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 a significant impact on services to the Franco-Ontarian community, which fought so hard to obtain the public broadcaster.
Rao said that, once again, “CMG members and the people of Ontario are paying for questionable decisions made by senior management” and questioned the “external factors” cited to justify the most recent layoffs.
Many of them, such as stagnating operational funding from Ontario’s Education Ministry, lower revenues from cable broadcasting, and a growth of salary costs, should have been taken into account as part of budget planning in order to mitigate their impacts, she said.