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CMG continues working to ensure harassment-free workplaces

In response to the issues raised by Kathryn Borel and others, and after intense scrutiny of how we operate and how issues of harassment are addressed at CBC and other media workplaces, our union has taken a series of concrete steps to serve media workers better.

We have updated our harassment reporting practices, added targeted training for union staff and volunteers, and strengthened our policies. We continue to work on increasing awareness and prevention in the workplace.

Stopping harassment and bullying remains a priority.  As a union representing media workers, we know we can do a better job of ensuring positive experiences at work. That is our goal and we are committed to working with employers to make our zero-tolerance for harassment policy into reality.

Here are some of the things we have done over the last 18 months to stop abuses, and give a greater sense of security to workers who otherwise might be afraid to speak up:

*distributed descriptions of unacceptable behaviours

*developed training designed to empower colleagues/witnesses to support each other and contact the union directly

*updated our procedures with more clearly defined collaborative processes for volunteers and union reps

*strengthened permanent committee that works with CBC to address temporary/precarious work so everyone can feel safe complaining without worrying about their job status

*held sessions (by professionals), for union staff and key volunteers on recognizing and addressing sexual harassment, with a focus on supporting people who experience sexual harassment

*offered seminars  (run by Lancaster House -a national legal, labour and workplace education service) on Harassment and on Sexual Harassment in the Workplace /Overcoming a Culture of Fear. (This was distributed to volunteers across the country at all CMG media locations.)

*introduced a practice of passing a motion reaffirming Human Rights at the beginning of national meetings, to raise awareness.

As for next steps, and questions about how the union handles individual grievances, there have been no discussions related to this so far. There is a standard legal process.  Beyond that CMG cannot discuss details relating to any individual case.

Carmel Smyth,
National President Canadian Media Guild

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