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Addressing workload issues at CBC
By  CMG  •  Posted on  July 17, 2014

Dear CMG members at CBC,

Our workplace is undergoing a tumultuous transition at this time what with the public broadcaster’s financial struggles including and the DRAP cuts of 2012 and the proposed new plan that is being challenged by many within and without the corporation. The Guild has been at work building support across organizations and across the country. Even past CBC Board of directors members are now speaking out against the proposed changes and destructive budget cuts.  We, alongside many others over the next year and until the next federal election, will continue to press for increased and stable funding for our public broadcaster.

We are also concerned about the impact this is all having on those of you who will remain at your respective workplaces during this difficult phase of redundancies and reassignments, and more specifically, about the possible increased workload and expectations all this will place on many of you.  We want to remind you that your union is here to help.

Our Collective Agreement has language to deal with Workload issues.  Article 44 states that if an employee feels his/her ongoing workload is excessive, he/she should discuss it with his/her supervisor/manager. The discussions include such things as the nature and requirements of the assignment(s), available staff, facilities, objectives, scheduling, breaks, meal breaks and demands on the employee’s time.  Article 44 also states that there shall be no imposition of unreasonable workload upon any employee constituting a speedup.

If you are experiencing any of these, we encourage you to speak to your supervisor and/or manager immediately. If you are not satisfied with the outcome of these discussions, please contact your local or national union representative at 1-800-465-4149.

And a reminder that like any other citizen in this country, you have the right to be heard in the ongoing discussions about CBC, and you can share your views about the public broadcaster with your friends, neighbours and people in your community. Please read the communiqué we sent out in May on this subject.

For your convenience, here is the full text of Article 44 on Workload:

44.1 Definition
Workload is the amount of work assigned or expected in a specified time period.

44.2 Principles

-Workload is an important issue and managing it effectively leads to a healthy and productive workforce that benefits everyone.
-The promotion of a positive work / life balance benefits everyone
-Where a job involves an excessive workload on an ongoing basis it is not acceptable and must be addressed.
-The unique nature of the media industry makes some work at CBC/Radio-Canada unpredictable.
-Everyone (management, the union, supervisors and employees) has a role to play in managing workload.  Employees and managers will have access to tools and resources to assist in the management of workload.  When resources change, expectations need to be reviewed and adjusted accordingly.
-A culture that encourages breaks and meal breaks is an effective way to help with workload.
-A culture where everyone feels free to discuss workload and where there is receptiveness to workload discussions is essential to a healthy workplace.

The following process has been agreed as one method of addressing workload issues. Management and the Union are committed to monitoring workload issues through this process, and where appropriate, make serious attempts to resolve problems. The Local Joint Committee is one forum where these discussions may occur.

There shall be no imposition of unreasonable workload upon any employee constituting a speedup.

If an employee feels his/her ongoing workload is excessive, he/she should discuss it with his/her supervisor/manager. The discussions may include such things as the nature and requirements of the

assignment(s), available staff, facilities, objectives, scheduling, breaks, meal breaks and demands on the employee’s time.

Where an employee feels his/her workload is excessive, the employee may identify the issue to the local Human Resources representative or may request that their local Union representative identify the issue to the employee’s manager and/or local Human Resources representative. Once made aware, the manager will meet with the employee to discuss the issue.

When there appears to be a workload issue within a team or unit, workload meetings will occur as required. These meetings should include all employees of a working group who are affected and

supervisors/managers. In these meetings workload will be the primary focus of discussion.

Where it is agreed the workload is excessive, management will make serious attempts to resolve the problem. Such attempts will include seeking input from the employee. In addition, management may take such actions as:
-Re-assignment of duties elsewhere
-Re-assignment of the employee
-Assigning other persons to help with the workload
-Alternative work arrangements
-Re-examine scheduling of hours
-Planning ahead
-Workflow analysis
-Finding efficiencies
-Technological assistance
-Resource Review
-Examination of other factors including assignment locations and sites

Where the absence of one or more employees may create a significant increase in workload for other employees, management will review the issue(s) raised and look at a number of ways to attempt to relieve the workload issue(s). Expectations will be reviewed and adjusted accordingly, or backfill will be provided. Options may include assignment and re-assignment, the hiring of temporary staff to ease the workload and/or other arrangements within the workplace.

Where there is a disagreement between management and the employee(s) over the issue of workload or the proposed remedy, the local Union representative and the local Human Resources representative will meet to discuss. Should the issue not be resolved, it will be referred to the dispute resolution process, Article 16 (Dispute Resolution and Grievance Procedure).

Marc-Philippe Laurin
CBC Branch President


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