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Guild to VisionTV: Where’s The Faith?

S-VOX handed out nine layoff notices today and has announced its intention to post 4 new jobs. CMG members who work at S-VOX (which runs VisionTV, the Christian Channel and One: the Body, Mind and Spirit Channel) believe the company is violating the collective agreement and mistreating employees, who should have been considered for redeployment to the new jobs.

“We negotiated – in good faith – a process that involves trying to minimize involuntary layoffs”, says Guild branch president Rob VanSickle. “Instead the company has chosen the most disruptive approach. They’re basically trying to shut the door on a group of dedicated and talented people.”

The positions being affected are in on-air promotions and post-production, including all positions in closed captioning, video editing and promo production. It’s worth noting that one management position is being eliminated, but the manager is being redeployed to a brand-new management position.

At the same time as the video editor and promo producer jobs are being eliminated, new positions – known as producer/editors or “preditors” are being created. This classification combines elements of the video editor and promo producer jobs.

The Guild has argued strenuously that all existing employees in the two previous classifications possess most or all of the skills and qualifications required for the new jobs, and it would have been easier and much less disruptive to reassign or redeploy employees and offer appropriate training. Instead, the company has chosen to lay everyone off, post the new jobs and force experienced employees to re-apply for their jobs.

Members of the Guild’s branch executive, as well as CMG staff, are meeting with the affected employees to offer assistance. The Guild is also planning to file a number of grievances.

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