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Notes from S-VOX general membership meeting of August 5

In attendance were the S-VOX bargaining unit executive – Rob VanSickle, Christopher Beesley and Marie Lofranco, and CMG Staff Representative Keith Maskell.

This open meeting was well attended with members representing a cross section of S-VOX departments.

Rob opened the meeting and invited members to voice their concerns and ask any questions they may have. The resulting discussions and Q & A brought to light several member concerns and issues. These were the highlights:

Master Control
New schedule is a concern, as employees’ inputs were not solicited prior to its impending implementation. Questions asked as to what labour code we followed; Keith advised that as a Canadian broadcaster we fall under federal labour jurisdiction. Rob VanSickle who was aware of the problem presented an alternative schedule and CMG rep Keith Maskell advised on some best approaches in dealing with the issue. Issues that arise, such as this, that may not have been addressed under the current contract would be raised at the next round of contract bargaining.

The best way to go about problem resolution is to get together with your colleagues that are affected and talk about other options. Then determine if CMG or our local reps need to take the problem forward. The key is to start the process respectfully. Contact with your Branch Executive to help deal with this and any problem is encouraged.

Downsizing and work distribution
Concern about job descriptions changing and employees not being made aware of this and that changes in work assignments are not appropriately compensated.

Another issue brought forward was eliminating a higher graded position and distributing the workload to lower graded positions but not compensating for taking on work of a higher grade level. Keith advised that as such this is an upgrade and you are entitled to be compensated. If management refuses to pay the additional amount then the matter may be taken up via a grievance or can go to Joint Committee for discussion between the union and management.

Workload and overtime
The issue of overtime being requested by an employee to accommodate extra workload and management unwilling to approve the overtime.

Several members brought forward the issue of increased workloads. If managers do not approve overtime, than employee has the right to refuse to work overtime for no extra pay. We have articles in the Collective Agreement that outline overtime procedures and payments. An approach to resolving workload issues is to discuss workload issues with your manager to determine what work can be eliminated or adjusted. It is a good idea prior to this meeting to start a log of actual duties performed for a period of a week or two.

The 2 new Joy channels and their impact were also discussed.

Concerns were raised in particular with master Control and their role in maintaining security of the office. This was deemed to be a health and safety issue and will be investigated further.

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