Workers at Pagemasters North America (PMNA) in Toronto have voted 84 per cent in favour of ratifying a new collective agreement that could become a template for colleagues in Calgary who have just joined the union.
The Canadian Media Guild (CMG) — CWA Canada’s largest Local — has 70 members at PMNA in Toronto and was recently granted a provincial certificate by the Alberta Labour Board to represent the 15 workers at the Calgary office that opened early last year.
Editorial production workers at PMNA, the commercial division of The Canadian Press that was established in 2009, do page design and layout; copy and video editing; and digital content curation. They form a bargaining unit that is separate from CMG members who work for CP.
Karen Wirsig, the CMG staff representative who organized card signing in Alberta, said the small group quickly and easily met the 65-per-cent threshhold for automatic certification. She expected bargaining to begin sometime next month.
Highlights of the three-year Toronto agreement, which runs until December 2020:
- New, higher salary scales for all classifications; lump-sum payments for those above scale in each year of the agreement;
- Annual payment of $225 to part-time employees who are not part of the extended benefits plan;
- All employees eligible for the Employee Assistance Plan and reimbursement of eye-exam fees;
- New maternity leave top-up (100 per cent of salary for one month for those who qualify for Employment Insurance benefit);
- Probation period reduced from six to four months or 640 hours worked;
- New joint management-employee committee to be created.