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Update on job cuts and CBC’s financial uncertainty

In response to member requests, the CMG has been working since April to develop a measure for employees to help CBC reduce the job and programming cuts that are currently underway. As we previously communicated, our approach was to find a temporary and across-the-board measure that employees could take to allow CBC to restore jobs.

The Guild was looking for ways to cushion the blow of the sudden drop in advertising revenue during the recession. Unfortunately, CBC management and the CMG have concluded that, due to the continued instability of the public broadcaster’s financial situation, it would be unwise at this time to go forward with an interim measure to reinstate jobs and programming. In this environment, any contribution by Guild members to save jobs could not be guaranteed to protect those jobs even for the current year. CBC management did express appreciation to the Guild and its members for our efforts.

The reality is that CBC’s financial future is threatened by more than just the recession.

The CBC continues to wait for approval from the federal government on a plan to raise additional money this year from previous asset sales. The proposal involves collecting the balance of the proceeds immediately instead of collecting the money over the next several years, as was originally planned. CBC’s budget for the current year is based on approval of that plan. Further, the government asked the CBC to comply with a “strategic review” of its budget, which could result in a reduction of some $55 million to next year’s parliamentary appropriation. Meanwhile, the CBC’s operating costs continue to rise.

The Guild will continue to press Parliament and the government for improved public funding for CBC/Radio-Canada, which is the only long-term solution to providing crucial local and national programming in both official languages on radio, TV and the internet in communities across Canada. If you have not yet done so, please visit our campaign page. Follow the link to send your letter to the leaders in Parliament.

The Guild and CBC management continue to work to find sustainable alternatives to layoffs of employees whose jobs were made redundant this spring. Local committees across the country are using vacant jobs and temporary work to avoid or delay a number of layoffs.

For more information, please get in touch with the Guild (info@cmg.ca) at 416-591-5333 or 1-800-465-4149.

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