CMG is encouraged by a positive meeting with Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault where CMG CBC/Radio-Canada Branch president Kim Trynacity, asked the minister for targeted funding to convert 50% of temporary/precarious workers at CBC to full-time staff.
“Many of the temporary employees are Black, Indigenous and People of Colour,” Trynacity told the minister. “Converting so many temps to full-time will make the corporation more reflective of Canada, and go a long way to repairing a damaged workplace culture that must work to address issues of racism at CBC/Radio-Canada.”
Since the brutal killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, a groundswell of protest has emerged with rallies being held across the world to demand the end to systemic racism against Black, Indigenous and People of Colour. Within CBC/Radio Canada, employees have called for real change at all levels of the corporation, from decision-making, to the stories we cover and how we cover them, as well as equity and respect for BIPOC workers at the public broadcaster.
Several CMG members have spoken publicly about their experiences and the problems they’ve encountered in the crown corporation .
More than 1,200 employees, representing approximately 25% of the workforce at CBC/Radio-Canada are temporary workers who lack job security, and any certainty about future work. Many of these are generally younger workers from diverse backgrounds.
While not promising funding, Guilbeault assured Trynacity, and CWA-Canada President Martin O’Hanlon, that addressing issues of racism across Canada is a priority.
During the 40-minute meeting, CMG also stressed the need for a resumption of all CBC regional television news programming, which in some locations remain abbreviated during the pandemic. The union also sought assurance that future CBC/Radio Canada funding will be linked to a moratorium on job cuts. Since 2008, there have been continuous job cuts at the public broadcaster resulting in drops in employment, diversity, and news programming, as well as increased reliance on temporary workers.
Trynacity asked that public funding for CBC/Radio-Canada be increased to $50 per capita in the next budget to help stabilize the country’s largest news service and major cultural institution at this critical time. Overall federal funding has declined significantly over the years due in part to unfunded inflation, and compares poorly to the levels of funding for public service media in other countries.