Category Archives: Site Updates/Additions

Open letter to Minister Joly

“Minister, we cannot hold elected representatives and powerful private institutions to account when there is no journalist to cover the story, investigate it, analyze it, publish it or broadcast it.”

Minister, it’s on our watch

Minister Joly,

You have stated that “everything is on the table” as your government embarks on a digital re-set of our $50-billion media industries.

From film production and TV broadcasting to internet streaming and news journalism, your ministry’s current public consultation will touch on core Canadian values, our expression of who we are, and our access to the information needed to hold political leaders and powerful institutions to account.

We write to you today as members of Unifor – Canada’s largest union in the private sector, representing 310,000 Canadians including 12,000 media workers and journalists. As the voice of those working in this important industry, with an especially large presence in local TV, print, and digital news coverage, we encourage you and your cabinet colleagues to keep in mind three things during the big media rethink.

First, no matter how globalized the digital world becomes, we can’t lose sight of the basic principle of supporting Canadian news, information and entertainment in our media. Government assistance and regulation has always been our hedge against the natural tendency of American media to overwhelm our media and our sovereign identity.

Second, our governments have long supported Canadian media through film production tax credits and government funding for the CBC. Thanks to government regulation, large media companies have provided important financial support for independent film productions funds and local TV. That support needs to continue and be adjusted to the new digital media environment.

Third, digital disruption has revolutionized the media advertising market, and not to Canada’s advantage. Large media companies - particularly large US tech giants – have gobbled up this country’s media advertising market. Canadian news providers are being starved for the ad dollars that allow them to provide free or low-cost news to Canadians. That flow of Canadian news and information is vital to our democracy. Let us not mince words: the financial viability of news coverage is in peril.

Minister Joly, as you move forward with public consultations on Canada’s media landscape, Unifor urges intelligent regulation to protect what Canadians value most. We look forward to meeting your committee to discuss the problems we see on the ground as media workers and journalists, and offering some of the solutions that can help.

Sincerely,

Canada’s Journalists and Media Workers

Unifor’s 11 page submission to CCDW can be found at: www.uniformedia.ca

 

 

 

 

 

FEBRUARY UPDATE

FAMILY DAY

BC’s Family Day on February 8th is just another day at work for Unionized employees.  Some members have decided to use their one Union floater day on the 8th, however it is not mandatory.  We were unsuccessful in getting the Company to recognize this provincial stat, they do recognize BC Day in August and Remembrance Day in November.

BENEFITS OF BENEFITS

Rogers wealth accumulation program and employee discount program are now available to all unionized employees at CITY and OMNI.  Contact a member of the Executive Board or any fellow member who has signed up to find out how to take advantage of these great offers.

IMPORTANT PENSION CHANGES

Rogers has announced they are no longer going to be offering a Defined Benefits (DB) Pension to new employees, opting to offer a less attractive Defined Contribution (DC) Pension. Current employee will remain in the DB plan. Over a dozen members who are currently not taking advantage of this very generous DB plan have until June 30th, 2016 to sign up or you will lose out.

Many employees who were laid off last May and had been in the plan since 2009 were paid out over a $60,000 benefit from Rogers DB Pension plan.

CRTC UPDATE

COMMISSION DENIES UNIFOR COMPLAINT

CRTC Decision 2016-8 denied the applications by Unifor Local 723M and Urban Alliance on Race Relations for an expedited public hearing into Rogers’ May 2015 decision to cancel local third-language newscasts on its OMNI stations.

Ontario CRTC commissioner Raj Shoan disagreed with the decision and said that the CRTC should have taken this opportunity to undertake a review of the 1999 Ethnic Broadcasting Policy in conjunction with this decision.

While the CRTC spins its wheels with bureaucratic process Vancouver’s Cantonese, Mandarin and Punjabi communities will continue to be denied the daily local ethnic news Rogers promised Canadians when it received its licence renewal for OMNI just last year.

That said, the OMNI cuts issue has come up several times during the CRTC’s current public hearing on local television.

Let’s Talk Local TV News

Local President Steve Hawkins appeared in front of the CRTC’s current hearing into local TV news, on Thursday, January 28th.

