5%, 30%, 90, and/or 225%

First there was the 5%, which was kind of right by definition, but still dishonest. It is really more like 30% in practice.

Or is it? It depends. 30% or 5% of what? No one knows how many people work here on any given day. That’s a fact. It’s impossible to know. Some people are in the computer, some aren’t. Some have pensions, some are paid out of petty cash.

So now management “compromises” with 90 bodies, which the CMG says is really 225%. Still no mention of casuals – can they still stockpile these guys away like chestnuts? How about temps?

Not only are these numbers confusing, what with the dicey definitions, unknown base number, and the switching of units from percentages to human bodies, they are dishonest.

No other word for it: they are designed to confuse.

It’s a dirty trick, but I guess I shouldn’t be surprised?


  1. Anonymous
    Posted October 1, 2005 at 10:29 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Oh God, Anynoymous, talking through comments is frustrating, isn’t it?

    I AGREE with you. I agree with everything you say. I believe we’re saying the same thing.

    I don’t speak for the country, neither do you, we both would like to have a decent job and live comfortably and make some kind of useful contribution.

    The smartest thing anyone ever said to me about the CBC was that the CBC’s mission is noble and heroic, but we ourselves are not.

    I love that. Because our collective pomposity has always annoyed the hell out of me.

    I like you, Anonymous. I’m not trying to lecture you. Sorry I was unclear before.

  2. Anonymous
    Posted October 1, 2005 at 10:16 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Jesus demented said : “Repeat after me: it’™s not about YOU: it’™s about service to the people of Canada.”

    Sure, CBC is about service to Canadians. But this labour negotiation is about me, it’s about my job and I won’t be guilted into taking a crap offer because you think that’s what’s best for Canadians. It isn’t. Candians deserve quality service provided by committed professionals – the very best we can attract. We can’t get the best if we’re not willing to offer them real jobs, and we can’t nurture tomorrow’s best if they leave us for real jobs elsewhere. I think the union should have taken more of a stand frankly, and earlier. Casuals have always been the dirty secret more than contracts. I am, however, willing to entertain the idea of compromise – but someone had better offer me a better explanantion as to why the corp needs more ‘flexibility’ other than that ridiculous medical show example. We already hire people for the life of a show. Next explanation please.

    In the meantime, please don’t wag your finger at me like some disapproving school marm. If I’m self-righteous so are you – after all you’re the one with your heart in the right place right? You’re the one thinking of the Canadian public and trying to remind us to do the same? I don’t need reminding – I’m thinking about Canadians, and I’m also thinking about me, and there’s nothing wrong with that. My self-interest isn’t thinly veiled – it’s out in the open. I care about me. So? So do you. You’re not a martyr.

  3. 801
    Posted October 1, 2005 at 9:28 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    “let’s ramp down a bit on the rhetoric.”

    Well, a good start would to be not to lock your fellow broadcasters out with minimal provocation. That was quite the response to the only vote we got.

    Oh, how I miss the CEP! They got the job done without all this drama.

    Hmmm! You weren’t around in ’82 then………

  4. Anonymous
    Posted September 30, 2005 at 9:30 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Jesus Demented here.

    For 801 and wristshooter, maybe we’re just misunderstanding each other. Let me try again.

    You guys are in a union, and it’s a union’s job to look after the interests of its members, and it’s your job to look after yourselves and your families. That’s super, and I have no problem with you all working together to try to get what you want.

    What makes me crazy though, is when you act like this is some kind of apocalyptic battle of good versus evil, and you’re on the side of the angels. You’re not angels, we’re not devils. You’re not channeling Graham Spry – neither am I – let’s ramp down a bit on the rhetoric.

    Oh, how I miss the CEP! They got the job done without all this drama.

  5. Anonymous
    Posted September 30, 2005 at 5:25 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    What a nice gig you have. Writing and/or posting biting satire at 11:30 in the morning? On the company dime? On my fucking dime? Yeah, I’m a taxpayer. And a locked out worker. You should be ashamed of yourself.

    The only reason she wrote her “satire,” dear reader, is because Droner took the piss out of her earlier.

    Yeah, the Drone is passionate. He’s been locked out of his job. He’s got a right to feel anything he wants.

    And at least he actually feels something. You’ve had seven weeks to mention something/anything about programming and not a word. Nothing.

    Like I said, you should be ashamed of the public money you are wasting.

