CMG Elections 2016 – Candidate profile: Kamala Rao

Candidate for CMG National President


I am a long-time member of the Canadian Media Guild and a Director on our union’s National Executive Committee.

I also successfully coordinated CMG’s “Champion Public Broadcasting” campaign in support of CBC/Radio-Canada during the 2015 federal election.

I’ve advocated for a more open and collaborative, member-driven union. That is because some real changes and advantages arise when we operate in this way.

A member-driven union is well-rooted within the membership, connected and attentive to members’ concerns. These concerns may range from public advocacy, to collective bargaining, to work scheduling gone awry, to ending sexual harassment at work.

No other organization is tasked in the same way with maintaining a focus on the terms and conditions of our day-to-day working lives.

From the perspective of members, our union ought to be effective against mistreatment and unfairness.

Our principal aim as a union should always be to improve working conditions and working life for members at all branches of CMG.

Why the focus on working conditions? According to the International Labour Organization (ILO):

“Working conditions are at the core of paid work and employment relationships. Generally speaking, working conditions cover a broad range of topics and issues, from working time (hours of work, rest periods, and work schedules) to remuneration, as well as the physical conditions and mental demands that exist in the workplace.”

Whatever the particulars, we all know that what happens at work, our experiences with work and our jobs, can significantly affect us.

The role of President is a key one. The President is meant to plan, collaborate, and ensure follow-through on our union’s intentions and commitments.

To be the kind of union we aspire to be, we need to maintain focus, presence, and allocate resources wisely and appropriately.

Together with Canadian Media Guild members and elected representatives, I aim to:

Improve working conditions and working life for members at all branches

Communicate regularly and clearly on members’ concerns and rights at work

Offer union-side education and training for CMG members doing union work

Bring back a union staff representative position based in Atlantic Canada

Invite participation from all CMG members in all age groups, across our full diversity

Coordinate advocacy with community-based supporters of our work

Pursue consolidation of the Canadian Media Guild and CWA-Canada – restructure our union in Canada. I am interested in simplifying our structure and allocating more of our resources towards our union’s core priorities.

Seek term limits for full-time paid elected positions in our union

Deliver a comprehensive annual report to members on CMG’s overall performance

These goals ultimately require collaboration and agreement with other CMG representatives and members, including at the local level, with branches, and with the national executive. I commit to advancing proposals for achieving these aims together.

CMG members work at APTN, The Canadian Press, CBC/Radio-Canada, Pagemasters, Shaw Media – Corus, Thomson Reuters, TFO, TVOntario, VICE Media, ZoomerMedia, in private radio, and also as freelancers.

Members make our union.

Our Union – For Real.

I would welcome your support and appreciate your vote in the upcoming CMG election.




Personal background:

My first TV job was as a videographer on a weekly youth-oriented CBC show in 1992. The program, Road Movies, featured eight young videographers journeying separately throughout Canada. In that role, I researched, shot, scripted, and presented short video features, reporting solo from British Columbia, Alberta, NWT, Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Newfoundland and Labrador.

Most recently, I’ve worked at CBC Radio with the Syndicated Audio service at CBC News. Our unit works with local morning, afternoon and weekend CBC Radio programs. Prior to that, I worked as a chase producer at CBC News Network.

I’ve done a stint at CBC’s Arts Unit and been involved in network special programming. I’ve also been based at CBC’s The National, worked on Straight From the Hip with Judy Rebick, and the CBC Newsworld debate program, Face Off.

During my career, I have produced news items, longer-form pieces, one-on-one feature interviews, regularly scheduled panels, and current affairs and news interviews for both radio and TV.

As far as day-to-day preoccupations go, I am interested in social movements, cultural currents, electoral politics, economics, and lots and lots of journalism.

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