Gains include better salaries, increased vacation, improved parental leave benefits, equity provisions, and the protection of editorial independence
CMG Bargaining Committee at VICE l.-r.: Raffi DerGhazarian, Happy Pharwaha, Justin Ling, Maggie McCaw, Deb Hong and CMG Staff Representative Federico Carvajal
Toronto, May 1, 2017 – Canadian Media Guild (CMG) members at VICE Canada have ratified their first collective agreement at the global digital media giant with major gains in salaries and benefits, stronger equity provisions, and measures to protect editorial independence. The agreement comes into effect immediately.
The deal between the union and the company was reached after nine months of intense negotiations and was tentatively agreed on March 31, 2017. The collective agreement comes into effect in time to mark International Workers’ Day.
With this first contract, VICE employees who unionized within CMG just under a year ago are securing working conditions they need and value as media workers at the heart of a leading media company in Canada.
In a ratification vote among CMG members at VICE Canada, the three-year agreement received the support of 94.7% of voting members. The collective agreement builds in pay equity provisions, provides general salary adjustments retroactive to January 1, 2017, guards editorial independence, provides increased vacation, doubles the number of paid sick days, improves parental leave benefits, strengthens protections for contract employees, and defends the right to do outside work and to access fair dispute resolution processes.
Employees will see immediate salary increases ranging from 2% to up to 52.5% based on the new negotiated salary grid, with an average salary increase of 9%.
“This first contract sets us on the right path here as workers at VICE,” said Maggie McCaw, a member of the CMG negotiating committee. “We organized because we all agreed that the long hours, creative passion, and professional experience we were investing here were not being recognized fairly by management. This agreement ensures that everyone at VICE will be paid fairly for the work they do and will be treated with respect across the board – from interns all the way up to managing editors. It is an agreement that all of VICE staff and management can be proud of.”
The President of the Canadian Media Guild, Kamala Rao, welcomed this first contract and congratulated Guild members at VICE in editorial, production, ad agency, post production and operations for their determination and their focus on tangible results that will improve their lives, both at work and beyond.
“CMG members at VICE have done what is required to make the improvements they deserve. They’ve pulled together in a union, our union, to strengthen their voices at work, now, and moving forward,” Rao said. “This is a day for celebration. Workers at VICE have demonstrated that securing fair pay and benefits, guarding editorial independence, and doing things like making gains in the areas of equity is still possible. They’ve shown that making things better now, as always, requires focus, a willingness to take some real risks, and to hold your ground collectively.”
CMG worked collaboratively with VICE to address a number of issues at the bargaining table, together. On a shared ongoing priority like pay equity, the union worked with VICE and an outside Pay Equity consultant to review the compensation structure at VICE and make recommended, individual, adjustments which are being implemented as a result of this study. As a part of the new agreement, the CMG and VICE will continue to do periodic, proactive, assessments to ensure pay equity is maintained.
About CMG The Canadian Media Guild is a democratic trade union that represents over 5000 members across Canada, including employees at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation / Société Radio-Canada, The Canadian Press and Pagemasters North America, Thomson Reuters, the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network, TVO, TFO, Corus, VICE, Zoomer, AFP and in private radio, as well as freelancers.
We believe a quality media system that serves all Canadians well is built on healthy organizations that treat workers fairly.