Montreal employees of Global, a broadcasting network, turned down a so-called “final” offer from the employer, Corus Entertainment, to renew their collective agreement. Some 91% voted against the offer, with 90% of the membership having taken part in the electronic vote. The main stumbling block is protection of purchasing power, but benefits and the pension plan are also contentious issues.
With respect to wages, the employer’s offer of a four-year contract called for a lump sum payment for year one, followed by annual increases of 1.5% for each of the following three years. These hikes, which probably come in under the inflation rate, would have been largely funded by the employees themselves, who would have had to agree to reductions in the structure of wage increments.
“Global Montreal employees are united and determined, as reflected by the result of the vote. Their bargaining committee was given a very strong mandate to protect their purchasing power following several years of sacrifices. We will continue to be strongly mobilized, and in the upcoming days, we will submit a request for conciliation to Employment and Social Development Canada,” commented Anne Leclair, President of CUPE 4502.
These forty or so employees, made up of journalists, videojournalists and technical and support personnel, have been without a collective agreement since August 30, 2019. Negotiations began in early 2020.