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Update on the use of Smartphones, especially iPhones in news gathering

CBC management is implementing its new plan this week with supper-hour shows going to their new time slots of 60 minutes and 30 minutes along with the one-minute updates. This has raised issues about who does what, and how they are properly compensated. One issue concerns the use of Smartphones, especially iPhones, in news gathering.

The union has held several meetings with management about this specific issue, and we are now looking at interim steps to deal with immediate concerns and long-term questions.

One immediate question is whether Band 8 Reporter/Editors expected to use their Smartphones, such as iPhones, to gather material for their stories should be upgraded. A related longer-term issue is whether Reporter/Editors doing this work regularly should be reclassified.

In the meantime, here are some things to keep in mind:

-No employee can assign themselves an upgrade or do the work first and then claim an upgrade.
-While an employee can normally refuse an upgrade, we have agreed with management that until we have concluded our discussions, no one should refuse an assignment because of a dispute over the use of the Smartphone as this could result in disciplinary action. However if you are assigned to report using your iPhone, please keep a record of the details of the work you did, who assigned you, and what the story was, and provide this information to your local president or send it to info@cmg.ca.

This information will be critical in helping CMG gain better insight into the real life situations you are facing. These facts and examples will help us as we work to figure out the best course of action in our discussions with CBC management.

For additional information, speak to your local CMG president or write to info@cmg.ca

Marc-Philippe Laurin
CBC Branch President, CMG

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