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Report to the CBC Branch executive – May 31, 2009
By  CMG  •  Posted on  May 31, 2009

Human Rights and Equity Report
CMG-CBC BEC Meeting: Friday, June 5 and Saturday, June 6, 2009
Prepared: Sunday, May 31, 2009
Michael D’Souza
Director, Human Rights and Equity

Staff Rep: Human Rights and Equity
The National Executive Committee of the Canadian Media Guild on Saturday, June 30 voted to hire Terri Monture as a Staff Rep for Human Rights and Equity.

I’ve been talking about this position for sometime now. The hire is a culmination of a process started on the floor of the CMG Convention in Calgary in 2006. It was discussed extensively at the CMG/CWA-SCA Canada human rights and equity committee meeting in the fall of 2008 when activists from across the country came to Toronto to set the union’s Human Rights and Equity agenda. Committee members there made recommendations about prospective candidates and also about whom we needed to consult. The union explored all those suggestions and made contact with the people recommended.

We received 155 applications from coast to coast to coast of which an unusually large number, 100, were serious candidates. The hiring committee pored over those applications and brought the list down to about 20 and then went on to interview eight. Three candidates were invited to a second round of interviews. These were all difficult choices because of the astoundingly high caliber of candidates.

After a long and intensive process the hiring committee unanimously recommended Ms. Monture for the job. She comes to us from NOW magazine, an alternative weekly in Toronto where she’s been very active in her union, the CEP. She been active on the human rights and equity file there for years. She’s also been on the negotiating team for four collective agreements there. She brings a passion to this portfolio grounded in her Mohawk heritage.

Ms. Monture will work as a staff rep attending to the daily business of the union such as grievances, arbitration and bargaining. But her specialty is human rights and equity. We anticipate she’ll join us in mid June. The timing is impeccable. Mid June is when the CMG joins other unions at the CBC to talk to the corporation about the next action plan under the federal Employment Equity Plan. We’re also expecting her to join the TNG HRE committee at the TNG-CWA Sector Conference in Washington in June.

As you know this is a joint hire with CWA-SCA Canada, our parent union. At CWA-SCA Canada she’ll work on the Human Rights and Equity file promoting awareness of the issues at hand. She will not do regular rep work there, such as grievances, arbitration and bargaining.

Please join me in welcoming Terri Monture to our union.

Joint Equity Committee
I’ve already made reference to this committee in my comments about Terri Monture. The committee is scheduled to meet on Wednesday, June 17 in Montreal. The CMG has already sent comprehensive proposals in for this meeting. The proposals are for integration into the CBC’s next Equity Plan as required under the federal Employment Equity Act.

Outreach
On Friday, June 12 about 26 students from Elmbank Junior Middle Academy will visit the CBC. Christina Sorensen, who used to do tours of the Broadcasting Centre, is eager to help with this project. A large percentage of the students come from Somali backgrounds. These outreach projects are meant to promote journalism and the role the union movement plays in it. They, of course, also point out that the CBC is a good place to work.

On Wednesday, April 29 Vish Gajadhar, the production editor who cuts the headlines for The National, joined me on an excursion to West Humber Junior Middle Academy. Over the course of the day we spoke to about 150 students.

Fourth Floor Issues
I’m writing this report the day before the storm called News Renewal hits the National television newsroom. Every journalist working on the floor is expecting to be reassigned.

In the cuts the Corporation wiped out the research department that journalists on the fourth floor counted on for research on their projects. This included quick queries and deep research for documentaries and investigative stories. Journalists on the floor are wondering who will do the work now.

I expect Carrie May will have a comprehensive report on the Local Joint Employment Committee. The LJEC is doing some excellent work in Toronto.

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