Since we last met with the Company in January, there’s been a change in the representation of Guild employees on the bargaining committee. Karen Wirsig is no longer part of negotiations and is leaving CMG, and we wish her well. We welcome Ashley Hayes and Joël Tétreault, a bilingual representative, who will lead our team going forward.
Over the past few weeks, our bargaining committee came prepared with comprehensive proposals for a new collective agreement that covered all our priorities, including monetary issues. The Company came to the table with an incomplete proposal package that did not address key concerns such as compensation.
One of the Company’s priorities was to reach an agreement with the Guild on a project to support local journalism. Our team agreed that local journalism initiatives are a priority, and worked hard to find terms that helped reach the employer’s goal.
Even though we’ve agreed to move forward in this one area, the two sides are still far apart on many other issues.
A major problem is that the Company is asking for concessions in many areas, including cuts to benefits and sick leave, as well as financial concessions from its largest group of employees (Group 3: Reporter/Editor, National Photographer, Foreign Correspondent, Photo Editor, Photographer/Photo Editor).
In previous rounds of bargaining, we all agreed to concessions that effectively saved the CP pension. It’s frustrating that now that we’ve done that, the employer is asking for even more sacrifices.
Enough is enough.
We are scheduled to meet again the next week and will keep you updated on any developments.
The Guild bargaining committee at The Canadian Press: