Big news today from the CBC… on the Eve of the start of the NHL season, the CBC and its’ workers have reached an agreement in principal.
The best information on what the final contract looks like seems to be coming from the Media Guild union website:
It’s a 4 year deal.. with an average wage increase of 3.15% per year… and a “commitment” to value permanent employment over contract positions.
Here are some initial highlights of the deal:
- We have a strong commitment to permanent staff as the standard for employment at the CBC.
- We have improved rights for contract and temporary employees.
- Wages will increase by 12.6 percent over the life of the contract to March 31, 2009. There will be full retroactivity for all employees on the payroll prior to the lockout, including contract and temporary employees. There will also be a $1000 signing bonus.
And for the first time for our members in the Northern Service, there will be an interpreters premium of $800.00 per year for those who are required to work in more than one language. [This recognizes the fact that most in the North speak an Inuit tongue, rather than English… not to mention that CBC North broadcasts a significant amount of native language programming.]
I’m glad to see that some sort of resolution has been reached. It’s a travesty that our National Public service has become so anti-journalism and anti-public-good. We all know that a TV network is only as good as the people who deliver it every day. If you’re not willing to support those people, then how do you expect them to perform well and you to retain them?
The CBC needs to get back to its’ roots. Get back to its’ mission of connecting all Canadians. It seems that the only facet of CBC that accomplishes that goal right now is the Sports… and even they have bungled that so much recently that Hockey Night in Canada is the only program that succeeds in bringing people in. Actually, that’s not true, there is Red Green.
Dump the Simpsons.
Dump Chilly Beach. Dump Tom Stone.
Start creating some Made-In-Canada childrens shows… Mr. Dressup is timeless, but he can only go so far.
Stop trying to recreate HBO series with low-budget Canadiana and give us some prime-time learning to complement the Nature of Things. David Suzuki, while being and excellent presenter, has his drawbacks…
We need a Public Broadcaster that once again informs us, teaches us, without indoctrinating us. It must connect us with issues and feelings that are truly Canadian, and is not afraid of spending some cash in the process.
Anyway, I’ve said my piece… I’m just glad they’ll be a hockey game on Saturday. I can rest assured that those goose bumps that I feel everytime I hear the theme song will appear once again as I sit down to watch my favourite team take to the ice.
Go CBC Go.