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Report to the CBC Branch executive – October 2009

Human Rights and Equity Report
Presidents Council November 2009
Prepared: Monday, October 20, 2009
Michael D’Souza
Director, Human Rights and Equity

The Human Rights and Equity portfolio has been busy since our last meeting. We’ve made progress in discussions with the Corporation on the statutory requirement for revising and updating the Joint Employment Equity Plan. But this is a work in progress and we have learned to wait and see what the final document actually says. An invitation to members to apply for two seats on the committee attracted 21 talented and committed people. At the writing of this report the Branch was in the process of selecting the two successful candidates.

On the threshold of end of the first decade of the 21st Century pay equity is still an issue at the CBC. We have evidence that most of the people in one of the most senior bands are men. The few women, about a handful, receive a compensation package that is substantially smaller than the men. Your union’s attempts to find a resolution with management proved to be futile and this file has now been referred to the National Joint Committee, to the National Grievance Committee and to staff to seek a just settlement through talks, grievance, arbitration or legal action in the courts.

The Collective Agreement requires a Joint Committee on Pay Equity; this committee has not met for years. This issue has been referred to the National Joint Committee. And your union will soon invite applications from the membership to serve on this committee. This is a gender-specific issue and women will be especially encouraged to apply.

You union is continuing its outreach to young people in school, college and university. Earlier this week students from Connestoga College came down to the Broadcasting Centre. CMG and CWA/SCA Canada are cooperating in outreach to Canadian University Press, the collective representing campus newspapers across Canada. The union is offering prizes for labour reporting and equity reporting at CUP. So far these prizes have attracted the largest number of submission among all the prizes offered by CUP for reportage.

When we met in Calgary in 2006 our union decided to hire a staff rep with a specialty in Human Rights and Equity. Finally, early this year, the Canadian Media Guild and its parent union, CWA/SCA Canada, invited applications from coast to coast to coast. That invitation drew about 150 applications. Of these about 100 were very highly qualified and committed applicants from a variety of backgrounds including social activists, community activists, labour activists and even some highly talented lawyers. Being on this hiring committee was tough. We were faced with so much talent and commitment. Finally in late spring we hired the best, Terri Monture. She comes to us from NOW magazine in Toronto where she worked in circulation and was the unit Chair with Local 87-M of the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada or CEP. Terri is a Mohawk woman from Six Nations. She has extensive experience in dealing with equity issues at CEP. Terri is the staff rep dealing with the file on pay disparities I referred to earlier.

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