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CMG-CBC Committee reports – December 2021
By  CMG  •  Posted on  December 22, 2021

Thank you to the numerous volunteers in CMG membership for their commitment and the countless hours they clock serving on committees, hearing your concerns, and meeting with management.

Here is a rundown of ongoing committee work, what we’ve achieved, and some of the challenges ahead. 

On behalf of the Branch Executive Committee (BEC), I wish you all a peaceful and safe holiday season.

In solidarity,

Kim Trynacity

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Joint Employment Diversity and Inclusion (JEDI)

Saïda Ouchaou-Ozarowski (Co-chair) – Toronto
Adrian Harewood – Ottawa
Sujata Berry – Toronto
Khaleel Mohammed – Toronto
Jann Shreve – Toronto
CMG staff representative: Terri Monture 

Following the expanded mandate that occurred throughout the CBC in the wake of the riots that followed the murder of George Floyd, and the subsequent racial reckoning that has happened across North America, it became apparent that the CBC needed to be more proactive and strategic with how it responds to its obligations under the federally mandated Employment Equity Act. As a Crown Corporation, the CBC is required to report its diversity statistics every two years to the Employment and Social Development Canada ministry.

The CBC must report its recruitment and retention policies for the four protected employment groups. These groups are Women, Indigenous People, Visible Minorities, and Disabled People. Currently, the CBC is not required to gather statistics for other groups, such as LGBTQ+ or neuro-divergent people.

The JEDI Committee is composed of Senior HR and Diversity managers at the CBC and representatives from the CMG and the other Unions. JEDI creates a Diversity and Inclusion plan in conjunction with the unions.  It’s reviewed and re-examined by the committee every two years.

 We reviewed the current plan and made some recommendations going forward:

1. Reviewed the DEL program that develops departmental leaders, managers, and directors out of the four protected groups;

2. Reviewed the recruitment and retention of the four protected groups. We are pleased to see that the hiring and retention of women and visible minorities has become much better and retention figures show that they’re holding steady, with women comprising almost 50.3% of the entire CBC population and visible minority hires holding in at a good solid 14%; however, it is in the recruitment and retention of Indigenous people and Persons with Disabilities that the CBC has a lot of difficulties. We have been discussing the reasons for this with them intensively.

3. The CBC plans to make half of its new hires into executive and senior management positions Indigenous, Visible Minority, or People with Disabilities (there are already at least 50% women in these roles).

4. Educational opportunities for workers will be expanded — Unconscious Bias training will be offered along with inclusive newsroom training and reporting in Indigenous communities. CMG is also providing opportunities for members to take diversity and inclusion training. 

5. CBC commits to identify new leaders among existing staff who identify as being in the 4 protected groups.

6. CBC will identify more mentoring and training opportunities for old and new workers from the 4 protected groups.

7. There will be a senior Indigenous advisor hired to oversee Indigenous recruitment and retention

Some of the things our committee has been pushing for:

1. The data ahead of time. We get tables and pages of statistics released the morning of the meeting. 

2. We would like a statistical breakdown of the 4 protected groups among the executives and senior management. They have never provided this to us.

3. We would like to find out if any of the DEL (Developing-Diverse Emerging Leaders) graduates are now managers. They have not provided this information.

4. We would like to find out what kind of complaints or issues have come forward with the Be Heard hotline; the CBC has not provided this information.

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National Joint Job Evaluation Committee:  

Tamara Baluja – Vancouver
Ron Boileau – Winnipeg
Brad Childs – St. John’s
CMG staff representative: Marianne Malo Chenard

The National Joint Job Evaluation (JE) Committee met three times this year. Much of the discussion centered on the remaining three of seven modified job descriptions written by the Corporation in the context of the Job Strategy exercise. Those outstanding job descriptions are for the following classifications: Associate Producer, Reporter/Editor and Video Producer. Progress has been slow and frustrating. CBC first agreed and then declined to provide the information our joint committee needs to make informed decisions, citing the effort it would take to do so. As a result, our CMG caucus has been doing our own investigations.

Three files were also escalated to the Job Evaluation Appeal Panel for resolution. One has been settled and another is headed to arbitration.

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National Health and Safety Policy Committee

Brent Cousland – Toronto
Faith Fundal – Winnipeg
John Lesavage – Toronto
Olivier Roy – Staff Representative

The Policy Health & Safety Committee (formerly known as the National Health & Safety Committee) is mandated by the Canada Labour Code to meet quarterly. For 2021, because of COVID-19, folks continued to meet remotely via ZOOM. The group has representatives from all unions and the employer.

The composition of the CMG side saw some changes. We bid farewell to Josée St-Onge and welcomed both John Lesavage and Brent Cousland. The unions, at our June 2021 meeting, and per the Policy Terms & References, elected a new Employee Co-Chair from our colleagues from STTRC, Marie André Charron. Since March 2019, Faith Fundal has served as Employee Co-Chair. They now return to being a regular member.

We are always grateful for the help and guidance of CMG Staff Representative Olivier Desharnais-Roy as we navigate the sometimes dense conversations surrounding this committee.

The corporation continues to update its Employee and Manager guidelines when it comes to COVID-19. The big news this year, as of December 1st, 2021, is that all employees are required to be fully immunized against the coronavirus.

