In fact, they said that amount included our potential wage increase outlined in our current tentative agreement, as well as wage gains for all staff at CBC and Radio Canada.  We also met with our union legal representative to consider our response. And we met with members in a virtual town hall that had already been scheduled. 

We have urged CBC-RC senior leaders to disclose governmental allotments to all staff so the true nature of our financial situation is better known.  As a public institution, it’s better to have transparency around how our funding works, and how money is spent, so that any structural deficits are apparent, and decisions on how money is spent can be better scrutinized. 

We have a tentative deal that our members are now deciding to ratify or not.  It contains some hard won improvements in our working conditions, especially for more vulnerable constituents like temporary workers.  This deal would give us a wage increase of  6% this year, when the 2% raise in 2024 is blended with 2 years of retroactive wage increases of 2% in 2022 and 2023.  Our media workers who toil tirelessly to create all of the offerings of CBC Radio Canada will benefit immediately from a portion of the additional $94 million, if our tentative deal is ratified.  We had hoped that our wage increase would have at least brought us up so that our real earning power was not eroded by the last couple of years of rampant inflation, but CBC-RC said they could not afford that.  The bargaining team has agreed to recommend this deal to members, and we still think it’s the best way forward.  But rest assured that our union will explore all options in ensuring that the CBC-RC has played fairly in these negotiations. 

We are glad to hear that it has now been clarified that CBC will not have to cut 3.3% of our budget.  We now expect that CBC will NOT cut as many jobs as they had previously intended, though management said they intend to stay the course and continue with substantial job cuts.  Again, more transparency around how CBC-RC wound up with a $125 million deficit is needed to regain trust of its employees, when there have been several increases to its bottom line in the past 3 years.

The truth is that CBC Radio Canada needs stable funding that can meet its needs in order to produce mandated content for all Canadians.  It’s imperative that CBC-Radio Canada leadership work to rebuild our trust, by being open about how the money is accounted for.

CBC Branch Executive Committee

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