In addition to the numerous elected officers in locations across the country, the CMG has a group of nearly 20 paid staff who are stationed in the Guild’s national office in Toronto as well as regional offices in Vancouver, Ottawa and Halifax.
Elected officers are responsible for setting the direction of the organization. The National Executive Committee (NEC) sets the union’s overall priorities, applies the bylaws, creates an annual budget and manages the Guild’s finances. Branch Executive Councils (BECs) do the same for their branch, just as Location Unit Executive Committees (LECs) do in individual locations.
Guild staff are responsible for the day-to-day functioning of the CMG and turning the union’s plans and priorities into reality. Administrative personnel look after the membership database as well as the various technological systems that support the work done at the CMG office; keep track of all spending; design and execute communications strategies and campaigns; and help ensure that any calls or e-mails from members or the public are directed to the appropriate person. Staff representatives are responsible for negotiating, interpreting and enforcing the collective agreements with our various employers. All staff also serve as advisors to the elected officers; they offer their expertise and recommendations.
These two groups depend on each other, and most Guild initiatives – particularly the big ones – can’t go ahead unless there’s a lot of collaboration. It’s important to understand and respect the basic parameters of the various job functions to avoid misunderstandings. By way of example, staff reps are assigned by the senior staff rep, not by the NEC. Decisions about advocacy issues (e.g., support for public broadcasting) are made by the elected officers, and then staff may be assigned or directed to develop and implement a communications strategy.
If you are not clear exactly who you should approach with a question or on an issue or initiative, just ask your Guild colleagues or CMG (firstname.lastname@example.org)