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Report to the CBC Branch executive – March 2009

Human Rights and Equity Report
CMG-CBC BEC Meeting: Monday, March 16, 2009
Prepared: Sunday. March 15, 2009
Michael D’Souza
Director, Human Rights and Equity

Posting Staff Rep: Human Rights and Equity
After years of work, the posting for the CMG Staff Rep for Human Rights, Equity and Diversity is finally up. The deadline for applications is this Friday. If you know anyone, anyone at all, who may be interested please encourage him/her to apply. We are actively soliciting a wide range of candidates, especially from areas we usually don’t attract candidates for such jobs. I’ve attached the posting to the bottom of this report.

Joint Equity ?phone call
As you’ve seen in innumerable reports from me, accessibility for people with disabilities has been a dominant issue at meetings of the Joint Employment Equity Committee. The corporation has taken the position that many places, such as control rooms, should not be accessible; a position dictated by the real estate department. But every request that a representative from real estate attend the meeting was thwarted. Finally it has happened.

Sonia Trudel, Executive Director of the Real Estate Division, was at a telephone conference on Tuesday, February 24. This was an information gathering session for the unions. Ms Trudel explained that the department is responsible for 27 properties the CBC owns and 60 it leases with an average age of 40 years. She said that the corporation aims to make almost all its properties accessible, as funds become available; some buildings simply cannot be made accessible.

The Corporation has commissioned a major, $100,000, study of its properties in Toronto and Montreal by Betty Dion. That report is now in its final stages.

Ms. Trudel also talked about the real estate project in Toronto where almost 500,000 square feet of space will be made available for lease to another party. The downturn in the economy will likely delay this project. But once it is underway it will mean rental revenues available for the operations of the CBC.

Another issue bubbling for years now is parking for people with disabilities at the Broadcasting Centre. This was raised in three forums since our last meetings. The Joint Employment Equity Meeting mentioned above, the Health and Safety Committee and directly with Fred Mattocks. The report presented to all three parties is attached as separate files in English and French. The Health and Safety Committee is examining the issue and so is Mr. Mattocks. No resolution yet.

The joint journalism programme at Humber College and Guelph University has invited the Guild to participate in its networking event on Monday, March 23. I’ll be there and Aparita Bhandari from CBC Radio will join me.

Fourth Floor Issues
We’re continuing to have problems with benefits for casuals. One case
took several weeks to resolve and another is underway. The problem seems to be that the message about the new relationship has not made it to front-line managers. These cases are taking way too long to resolve. And in every case the union position has prevailed. What is satisfying is that the members are themselves articulating their case eloquently both to management and the union.

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