On August 19, Canadian Media Guild members at Reuters Canada will celebrate 30 years of belonging to the union. The Reuters branch of the Guild is organizing an event this summer in Toronto to celebrate the milestone. The branch ratified its latest collective agreement last year and recently welcomed a group of new members hired to work on the new online desk.
Clive Frampton was a member at Reuters Canada when the Guild was certified. He left the company in 1977and returned in 2003 and works on the online operations desk.
Guild in busy bargaining season
The Canadian Media Guild is currently in bargaining for a first collective agreement for three new branches, VisionTV (now known as S-VOX), Sun TV and Alliance Atlantis Communications. The Guild is also negotiating a second agreement for the editorial members at APTN. As well, negotiations are due to begin later this year at TVOntario and Canadian Press/Broadcast News.
CBC agrees to keep TV design department open to May 2007
Guild members host an info table in front of CBC Saskatoon in May.
The Guild reached an agreement with CBC management in mid-June to delay the closure of the TV design department in Toronto until May 31, 2007. The department had been slated for closure in August. The delay will give the Guild time to work with employees on alternatives for the department, including the possibility of an employee co-operative to take over the business.
During the campaign waged by the Guild to preserve the design department, more than 300 Canadians sent email messages to Heritage Minister Bev Oda to protest the planned closure and to say they are in favour of increased funding for the CBC.
CP looking toward strong future
CP/BN management and co-operative members recently announced a new strategic plan aimed at positioning the century-old news service for the changing media landscape. That means expanding online and digital services and relying less on newspapers. The plan also opens up new commercial avenues.
CP has been bracing for several years for the withdrawal of member CanWest-Global, which has been hinting at making the move but has made no announcement. Any member wanting to leave has to give a year’s notice and must let the co-operative know by June 30.
The news service seems much more confident today than a decade ago, when the threatened withdrawal of the Southam newspaper chain shook the industry and put the future of CP into question. With newsgathering resources stretched in most media outlets, CP and Broadcast News are increasingly recognized as an important, national source of reporting in both official languages that could not be replaced.
TVOntario employees develop vision for the future
In April and May, a group of frontline employees at TVO and TFO met to develop their view of the future of the provincial education broadcaster. The meetings were prompted in part by a strategic review that was undertaken by TVOntario management without input from employees. The management plan has not yet been released.
The Guild has sought a meeting with Ontario education minister Sandra Pupatello to put forward the employees’ view of the future of TVOntario. Among other things, the Guild is urging the government to commit to TVOntario as a source of quality, commercial-free programming available in both official languages and accessible to all Ontarians on a variety platforms, including through broadcast on the free airwaves and to review government funding with a view to supporting an increase in TVOntario’s production of original educational programming for all platforms, including conventional TV broadcast, by 2008.
To view the document that has been submitted to Minister Pupatello, go to http://www.cmg.ca/Future%20of%20TVO%20-%20EN.pdf .
VisionTV gets a new name
Cable network VisionTV is changing its name to S.VOX and is getting a new logo. Contrary to popular belief, VisionTV is not going into the video game business to rival Xbox. The name change was meant to incorporate all of the cable network’s broadcast ventures, including VisionTV, One: the body, mind & spirit channel and the Christian Channel. The network moved to a new, consolidated location in the west end of Toronto at the beginning of May.