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Notes from the April 12 membership meeting

The Canadian Media Guild’s TVO branch held a general membership meeting on April 12. Here are some of the highlights:

Nominations for new branch executive officers

There are currently two vacancies on the branch executive: vice-president and secretary-treasurer.Candidate nomination forms should be completed and given to Zeelaf Majeed by April 23 at 5pm. Any necessary elections will follow shortly thereafter. You can read more about branch executive member responsibilities in Article 8 of the CMG bylaws.

CMG convention May 28-30

A delegate from the TVO general membership is to be elected to join the branch executive in attending the Guild’s upcoming convention in Toronto. The election will take place the same day as the vote for new branch executives, and you can use the same nomination form to nominate potential delegates.

Any member of the CMG may attend the convention as an observer, but only delegates have full voting rights.

The newest Guild branch: TFO

Since the separation of TFO from TVO, a combined branch executive has continued to serve members in both locations. Realities of the distinctness of the two have led the executive to move and secure at the National Executive Council, full recognition of TFO as a branch. TFO has a different employer, its own collective agreement, separate funding and its own mandate under a different ministry. The branch will be conducting its own executive council election soon. The TFO branch will be formally welcomed at the CMG convention in May.

Performance Management

The Performance Management process for CMG members at TVO continues to raise questions and discussion. It was acknowledged that a structure for recognizing and assisting members’ achievements at work has been overdue. Implementation of the process to date, though, has revealed some snags.

Some members have experienced it as a series of drill sessions, a bombardment of tasks. Others characterized the objective-setting approach as too dependent on metrics in the context of creative content production. Many people aren’t convinced that the conversation about objectives is fully understood by their supervisor; in some cases the objective seems to be nothing more than helping the supervisor ? or someone at a higher level ? secure their annual bonus.

Guild staff rep Keith Maskell advised members that Performance Management at TVO is being collaboratively developed between the CMG and TVO management. Discussions are ongoing in the labour-management joint committee, including ways to succeed with implementation and how to improve the process.

There was more discussion about the responsibilities of both sides in any Performance Management discussion. It’s unlikely that members will meet agreed-to objectives if management fails in its commitment to provide the resources, personnel and time necessary to achieve the desired results. If the supervisor is unwilling or unable to commit the necessary time, resources, training or tools, the employee should not feel obligated to agree to a a given objective. Performance agreements are meant to be just that ? agreements One member cited a personal example and recommended not signing an agreement where conditions of meeting the objectives make success unlikely. The manager did not object.

People should remember that Performance Management is not meant to be, nor can it be used as a precursor to discipline or discharge.

Hybrid jobs

Like every media-sector employer, TVO is wrestling with the ongoing convergence of editorial, production and technical work, both in the television and online realms. Members are finding it more and more difficult to figure out where the dividing lines are between the traditional union jurisdictions, at the same time as creating and manipulating content is becoming easier. The Guild has made no secret of its desire to see members get the tools, training and development they need to be able to do what’s expected of them. New skills need to be recognized in job descriptions and appropriately compensated. A number of jurisdictional grievances have been filed, predominantly by CEP. The CMG will continue to promote and advance the interests of its members.


Recent news reports continue to show that Canadians in general are not saving enough to ensure an appropriate standard of living upon retirement. The Guild will continue to push TVO to improve pension contributions for members, but we also encourage individual members to do everything they can to help themselves. This includes keeping a close eye on their individual portfolio, and contributing as much as possible to their defined-contribution plan.

TVO employees have access to financial planning tools via the SunLife member site. Once you’ve signed in, see the middle section under TVO Defined Contribution Pension Plan and click on “my money tools”. You can also consult a financial advisor through SunLife, your financial institution or an independent financial advisor. In the end, you have much of the control – and much of the responsibility – for your future financial stability.

For more detailed notes of the meeting and some of the discussions, please contact David Hawkins at dhawkins@tvo.org or Guild staff rep Keith Maskell at keith@cmg.ca .

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