Broadcasting

Radio, television and internet broadcasting is a critical element of Canadian culture and a key player in the country’s news industry.

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Media Guild slams cuts at TFO, calls on Francophone community to react quickly - CWA Canada’s largest Local, the Canadian Media Guild (CMG), is denouncing 37 layoffs and program cuts at Ontario’s French public broadcaster and calling on the Franco-Ontarian community to react quickly and demand that Groupe Média TFO invest in its human resources. CMG President Kamala Rao said 10 of the union’s members are affected, including four permanent and five contract positions. The cuts target programming for adults, including the shows 24.7 and #ONfr.  They follow a reorganization at 24.7 that resulted in the loss of another CMG position last March. Cuts in 2016 resulted in the loss of programs BRBR and Carte de visite. “These cuts at TFO have produced a chronically stressful environment for CMG members and they are unhelpful in terms of our professional growth and the development of our talents,” said Rao. While it was a struggle in 2015 for CMG to win an annual increase of 1.25 per cent for members at TFO, executives were given significant pay raises in 2017, including a 35.5-per-cent increase for CEO Glenn O’Farrell, who received a salary of $331,997. CMG is concerned that management is allocating fewer and fewer operational resources to the internal production of programming. These decisions will have [...]
Catherine Tait Media union welcomes choice of Tait, industry veteran, 1st woman to lead CBC - The announcement today that television and film industry veteran Catherine Tait will lead the CBC was welcomed by the public broadcaster’s main union. The Canadian Media Guild (CMG) — CWA Canada’s largest Local, which represents thousands of CBC workers — recognized Tait’s historic appointment as the first woman President and CEO of CBC/Radio-Canada. Jonathan Spence, president of the CBC Branch of the CMG, said the union was “encouraged” that Tait, along with Heritage Minister Melanie Joly, expressed their “support for key pillars of the (CBC’s) services and function, including local news and programming, Canadian stories and content, digital services and Canadian talent.” “Our union,” said Spence, “has been raising concerns with the CBC/Radio-Canada leadership about the lack of investment in local news … and the abandonment of in-house production. For example, the CBC has directed very little of the $675 million re-investment to news — a fact it does not deny. “In addition, the CBC’s own breakdown shows two-thirds of the new money ($92 million out of $150 million per year) went to outside productions for prime-time television shows in 2017-18 and are similarly earmarked in subsequent fiscal years. This isn’t a re-investment in CBC/Radio-Canada.” Tait, 60, who called it [...]
Corus Entertainment Ratified deal with Corus Entertainment contains pay increases of up to 16.7% - CWA Canada members have voted 95 per cent in favour of ratifying a collective agreement with Corus Entertainment that contains pay increases of up to 16.7 per cent. The agreement is the first to cover all workers in television operations since Corus absorbed Shaw Media, where the Canadian Media Guild (Local 30213) already represented employees. Bargaining to reach the one-year deal began last March, shortly after the Corus workers voted to join the CMG. Salary increases of up to 16.7 per cent will raise up the lowest-paid members and begin to address pay inequalities identified by the bargaining team. They will be retroactive to May 1, 2017. New and current members of the bargaining unit who are not above scale will see guaranteed annual minimum increases of three- to four-per-cent on average. Other highlights of the agreement, which contains provisions of the 2014-2017 contract between the CMG and Shaw: Improved dental benefits for everyone. Increased sick-leave protections, which had previously been limited to 10 days. All members now have access to two personal days. “We achieve a great deal together as co-workers, both on the job and collectively as union members,” said Craig Jasman, president of the Corus Branch at [...]
Viceland website screen capture Union contract offers help for 23 VICE Canada workers facing layoff - VICE Canada workers facing job cuts as their employer ends a joint venture with Rogers Media can take some comfort in knowing they have a collective agreement to protect them. They voted in May 2016 to join CWA Canada’s biggest Local, the Canadian Media Guild (CMG), and had their first collective agreement one year later. The bargaining unit includes about 200 people who work in editorial, production, post-production, marketing, design and administration in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver. Maggie McCaw, president of CMG’s VICE Canada branch, said the union has been informed that a total of 23 contract and permanent positions are to be eliminated. CWA Canada President Martin O’Hanlon said he was “very sorry to hear about the job cuts at VICE Canada, where we represent the talented and dedicated staff … The union will do all it can to lessen the impacts of the cuts and help members through this tough time.” Kamala Rao, CMG president, said the collective agreement includes protections for members facing layoff. “CMG staff will also be with members to talk through your options,” Rao said. “That includes discussing a provision … that allows for employees interested in a voluntary layoff to indicate your availability.” [...]
Richard Zussman Union fights firing of CBC political reporter over book deal - CWA Canada and its largest Local are going to bat for member Richard Zussman, who was fired by the CBC for allegedly breaching rules governing activities outside of work. The Canadian Media Guild (CMG ), which represents thousands of employees at the public broadcaster, has taken the case to arbitration and is seeking a ruling from labour mediator Vince Ready. Zussman, 34, who was the B.C. provincial affairs reporter, based in Victoria, has co-authored a book about the defeat of Christy Clark’s Liberal government and the rise to power of NDP Premier John Horgan. It is to be published this spring. CBC spokesman Chuck Thompson said in a statement that Zussman’s employment “was not terminated simply for co-authoring a book.” He said the decision was “based on the findings of a third-party investigation,” which determined that the reporter had violated CBC’s code of conduct, conflict-of-interest rules and the collective agreement with the CMG. CWA Canada President Martin O’Hanlon called it a “baffling overreaction by CBC management.” “Why on Earth would they fire a political journalist for writing a book about politics?” O’Hanlon asked. “They’ve somehow managed the perplexing feat of turning good press into bad press.” “The union remains solidly behind Richard Zussman and [...]

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Offsite Insight

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