Nearly two years ago, a group of front-line TVOntario employees got together to brainstorm about the future of Ontario’s public broadcaster. They had been shaken by sudden program cancellations and layoffs the year before. Perhaps even more unsettling was the fact that the new top management was undertaking a “strategic review” of the organization entirely on its own, without the benefit of input from the very employees who bring the programming to the people.
The employees came up with a discussion paper of their own and, in the spirit of launching a new era of consultation and collaboration, presented it to senior management and the Ontario minister responsible for TVOntario, Kathleen Wynne.
But that new era was not to be.
Two years later, after more show cancellations and staff departures, employees in the CMG bargaining unit have given their bargaining committee an 80% strike mandate. The key issue? TVO management’s refusal to promise to consult with employees and their union before making major changes at the public broadcaster.