He called for stronger conditions of licence to require Rogers to provide the levels of local news programming they promised Canadians when they were allowed to purchase CITY and OMNI.  He said the CRTC’s lack of conditions of licence allowed Rogers to make programming changes that resulted devastating job loss.

From his presentation:

“Some have asked if local programming on OMNI and CITY in western Canada is the canary in the coal mine for local news.  If it is, that canary is lying on the bottom of the cage and its future prospects don’t look very good.  It’s being starved of the resources it needs to survive”.

He also called on the CRTC to conduct a separate review of the Ethnic Broadcasting Policy.

A full transcript of his presentation can be found on the Local web site: www.unifor830m.ca.

Video of the presentation can be found on CPAC2, Jan 28th, second posting at 1:45 to 2:05

Interestingly, when the Urban Alliance on Race Relations (the 2nd party to file an application on the OMNI cuts) appeared on Friday – emphasizing ethnic communities’ shock at the CRTC’s unwillingness to take action over the cuts – the CRTC’s Chair, Jean-Pierre Blais essentially said that Rogers was not yet off the hook for local news, and that he very much hoped the Alliance (and others) would be involved in the spring 2017 renewal process.

The CRTC will likely be sending out broadcasters’ television licence renewal application forms this September, for a hearing in March/April or even earlier – Jean-Pierre Blais’ term as CRTC Chair ends 7 June 2017:  if he wants to set his mark on the renewal decisions, they would probably have to happen by February, to permit the decisions to be issued within the next four months.

Stephen will be travelling to Ottawa in the first week in February to call on the new Liberal Government to require the CRTC to act on these important policies and to support the work we do in providing local news and local programming on CITY and OMNI

Re-Newed Executive Board

 

Vice President: Tanya Luciani

Woman’s Advocate: Tasneem Razvi

Secretary: Cindy Leong

Treasurer: Gerald Christenson

Executive Members Contact Info 

 

CRTC Update

The CRTC is conducting hearings into the future of Local Programming. Unifor National and your Local Union have made detailed Interventions and hope to appear in front of the Commission at the end of January 2016.

Unifor is hopeful the new Liberal Government will listen to Canadians and act in support of local Canadian programming in ways the previous Conservative Government refused to.  It’s been five months since two complaints were launched against Rogers decision to cut local ethnic news programming across the country.  The new Liberal Cabinet can instruct the CRTC to require Rogers to live up to the commitments they made to Canadians when they were granted their OMNI broadcast licences in July 2014.

830M Comments on Broadcast Notice of Consultation 2015-421

Unifor National Submission BNOC2015-421 

 Wealth Accumulation & Discounts

The Company will be signing up Unionized employees for Rogers wealth accumulation program and cellphone discounts in the weeks ahead.

If you have any questions or experience problems enrolling contact an Executive Board member and we will help you out.

 

Annual General Membership Meeting

Unifor Local 830M

Annual General Membership Meeting

Wednesday, November 18th, 2015

Multi Purpose Room 1 at Creekside Community Centre has been book for meetings at 10 AM and 12:30 PM.

 

On The Agenda:

  1. Update on presentations to the CRTC by Unifor prior to January public hearings
  2. Wealth Accumulation Q&A (Sunlife to present on Tuesday, Nov 24th at 10 & 1:30)
  3. Changes to the Collective Agreement Q&A
  4. Union Elections for
  • Vice President
  • Secretary
  • Chief Steward
  • Women’s Advocate

Please consider helping out in one of these important roles.

 

Local by-laws require that you notify someone on the current executive board prior to the day of the election of your intent to run for office.

Vice President: vacant (elected odd years)
By-Law: 2.2.2 Vice President
The Vice-President shall act in place and instead of the Local President in the event of the latter’s inability or refusal to act.
Secretary: Cindy Leong (elected odd years)
By-Law: 2.2.3 Secretary
(i)  The Local Secretary shall conduct the correspondence pertaining to the business of the Local and shall keep the official records of the Local.
(ii)  The Secretary shall give notice of all General, Special and Executive Board Meetings.
(iii)  The Secretary shall record minutes at all General, Special and Executive Board Meetings
Treasurer: Gerald Christenson (elected even years)
By-Law: 2.2.4 Treasurer
The Treasurer shall have charge and custody of, and be responsible for, all funds and securities of the Local, receive and give receipts for all monies due and payable to the Local and deposit such monies in the name of the Local with such banks or other financial institutions authorized as depositories by the Local Executive Board.
Chief Steward: vacant (elected odd years)
By-Law: 2.2.5 Chief Steward
(1)The Chief Steward shall assist the President and Vice-President in the administration of the collective agreement.
 
