Canadian Media Guild (CMG) members at TVO will be in a legal strike position as of this Friday.
Union members – including journalists, producers, and education workers – at Ontario’s public broadcaster have been without a contract since October. CMG announced earlier this month that members had returned a strong strike mandate to the bargaining team with 95.8% voting to reject the employer’s latest offer.
CMG says it’s been unable to make progress at the bargaining table, primarily due to an Ontario Ministry of Education order to only create temporary contract jobs at the broadcaster, denying workers health benefits, job security, and stability.
The union alleges that following its refusal to sign a waiver entrenching precarious jobs during bargaining, a threat was made to cut jobs from TVOKids and The Agenda with Steve Paikin.
CMG also says the public broadcaster’s latest offer of 2.75%, 2.5%, and 1.75% increases over three years with a potential 1.75% raise for a fourth year is well below wage improvements workers need during an affordability crisis.
“It also comes after below-inflation increases since 2012, including three years of zero increases from 2012-2014,” the union stated in a release. “Moreover, this offer is well below the increases obtained in the latest noteworthy education, energy and health care Provincial settlements. Our members refuse to be professionally devalued by the Government of Ontario.”
A rally will be held in support of workers on Wednesday at noon outside the TVO offices at 2180 Yonge in Toronto, with Patti Coates and Janice Folk Dawson of the Ontario Federation of Labour confirming their attendance in a show of solidarity.
“The TVO workers believe it is time to stand strong,” the union continued. “Their fight is the fight of all Ontarians who are currently struggling to afford basic necessities such as food and housing. We call upon the Government of Ontario to withdraw these waiver demands and to grant the workers of TVO a fair wage increase so they can afford to live in the city where they work.”
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