Staff at Canadaland have voted unanimously to ratify a first collective agreement that contains financial gains and protections for editorial integrity and independence.
The 10 employees of the podcast / news organization received a $500 signing bonus and wage increase of 2.5 per cent upon ratification, as well as in each of the next three years of the contract.
When the workers sought unionization with CWA Canada and won certification from the Canada Industrial Relations Board in July 2020, they said their goal was to “benefit from clear policies setting out organizational structure, editorial vision, and concrete measures for achieving greater diversity in our workplace and programming.”
The group, which includes reporters, editors, producers and program hosts, brought more than monetary issues to the table when bargaining began a year ago.
The Canadaland Union describes the following as highlights of the collective agreement:
- extensive language safeguarding editorial integrity and independence;
- establishment of a joint committee to draft an editorial standards document that will provide guidance for Canadaland’s editorial work;
- should the company sell rights to create a new work based on something produced by staff (such as a TV adaptation of a podcast), current and former bargaining unit members who significantly contributed to the creation of the orginal would receive a share of the revenue from that sale.
The contract establishes greater consistency in areas like hiring, raises, vacation, leaves, orientation and discipline. It includes an increase to employees’ health spending accounts; four weeks of vacation after four years; and severance of three weeks’ pay for each year of service in the event of layoffs.
Canadaland, founded in 2013 by media critic Jesse Brown, has grown into an independent podcast network and news organization funded by its audience. Its primary focus is on Canadian media, news, current affairs, and politics.