In recent days we have received a number of inquiries around the processes CMG uses for grievance handling and support for members who believe they have been harassed.
Neither issue is foreign to us and CMG has long established practices around these issues.
In both cases of members grieving or bringing forward complaints, we maintain member confidentiality. We believe that is essential to making the processes work. Each of course is handled in its own way.
Every member has the right to file or have filed on their behalf a grievance. A grievance simply put is a claim by a member and/or the member’s union of a violation of a specific term of the collective agreement. Not only do all members have a right to grieve but the union has a legal obligation under the Canada Labour Code to provide representation in such cases. This is called a Duty of Fair Representation (DFR) and failure to provide fair representation can lead to sanctions for the Labour Board. Here again, on individual cases the CMG does not make public comment.
Within the Collective Agreement, the Human Rights Act and CBC Corporate policy, employees have a right to be protected from all forms of harassment. In some cases aspects of the criminal code may apply.
The CBC Collective Agreement is what is administered by the union. Our rights are set out in Article 6, (Discrimination), 7 (Harassment) and 8 (Respect in the Workplace). Sexual Harassment is by its nature also deemed in many cases to be a form of gender discrimination. The language in the agreement regarding both Harassment and Respect in the Workplace encourages members who believe they are victims of behaviour contrary to the agreement to bring their concerns forward.
These are considered some of the most serious complaints and generally speaking should be brought to the attention of CMG’s professional staff (http://www.cmg.ca/en/contact/staff/). At that point both the complainant and the representative can determine the appropriate course of action. Such action could include a formal complaint, a grievance, directing the matter to police or all of the above. The employer has an obligation to fully investigate the complaint. The member also has a right to be represented by the Guild.