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Letter from Branch President Colin Perkel

Dear Colleagues and fellow CMGers,

I want to draw your attention to two important votes in which I urge you to participate.

One is for proposed changes to your pension plan, the other for the Guild’s national executive.

This crucial vote takes place Monday October 29 and Tuesday October 30. Employees – full and part time ? enrolled in the pension plan are eligible to cast a ballot. The proposed changes are complicated and each person’s circumstances vary, so it’s difficult to make blanket statements about the redesign. What is certain, however, is that the new design is the culmination of years of hard work by both Guild and company trustees drawing on expert help. In addition, the union has spent tens of thousands of dollars getting its own top-notch actuarial and legal advice. The new plan takes into account the financial realities facing The Canadian Press and hence all of us, while providing benefits that will serve future retirees well.

You will have seen the literature and heard from the Guild’s trustees (Scott Edmonds and Craig Wong) about the proposal. If you still have questions, please contact them. In any event, watch for vote details, and please make sure to cast a ballot.

National Executive
Firstly, I want to congratulate Lise Lareau on her re-election by acclamation as president of the Canadian Media Guild. Lise has provided years of quality leadership and service to this union, which, as a result of her efforts, is a better, more professional and more responsive organization.

The position of national vice-president is contested this year; our colleague Scott Edmonds is one of the candidates. Please read the candidate information posted on the Guild’s website, and I encourage you to vote in the election November 13-15.

Branch Executive
It is with pleasure that I can inform you that Terry Pedwell (a reporter/editor in Ottawa) has been acclaimed the Guild’s Canadian Press branch president and will be taking over from me in January. A company veteran and President’s Award winner, Terry served on the most recent bargaining committee, where his input was invaluable. Please join me in congratulating Terry and thanking him for his willingness to serve as your representative. I know he will enjoy your ongoing support.

I also want to congratulate Steve Mertl (a reporter/editor in Vancouver) for his acclamation as branch vice-president/treasurer. Steve has been a long-time Guild activist who has most recently served as acting vice-president/treasurer as well as looking after local Guild affairs in Vancouver. His ongoing presence at the Employee-Employer committee has also been extremely useful.

One position, branch vice-president, remains to be finalized.

Branch Executive Council
Your executive meeting on the weekend of October 13 and 14 provided a valuable opportunity to reflect on the future of the union as well as the workplace. Several issues were discussed, including concerns about the functioning of the new national desk. We are addressing those concerns, which include inadequate training. If you have problems, I urge you to speak up about them, and, especially, to make constructive suggestions on improvements.

The Guild has also taken up concerns with management about the use of part-timers and temporary employees who we worry have not been treated in accordance with the collective bargaining agreement. Please do not hesitate to get in touch with any of your representatives or the national office if you have any questions about your employment situation, or about any other issue related to your working conditions. All inquiries are treated in strict confidence.

Local Elections
Elections for new location executives are to take place in February. If you have ever considered giving something back to your colleagues or have ideas on making the union more effective, please think about running for one of the local positions. The most important attributes are a good brain and a desire to make a positive difference in the workplace. Details on the vote will be posted in the New Year.

Kindest regards.

President, Canadian Press Branch
Canadian Media Guild

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