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CMG Policy: Travel and Expense

Amended by National Executive Committee, February 26, 2016

Given that the Canadian Media Guild is funded exclusively from members’ dues, staff and officers undertake to ensure money is spent judiciously.

Travel for the union should be undertaken as a function of essential union business. If any person disregards this travel policy they may be required to have management approval of all subsequent travel.

In recognition of our role as part of the wider labour community, Guild members and staff traveling on union business shall use unionized transportation and hotels, wherever possible and practical. In addition, CMG will encourage the use of unionized facilities when planning events jointly. All travel for Guild business must be submitted in advance and authorized prior to booking.

This travel policy governs all Guild members, elected officers and staff whenever they travel on union business. Any member authorized in advance by the NEC, a committee of the NEC or Branch Executive to travel beyond the local metropolitan area where the member is based shall be provided with transportation and accommodation plus meal allowances to cover costs of meals and incidentals.  Unexpected out-of-pocket expenses may be submitted for reimbursement if properly authorized.

Travel means any authorized trip extending beyond the local area where the employee or member is based. Local area shall normally include the metropolitan area, city or municipal limits, adjacent municipal areas and adjacent places such as airports, sports arenas etc.

MODE OF TRAVEL

The Guild office must be notified in advance of all travel. Travel details must be submitted on travel request forms to the Guild office prior to any travel being authorized. If a trip is changed or cancelled, the Guild office or travel agent will be contacted before the trip and as soon as possible.

Arrangements shall be made through the Guild national office using the Guild’s travel agent. In all cases, transportation should be obtained at the lowest possible cost, within reason. Common sense should be used to balance travel convenience with cost.  Wherever possible, unionized carriers will be used.

If travel by personal automobile to an official function outside the local area is economical, mileage shall be paid at the rate as published by the Canada Revenue Agency. Parking costs, toll charges and ferry rates will also be compensated.

CMG encourages travelers to Toronto to use the cheapest transport possible, including the Pearson UP Express Train or TTC Airport rocket instead for a taxi. Taxis should only be used when flights are arriving or departing outside of operating hours for alternative transport or if three or more people are sharing fare.

Car rentals should be booked at the lowest possible rate.

LOCAL TRANSPORTATION

The most economical form of transportation consistent with need should be used for local transportation.

When Guild work requires additional or off-hour transportation within the local area other than would occur in the person’s normal course of duties, CMG will pay mileage and parking costs or taxi or transit costs.

ACCOMODATION

Everyone travelling on Guild business is entitled to single room accommodation.
Guild members or staffs who opt for private accommodations with family or friends instead of a hotel stay can claim for allowable meals and incidentals, if required, in the same way as if they had stayed in a designated hotel. (Meals supplied as part of meeting packages are excluded).  Special requests for compensation to the hosts can be made to the management committee.  Transportation costs to and from private accommodation can also be claimed as long as they follow guild policy and do not exceed what it would have costs to stay in a designated hotel.

CMG members or staff performing Guild work or attending Guild related meetings in the same city as their workplace require prior authorization from Management Committee for hotel accommodations. Requests to Management Committee should be made within a reasonable period in advance of the meeting. In making any decision, management committee will as a guide consider the cost of available transportation vs. room and meal allowance cost as well as significant hardship.

Hotels with negotiated rates and direct billing arrangements will be considered preferred hotels for Guild meetings and travel.

TRAVEL EXPENSES

All business related travel expenses shall be submitted to the CMG office for reimbursement.

The Guild normally arranges to be billed directly by the hotel and pays for the cost of the room, appropriate taxes only so members are not obliged to bear this cost upfront.

In addition, the Guild will pay for:

All business related calls and work-related internet access charges for Guild related business.

Personal calls from home provided the number of calls and length is reasonable.

In order to avoid expensive hotel charges members and staff are urged to use cell phones or pay phones for calls.

The Guild will not reimburse:

In-room movies,

Minibar charges.

Everyone (staff, officers, members) who travels on Guild business must file a travel claim and reconcile expenses within ninety days as a best practice. Expenses claims submitted more than six months after the expenses have been incurred are not eligible for reimbursement. Exceptions shall be considered only in extenuating circumstances. (NEW 15/03/28)

All expense claims must be accompanied by itemized receipts (except for meal allowances). In order to verify expenses incurred it is necessary that original receipts or invoices be submitted with expense claims. This includes expense claims for hotels, meals not covered by meal allowances, duty entertainment, miscellaneous and ground transportation.

Unitemized credit card or debit card slips by themselves will not be accepted for expense purposes.

Any question as to whether an expense is reimbursable or not will be resolved by Management Committee.

TRAVEL ADVANCES

If time permits, an advance to cover the cost of travel will be issued upon request. This will not apply to anyone with an outstanding advance.

Members and staff are encouraged to submit their out-of- pocket expenses immediately upon completion of travel; the office will make every effort to cover these expenses immediately.

MEAL ALLOWANCES

The meal allowance shall be paid when staff, members officers travel on official Guild business. It shall also be paid to those who live within the metropolitan area where the Guild business is taking place, in cases when the work requires them to eat in a particular place. (As an example, members of a bargaining committee who live in the city where bargaining is taking place can claim a meal allowance for each meal encompassed by the bargaining sessions.)

The meal allowance is set at $60/day $15 for breakfast; $15 for lunch; $30 for dinner.

An incidental charge of $5/day will be paid for each overnight stay while travelling on Guild business.
While in the United States, the CWA   rate per diem in U.S. dollars will apply.

For part days or time spent travelling to or from an official function, individuals shall receive an allowance for each meal he/she is so engaged. This meal allowance is subject to an annual review.

When a meal is provided or paid for at an event or meeting, the meal allowance for that meal cannot be claimed.

OTHER BUSINESS EXPENSES

Business Meals & Entertainment (aka Duty Entertainment by NEC or staff representatives)

Duty entertainment should be reasonable and appropriate for the purpose of doing Guild related work.

Original receipts shall be submitted to accompany claims and will describe who attended and the purpose of the meeting.

CMG STAFF

In addition to the above, the following provisions apply only to CMG’s staff.

Internet Connection charges

Guild staff requiring internet access for Guild work purposes at home will be reimbursed up to $50/month provided they are submitted on expense claim with accompanying receipts.

Credit Cards

CMG will issue individual credit cards under a CMG corporate account to all staff representatives. Staff representatives are responsible for reconciling these accounts. These cards should be used for business purposes only.

Personal expenses will not be processed by the Guild office and must not be charged to Guild accounts.

Telephones

Guild staff representatives and the National President will be provided with a cell phone for business purposes. Any additional cell phones must be authorized by Management Committee.

Communication Technology

To reduce costs, where possible rather than physically travelling, technological solutions should be explored with regard to meetings.

RESOURCES:

Travel request and expense forms

Union Leave and Travel Procedures

 

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