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CMG Elections 2020 – Candidate profile: Jonathan Spence

Jonathan Spence for CMG Secretary-Treasurer

I’m a union activist through and through.

I’ve been an activist with the Canadian Media Guild (CMG) since just prior to the CBC/SRC lockout in 2005. I have participated in the Toronto Labour Day parade almost every year since then, with my family – usually driving the truck.  We need a strong national union, particularly at this time. I will help with that.

I have served previously as National Secretary-Treasurer and I know the importance of the role and what it requires.

I’ve held many positions within our union:

    • CBC /SRC Branch – President, Vice-President, Treasurer

    • National CMG – Secretary-Treasurer, National Executive Committee

    • National Trustee

    • Toronto Location Unit – Director, New Members

My committee work is extensive. Of note, I was one of the lead bargainers in the last round of collective agreement negotiations with the CBC/SRC (2019).  I also negotiated the last agreement with the CMG staff union (2013).

My work includes finance committees at all levels of the union and serving as a director on a Labour Sponsored Venture Capital Corporation for our parent union, CWA/SCA Canada. I’ve participated in several bylaw and policy committees over the years.

These are some important and successful initiatives in which I have either participated or was the main proponent:

    • Gradual removal of the cap on dues to treat all members as equal dues payers. This began in 2008, with the cap lifted this year.

    • Bystander training – now being implemented jointly by our union and CBC/SRC

    • Created first ever Governance Principles for the CMG

    • Purchase of our new CMG office thereby increasing the funds available for CMG by millions

    • Assisted previous President in the discovery and correction of continuing and significant overpayments to our parent union

    • As National Secretary-Treasurer, previously, I successfully added to our reserve fund every year. This enabled the purchase of the CMG office and subsequent savings (rent was about 25K/per month previously)

    • For 2 years in the late 2000s, I sat on the National Temporary Committee and we made improvements for more than 300 temporary workers at CBC/SRC, with many members being converted to full-time status.

    • As President of the CBC/SRC Branch, I sat on the Joint Employment Equity Committee, underscoring the importance of that committee for our union and our commitment to improving equality in the workforce. We increased the number and length of meetings per year and encouraged the regular attendance of  Vice-Presidents of the Corporation.

At CBC/SRC I have worked in Finance for the last 17 years and I’ve completed several years toward a CA (Chartered Accountant) certification.

How we spend the union’s money reveals our priorities. Making sure it is directed properly and correctly is key.  While the position of National Secretary-Treasurer is technical, it is also political.

I have been encouraged to run for and step into this position by several colleagues who feel that oversight needs to be strengthened under the current mandate.

I know the rules. I will enforce the rules. If those rules are broken I will communicate that to you. Our money must be spent to further our principles. You work hard for your dues, they should be spent on your priorities.

In solidarity,

Jonathan Spence

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