REMINDER: CMG’s position on Mandatory Vaccinations

As of that date, the corporation says 98.7% of regular employees have declared their vaccination status: 1.3% are not yet fully vaccinated and half are in progress. Other measures put in place to reduce the risk of transmission, like physical distancing, mask mandates, and regular handwashing, remain.

People who are teleworking can now consider holding in-person meetings, and those who have difficulty working from home have the option of working on-site on a more regular basis. A re-integration approval framework is in place to address some of those concerns. With the Omicron variant and recent increases in daily cases, this may change quickly. Our suggestion would be to make it as broad as possible.

Many employees have yet to complete all the mandatory safety training modules. These include training on ergonomics, emergency preparedness, hazard prevention, physical safety, and the use of extinguishers. Please log in to Ed and complete them at the earliest opportunity. It will take a few hours to complete, and they must be completed during work hours (meaning you will be paid to complete them).

As of January 1st, 2021, the new regulations came into effect. The corporation also now has a policy in place: SEC-4 Prevention of Workplace Harassment and Violence. There is interim mandatory training for new employees, and more comprehensive training is being developed.

 Workplace Harassment and Violence is any action, conduct or comment, including of a sexual nature, that can reasonably be expected to cause offence, humiliation or other physical or psychological injury or illness to an employee. With many employees currently working remotely, it should also be noted that the Regulations define the workplace as any place where an employee is engaged in work for their employer.

If you believe you have been the subject of workplace harassment or violence, or have witnessed it, reach out to your local Staff Representative, your manager, or send an email to hv-complaint@cbc.ca.

A working group has been formed by the employer to revise the Alcohol and Substance Abuse Policy. A draft policy currently exists, though the unions have expressed concerns over the intent and portions of the policy. The working group is looking at the feedback and the Policy Health & Safety Committee expects to see the revised draft as soon as it’s ready.

Tokyo 2020 saw no positive COVID-19 cases for employees during the games. Employees working closely with an athlete were tested daily, and all others received tests every 7 days. The employer reported that Olympic organizers took COVID protocols seriously and followed up whenever violations of protocols were reported.

Planning for the Beijing Winter Games is in full swing. CBC/Radio Canada has re-appointed Dennis Graham as the liaison officer between the employer and Olympics organizers.

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Joint National Grievance Committee 

Kim Trynacity (Co-chair) – Edmonton
Maria-Carmen Gutierrez – Vancouver
Harry Mesh – Grand Falls-Windsor
Brent Cousland – Toronto
Pierre Millette – Ottawa
CMG Staff representative: Oliver Desharnais Roy

We closed several files this year and secured future training opportunities for a member, in other cases payments owed to members were resolved, and in our highest-profile case in recent history, we won a historic arbitration ensuring privacy rights for our members in early 2021.

Looking ahead to 2022, we are hoping to gain ground in our disagreement with CBC over the (2009) Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) on Surplus Pension Sharing and the Supplementary Health Care Plan. An arbitration regarding the MOA will be heard under Mr. Justice Dennis O’Connor in late February.

The MOA was signed in 2009 by CMG and established a formula whereby .01% was deducted from your cheque every pay period and placed into a Healthcare Fund.

The CBC considers the MOA expired and has refused to disclose any information surrounding the fund which we estimate to be approximately $43 million.

CMG, other CBC unions and Pensioner’s National Association, believe the MOA has not expired, and as such compels the CBC to be transparent about the status of the funds and its use. 

We will keep you updated.

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Consultative Committee on Staff Benefits (CCSB)

Kim Trynacity – Edmonton
Vik Adhopia – Toronto
Brent Cousland – Toronto
Murray Cullen – Halifax
Nola Keeler – Edmonton

The work of this committee has been hampered by the ongoing disagreement over interpretation of the 2009 MOA on Surplus Pension Sharing and the Supplementary Health Care Plan.

We have filed several grievances related to the arbitrary increase to our pension contributions, and failure of the CBC to disclose information to the committee about the Health Care Fund.

We were also shocked to be told our long-standing Employee Assistance Plan (EAP) board was being disbanded. This decision was made without any prior consultation or notice.

Despite the stalemate, we were able to establish a new and more efficient way of administering Special Assistance Funds (SAF) which maintains union involvement and oversite.

SAF funds are granted to members who incur medically necessary expenses which are not covered by Provincial, Territorial, or the CBC benefits plan.

Members are eligible to claim a lifetime maximum of $12,500 under the SAF.

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 National Joint Performance and Development Dialogue Committee

Heather Barrett – St. John’s
Debora Grant-Barkun – Ottawa
Michael Hillman – Vancouver

The PDD committee conducted a survey about what members think of the PDD system and some of their concerns with it. In general, the members surveyed think the PDD process is a good idea, however, there is a wide range across the country in how the conversations are happening between members and managers, and how the conversations are documented. Follow-up action based on the PDD process also varies widely.

There is still a low official turnout on the forms though this doesn’t mean that conversations aren’t happening.

If we could increase the number of people filling in the form, that would help with bringing numbers up.

A version of the PDD form is now available for temporary employees to use which can be filled in and added to their MySource profile.

CBC is exploring ways to see if we can pilot the form with temps in NCAL in conjunction with the Temp Project.

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