Stephen Hawkins
Local President, Unifor 830 M

Memorandum of Agreement 2015 to 2020

Thanks to the many members who showed up to one of our four ratification meetings today. The memorandum of agreement was enthusiastically accepted by the membership.

Memorandum of Agreement 2015 to 2020

RATIFIED, September 8th, 2015

Next Step

Annual General Membership Meeting

November 2015, TBA

  1. Membership Education

  2. Wealth Accumulation Q&A

  3. Changes to the Collective Agreement Q&A

  4. Union Elections for:

        • Vice President
        • Secretary
        • Chief Steward
        • Women’s Advocate

Anyone interested in an executive position should contact:

Stephen Hawkins:  president@unifor830m.ca

Mark Cameron: mark.cameron@unifor.org

 

Stephen Hawkins
Local President, Unifor 830 M
president@unifor830m.ca

Ratification Vote

Dear Unifor 830M Member:

Your Bargaining Committee met with the Company over several days and has developed a memorandum of agreement that we recommend you accept. You must attend one of four meetings to get the specific details and cast your vote.

The results of this vote will affect your working life for years to come, so please take the time to show up. There will be food and beverages.

Tuesday, September 8th, Four Meetings: 10AM, 12 Noon, 2PM & 4PM
Creekside Community Centre, Meeting Room 2

Stephen Hawkins
Local President, Unifor 830 M
president@unifor830m.ca

Response by Unifor Local 723M to the CRTC

Thanks to  the thousands of Canadians who have expressed their great concern about Rogers decision to shut down multicultural newsrooms across the country, and especially to the over 880 individuals that took the time to register interventions in support of our efforts at the CRTC to hold Rogers accountable.
 
This is the final response document in Local 723M’s current complaint process; this is not the final chapter for daily multicultural news in Canada. 
In this election year the Canadian Government has the responsibility to call on the CRTC to act on this important matter.  Rogers will also be required to tell Canadians why they are the best Company to be entrusted with five of Canada’s six multicultural broadcast licences as they apply for license renewals in 2016/2017. 
Hopefully we can continue to count on you for support as we participate in this important process.
 
Stephen Hawkins
Local President, Unifor 830 M

 

DRAFT Local By-Laws, Nov 2014

 

BY-LAW AMENDMENTS

 

Submitted at the General Membership Meeting of Unifor 830M, November 13th, 2014.

The following motion is presented here by the Executive Board to the General Membership in accordance with By-Law 7.1 of the current (2005) By- Laws.

ARTICLE 7     AMENDMENTS

7.1 These Bylaws may be amended by two-thirds (2/3) majority vote of members in good standing at a General Meeting, provided that any proposed amendment is posted at least ten (10) days prior to such General Meeting.

Motion: 

That the current By-Laws (2005) for Local 830M be replaced by the following By-Laws (November 2014) and submitted for approval to the National Unifor Union for approval.

Procedure:

As noted above, amendments to the By-Laws must be made with 10 days prior notice to a general membership meeting at which the proposals are being presented to vote on. Because these By-Laws are replacing the 2005 By-Laws, amendments may be made at the meeting to the proposed new By-Laws. The support of a two-thirds of members in good standing at the meeting is required to pass these new By-Laws.

Explanation:

  1. To update the change from CEP to Unifor.
  2. To reflect and identify obligations and considerations of the Unifor Constitution (2013).
  3. To better organize and clarify the administration and operation of Local 830M for all members.

BY-LAWS Unifor830M Nov 13th-2014 (PDF Version)

 

Nanos survey finds Canadians skeptical about CRTC TV proposals

Toronto (September 5, 2014) – On the eve of a CRTC hearing that could result in the gutting of Canada’s TV rules, a new Nanos survey released this morning finds the sweeping changes up for consideration next week are on shaky ground with Canadians.

