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Report to the CBC Branch executive – May 11, 2009

Human Rights and Equity Report
CMG-CBC BEC Meeting: Monday, May 11, 2009
Prepared: Thursday, May 7, 2009
Michael D’Souza
Director, Human Rights and Equity

CWA/SCA Canada: Training
As the media industry shrinks in the face of financial woes there’s been considerable discussion at various levels of the union about helping members who are losing jobs. The CWA/SCA Canada Rep Council discussed this issue at its meeting in Ottawa in mid April and agreed to fund a special training programme for members who lose their jobs because of layoffs. This will include people getting pink slips and also those taking early retirement because of workforce shrinkage. Members will be eligible for an allowance of $500. It’s expected that many of the people eligible for this training will use the CWA’s training service. Check out the site: http://www.cwanett.org/
This training is available for CBC employees leaving the corporation because of economic severance. CWA/SCA Canada is putting a note out on this and I’ll forward it to all as soon as I get it.

Posting Staff Rep: Human Rights and Equity
The work of the hiring committee for the Staff Rep: Human Rights and Equity is now in its final stages. This position is rooted in the CMG Convention in Calgary in 2006.

The advertising and promotion campaign was very successful attracting 155 candidates. The applicants cover a wide range of experience from lawyers doing the jobs of staff reps on the equity file to community activists to journalists who have changed the face of local programming. Of these 95 were considered serious candidates and it took the committee a whole day to reduce that list to about 25. It took another day to reduce that list to eight candidates for interviews. The first round of interviews has now been completed and we’re now going into a second round of interviews. We’re hoping to make a final recommendation by the end of May. I serve on the committee with Lise Lareau, Arnold Amber and Kathy Viner.

Joint Equity Committee
As the BEC has been previously informed Barbara Saxberg and Natasha Fatah have resigned as CMG members of the Joint Employment Committee. The committee includes management and all the unions at the CBC and is a creature of the Employment Equity Act.

Ing Wong-Ward is a human rights and equity activist who withdrew for awhile one reason being motherhood. Her daughter is now a year old and Ms. Wong-Ward has offered to again take her place at the table. It is recommended that she be added the CMG delegation at the Joint Employment Equity Committee. One factor the BEC should be aware of is that this committee now meets in Toronto and Montreal. The Montreal meeting will mean paying costs for Ms. Wong-Ward’s personal attendant to travel to Montreal. When Ms. Ward travels by train, her preferred method of travel, she gets a free ticket for herself. So the additional costs should be marginal.

Edwin Terry looks after Human Rights and Equity matters at the Toronto NEC, the largest and likely most diverse population of Branch members. Edwin has attended one meeting of the committee in Toronto. It is recommended that Edwin Terry become a permanent member of the Joint Employment Committee.

The cost of participation in this committee is included in the Human Rights and Equity budget. This is a joint committee and time off is covered by the Corporation, the union pays for travel and accommodation. Expenses should be well within the budget.

As I have reported previously the Joint Employment Equity Committee is working on the Corporations next plan, as required under the act. The meeting was supposed to be next week and is now scheduled for June 17 in Montreal. I recommend that we appoint Edwin and Ing now so that they can attend the meeting in Montreal. I’m attaching resolutions to that effect.

Sean Rombough from Iqaluit joined me at the networking event on Monday, March 23 at Humber College and Guelph University. Our presentation included the importance of being aware of collective agreements given that much of the news industry. Sean happened to be visiting me in Toronto and was a big draw. Students were fascinated by the possibilities of working in Canada’s North. One of the students actually visited me at the Broadcasting Centre (I was on vacation but came in to meet her) and another should be coming by in the next few weeks.

Fourth Floor Issues
The combination of the staff cuts and the news renewal has put the newsroom under considerable stress. The corporation is going ahead with the construction on the floor to integrate National radio news and expand the on-line presence on the newsroom floor. Committee.

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