Review of bargaining unit structure

Montreal, July 16th, 2015

The Canada Industrial Relations Board (CIRB) announced today the results of the vote concerning the merger of CUPE 675, STARF-CUPE 5757 and the SCRC. The SCRC (FNC-CSN) was chosen by 51,64% of employees eligible to vote. CUPE 5757 obtained 48,12% of the votes and 0,24% of the votes were declared invalid.

In the next weeks, the new bargaining unit will organize the transition and Radio-Canada’s representatives will work towards a new collective agreement with the new union.


Montreal, May 15th, 2015

The Canada Industrial Relations Board (CIRB) ruled today that the new French Services union structure will comprise two bargaining units. One of these units will represent members of CUPE 675, STARF-CUPE 5757 and the SCRC, while the other will represent Association des réalisateurs (AR) members.

Next steps following the decision on the new structure:

  1. June 15, 2015: Radio-Canada and the unions have until this date to file an application for reconsideration or suspension with the CIRB, or an application for judicial review with the Federal Court of Appeal. Filing such applications does not suspend the operation of the original decision.
  2. Employees will be asked shortly to vote electronically to choose the new bargaining unit that will represent them. Voting will be overseen by the CIRB.
  3. Post-vote: Negotiations between Radio-Canada and the new bargaining unit will begin.


Montreal, March 4th 2015

Filing of arguments for the new bargaining unit structure

On September 19, 2014, the Canada Industrial Relations Board (CIRB) ruled in favour of CBC/Radio-Canada’s application to review the French Services bargaining unit structure. The next step involved giving the public broadcaster and the four existing unions the opportunity to come to an agreement on the new structure. But because the parties were unable to agree, each was then required to file their arguments on the matter with the Board.

Therefore, this past February 2, the public broadcaster submitted its arguments to the CIRB, sharing its chosen vision for the new structure, which involves a single bargaining unit. On February 23, CUPE 675 and STARF Local 5757 jointly proposed a single-unit structure, as did SCRC, while the AR opted for two units. CBC/Radio-Canada now has the right to reply, and then consultations may or may not be held. The CIRB will then rule on the matter. After that, employees will vote to choose their future union(s) and how negotiations will work with that or those union(s).

AR appeal rejected by the CIRB

In fall 2014, the AR appealed the September 19 ruling by the CIRB. On February 20, however, the Board rejected AR’s appeal and application for review. The review process will therefore continue, as required under the ruling.


Montreal, September 19th, 2014

The Canada Industrial Relations Board (CIRB) today ruled in favour of CBC/Radio-Canada’s application for review of the bargaining unit structure for employees working in the province of Quebec and the city of Moncton.

That structure, in place since 1995, consists of four bargaining units. The Corporation believes that, to succeed in today’s highly competitive environment and properly meet audience expectations, the structure must be streamlined.

What comes next

  1. CBC/Radio-Canada and the four existing bargaining units now have 90 days to come to an agreement on creation of the new union structure.
  2. If the parties reach agreement, the CIRB may determine that the proposed structure is appropriate and rule accordingly. If an agreement cannot be reached, the CIRB will summon the parties and hear their arguments for the desired structure. At the conclusion of those arguments, the CIRB will issue a ruling.
  3. Whether subsequent to an agreement reached by the parties or a CIRB decision on the new union structure, unionized employees will vote on which bargaining unit(s) will represent them within the new structure.


Montreal, December 19th, 2012

Over the past few weeks, CBC/Radio-Canada has appeared before the Canada Industrial Relations Board (CIRB) to explain why it feels its union structure in Québec and the City of Moncton needs to be reviewed. The hearings are an important step in the review process undertaken by the Corporation in May 2012. Various witnesses have appeared, including French Services Executive VP Louis Lalande.

The competitive and technological environments in which the public broadcaster operates have completely changed since the late nineties. Emerging technologies have spawned a technical production revolution, causing a major shift in work methods and the way we use material resources. Providing concrete examples, CBC/Radio-Canada witnesses demonstrated how this radical digital transformation in content production and delivery has affected definition of job functions and blurred the divisions between various bargaining units on a daily basis.

The media has also evolved considerably. The rise of specialty channels has drained almost half of TV audiences. Webcasting has further fragmented the market. These factors as well as New media consumption habits and the propensity of the competition to distribute their own content have forced CBC/Radio-Canada to become much more flexible.

All these changes have also had a significant operational impact. If it wants to remain competitive, CBC/Radio-Canada must inevitably optimize human, material, and financial resources. Company management has represented before the CIRB that its existing union structure does not favour flexibility nor the agility provided by evolving production technologies. Furthermore, it has shown that work climate as well as employee development is affected by the current structure.

In February and March 2013, the company will resume its appearances before the CIRB in Montreal to give further evidence that its union structure is in need of review. Starting in April, the four bargaining units will then have the opportunity to present their respective positions.

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