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By  CMG  •  Posted on  June 1, 2008

Workload a stress for CMG members: preliminary survey
Workload is seriously affecting the lives of many CMG members, a fact that was driven home at the recent CMG National Convention by delegates responding to a survey and participating in workshops on the issue.

One out of every two members surveyed feel their workload is hurting their health. Approximately 75% of delegates described their workload as “medium high” or “high.” About one in five of those surveyed stated that they are required to work overtime every week, with only 15% stating that they are not required to work any overtime.

Workshop participants said the sessions made them aware that they didn’t have to passively accept a heavy workload and should be taking their breaks, lunches and vacation time without guilt.

Over the summer, the CMG will conduct a survey of all members at all of our workplaces to provide an even better picture of the situation. The results will help inform bargaining and other possible solutions. Watch out for more information in your email.

CBC producer wins South Asian Journalists Assocation award
Sujata Berry, a producer working on CBC-TV’s The National, has won the South Asian Journalists Association award for outstanding story for her March 2007 piece “Who speaks for Islam.” To view the video, visit www.cbc.ca/national/blog/video/immigrationdiversity/who_speaks_for_islam.html.

The award is given out to an outstanding story about South Asia or about South Asians living in North America and is being presented on June 21 in New York City, during the SAJA’s annual convention.

TVO down, TFO to go
CMG members at TVO reached a new five-year agreement with management in May, two days before the strike deadline. A whopping 97% of members later approved the deal.

In June, the newly-independent TFO informed the Guild that it is suddenly interested in full-on bargaining to renew an agreement that expired last October. Management there had previously said they wouldn’t be ready to bargain until October 2008 because of the complexities of setting up what amounts to a completely new operation and the move to a new location. The CMG proposed a one-year contract extension with wage increase to allow management some more time to focus on other priorities before entering into detailed talks. That was not to be and bargaining for a new TFO deal will begin this summer.

Expanding S-VOX won’t recognize CMG as union for new employees
S-VOX, the company that runs specialty cable channels where CMG represents about 50 employees in Toronto, took possession of a local Vancouver-area TV station in late May. CHNU-TV was most recently owned by Rogers. Around the same time, S-VOX retained a new law firm who promptly sent a letter to the CMG saying the broadcaster won’t recognize the union as the bargaining agent for the new Vancouver employees.

S-VOX will take possession of another ex-Rogers station, this time in Winnipeg, in late June. Same story about the broadcaster’s refusal to recognize CMG.

Up to the end of May, the Guild had been getting different signals from management. The CMG believes the new employees have the right to be represented and the union is examining its options, legal and otherwise, for how to proceed.

S-VOX plans to rebrand the new stations as JOY-TV in the fall.

News services shed jobs in Montreal
Thomson Reuters and The Canadian Press both eliminated several jobs in Montreal over the past month. Thomson Reuters completely shuttered its editorial operations in Montreal. No CMG members were affected by the move; members working in IT and administration will remain open. The Canadian Press, meanwhile, is closing its French-language TV listings service at the end of June. Four positions are being eliminated, of which three are held by CMG members.

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