Canadian Media Guild, Canadian Broadcasting Corp., Agree on Principles as Basis for Tentative Settlement
The Canadian Media Guild, TNG-CWA, has reached an "agreement in principle" with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation that could be the basis for a tentative agreement and a return to work for 5,500 CBC workers who have been locked out for 50 days.
The parties remain at the bargaining table and are moving forward to put together the contract language that will be presented to CMG members for a ratification vote. Picket lines remain in effect while this process continues, the union said.
TNG-CWA President Linda Foley said solidarity among the locked out workers - and the strong support of unions in Canada and the United States - ultimately pushed management to move toward reaching a settlement.
"Our ability to sustain this struggle for nearly eight long weeks without losing support from even one of our 5,500 members made all the difference," she said. Foley also credited strong public support for the CMG members' concerns about jobs and quality programming, along with backing from elected officials throughout Canada and the Canadian union movement.
The parties have reached agreement on key issues, including management's "strong commitment to permanent staff as the standard for employment at the CBC." The corporation had sought to hire greater numbers of workers on a contract or temporary basis.
"We finally have established that there will be no runaway use of contract employees," said Arnold Amber, director, TNG Canada. Amber noted that this issue was the major battleground in the negotiations. The CBC workers include production, technical and administrative staff across Canada.
Other areas of agreement include:
Improved rights for contract and temporary employees.
A wage increase of 12.6 per cent over the life of the contract to March 31, 2009.
Full retroactivity for all employees on the payroll prior to the lockout, including contract and temporary employees.
A $1000 signing bonus.
A new "interpreters' premium" of $800 per year for northern employees required to work in more than one language