The survey found more than half (54%) think it is unlikely that unbundling cable TV packages to allow consumers to pick and pay for only the channels they want will result in lower TV subscription costs.  Only one-in-four (24%) believe the federal government’s promise of lower prices while 62% believe cable and satellite companies who say prices won’t go down by unbundling TV packages.

Even with the prospect of lower subscription costs, 41% of Canadians say pick and pay and other changes should not occur because of potential damage to the economy and Canadian programming, while 43% believe the changes are acceptable.

According to the survey, Canadians place a very high level of importance (84%) on local news, yet this kind of programming is threatened by the CRTC’s proposals.

“Local TV stations across the land, especially in smaller markets, will shut down and investment in Canadian programs will plummet if the CRTC adopts rule changes it has broached in its review of TV policy, says Ian Morrison, spokesperson for the watchdog group Friends of Canadian Broadcasting which commissioned the survey in collaboration with ACTRA and Unifor.

“This poll shows that regardless of the platform upon which content is being delivered to viewers, the CRTC is trusted to ensure support for Canadian programming, to strengthen diversity in the system, and to use its authority to affirm the cornerstone place of the CBC,” says Stephen Waddell, National Executive Director of ACTRA.

By a very strong margin (68% agree), Canadians want foreign Internet broadcasters like Netflix to abide by the same rules as Canadian companies.  They also want foreign companies to contribute financially to new Canadian programming.   More than half (52%) completely disagree with the notion that these companies should not be required to financially contribute to help support new Canadian programming.  Of note, if Netflix and Canal + contributed to new Canadian programming, the positive impressions of those organizations would increase for most people (69%).

Other findings from the survey include:

• Canadians are satisfied (46% satisfied/25% somewhat satisfied) with the choice of US and other foreign programming that is available to them.

• Canadians place most trust and confidence in CBC and the CRTC to protect Canadian culture and identity on TV  (report pages 13 to 18).

• Canadians see the CRTC as responsible for protecting Canadian TV and radio content (page 5), strongly support the goals of the CRTC (report pages 19 to 23), and see a need for the CRTC today (report page 24).

• The vast majority of Canadians would like to see funding for the CBC stay at the same level or increase while only 10 percent would like to see CBC funding decreased.  Among federal Conservative supporters 51 percent would like CBC funding to be maintained, 25 percent would like to see CBC funding increased and 21 percent would like to see funding decreased.

• Canadians see the CBC playing an important role in strengthening Canadian culture and identity. The intensity of views on this opinion has increased over the past year.

“We have given evidence to the CRTC that the regulatory changes under consideration could cost the Canadian economy more than 31,000 jobs and almost $3 billion, a devastating consequence. Eliminating simultaneous substitution alone is a $300M revenue loss from Canadian media companies to American broadcast giants,” says Randy Kitt, Media Chair at Unifor.

Nanos conducted a random telephone survey of 1,000 Canadians between August 16th and 25th, 2014. The sample included both land- and cell-lines across Canada. The results were statistically checked and weighted by age and gender using the latest Census information and the sample is geographically stratified to be representative of Canada.

The margin of error for a random survey of 1,000 Canadians is ±3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

ACTRA (Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists – www.actra.ca) is the national organization of professional performers working in the English-language recorded media in Canada. ACTRA represents the interests of 22,000 members across Canada – the foundation of Canada’s highly acclaimed professional performing community.

Friends of Canadian Broadcasting is an independent watchdog for Canadian programming and is not affiliated with any broadcaster or political party.

Unifor is Canada’s largest union in the private sector, representing more than 305,000 workers, including 14,500 media sector workers. It was formed Labour Day weekend 2013 when the Canadian Auto Workers and the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers union merged.

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For information:

ACTRA: Carol Taverner 416-644-1519 ctaverner@actra.ca

Friends of Canadian Broadcasting: Jim Thompson 613-567-9592 jim@friends.ca

Unifor: Randy Kitt, Unifor Media Council Chairperson 416-529-5152 (cell)  rkitt@unifor79m.ca

The complete Nanos Report is available here.

 Full page ad in the Hills Times