The Guild presented our position on negotiations when we met with the company this week. Here are the main points:
– No salary cuts for employees and a modest annual across-the-board increase.
— Preserving the pension and benefits plans.
— Better contract provisions for part-time employees.
— New measures to ensure Guild work is done by Guild members.
We clearly recognize that the company is in the middle of transition pains and, as we have said from the beginning, we are prepared to help. We are ready to discuss ways to assist the company in achieving some cost savings without sacrificing our working conditions or livelihoods.
Unfortunately the company is taking a different approach. The Canadian Press wants us to solve its financial problems and is pushing for unprecedented cuts.
Despite presenting an improved revenue forecast this week, the company piled on new major concessions. It wants to hold on to the millions of dollars we loaned them to help survive the pension crisis. The company also wants to eliminate early retirement provisions and implement a two-tiered salary structure affecting reporters, editors and photographers hired after ratification. This is on top of the deep salary and benefit rollbacks that were put on the table last month.
We have told them their approach is not only unrealistic, it would also be destructive to the future of the company.
The Canadian Press has told us its restructuring plan requires “time and capital investment” to succeed. We couldn’t agree more. Yes, the transition is difficult, but it can’t be done solely on the backs of employees.
We appreciate the strong support you are showing us and we hear what you are saying. We will continue to fight for a fair contract.
Your bargaining committee :
Keith Maskell, CMG staff representative