  6. Anonymous
    Posted September 30, 2005 at 9:35 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    .. it’s about dealing with pathologically ruthless, incompetent and visionless management..


  7. WristShooter
    Posted September 30, 2005 at 8:58 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    To the ‘Jesus, demented’ blogger:

    Just for you, I’ll skip all the hockey metaphors and shoot right for the upper right-hand corner.

    Don’t know if you work at CBC (probably not), but you’re either very naive or maliciously provocative. Do you seriously believe that any management — and, especially this group of managers (from Rabinovitch on down to many executive producers) who only know how to use fear and bullying — makes most of its decisions based on merit???!!! Do you even know why unions were invented? There is nothing self-righteous about holding principles that, above all, consider the interests of the audience, and there is even less self-interest in sacrificing months of pay (and potentially, the existence of the CBC)when most of us wouldn’t even be affected by all those proposed changes to the employment practices of the Corporation.

    Whatever the union rhetoric, I’d go out on a limb and say that for most of us it’s about dealing with ideological, ruthless, incompetent and visionless management. They can’t even get an URL in a $250,000 deceptive propaganda ad right…

  8. 801
    Posted September 30, 2005 at 6:35 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Re: ‘demented’ anony-mouse.
    ‘You guys got lucky, and by accident, got the moral high ground because you were locked out before you could strike.’
    So, really, for you, this, to give it it’s true, real name, is a strike..
    ‘Hold out past 10.25 (or is it 13.25) percent, and the high ground will slip away pretty quickly’¦’¦’¦’¦’
    And, of course, it’s REALLY about money……….
    Oh dear, oh dear. What does anyone say about such a world view.
    Maybe ‘get out more’.
    But you can’t. You’re ‘locked-in’. Apparently in more ways than one

  9. Anonymous
    Posted September 30, 2005 at 5:47 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    I’m with dilettante.I put away knowing a rainy day was coming.I didn’t know it would last longer then 40days and nights.7 weeks of hard earned savings I will never recoup through any offer.

  10. Anonymous
    Posted September 30, 2005 at 5:38 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    That ad shows their general ineptitude…
    underestimating employee resolve…

    spending 1/4 mill on ad campaign…

    forgetting a period in the web page address and having to suck up to a web squatter…


  11. ------
    Posted September 30, 2005 at 5:10 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Also, we seem to be the only ones concerned about the CBC and its audience. If the management spend as much energy on the CBC and its audience as it does on this sort of thing, we wouldn’t need to be going through this every three years.

  12. ------
    Posted September 30, 2005 at 5:05 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Is it in my interest to go without a pay for 7 weeks? You never make it back, no matter what is offered and settled upon. No, this is about principles. Have no doubt.

  13. Anonymous
    Posted September 29, 2005 at 10:23 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Jesus, are you all demented??

    Your ’śprinciples’ť are nothing more than thinly veiled self-interest.

    Repeat after me: it’™s not about YOU: it’™s about service to the people of Canada.

    Any time CBC makes a hiring/downsizing decision based on anything but merit ’“and we do, it’™s required by the collective agreement, which you should read if you haven’™t- we’™re putting the welfare of individuals ahead of service to Canadians. Get it straight ’“- it’™s not about the workers. It’™s about the audience. The rest, as they say, is housekeeping.

    You guys got lucky, and by accident, got the moral high ground because you were locked out before you could strike. Hold out past 10.25 (or is it 13.25) percent, and the high ground will slip away pretty quickly’¦’¦’¦’¦

    Honestly, I’ve never in my life seen so much self-righteous blather.

  14. Anonymous
    Posted September 29, 2005 at 9:26 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    THAT was the best boiled down version of happenings I’ve seen yet. The last poster “gets it”. I sure as hell believe in those principles (when they benefit me and when they don’t). They are noble principles and I’m willing to walk in circles for a long time to defend them. At least when I walk back in…or walk into another workplace, I’ll walk knowing I’ve done the right thing. Not just for me, but for everyone.

  15. Anonymous
    Posted September 29, 2005 at 8:49 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    This is not about dollars or manufactured per cents (5, 30, 225, or whatever).

    It’s about a commitment to employees who provide a unique public service.

    It’s about fighting to retain real job security. (For instance, making sure that people who’ve given a large part of their lives to the CBC have a chance to be retrained to work in another unit during a round of layoffs.)

    It’s about securing more people real jobs by preventing a Crown Corporation from expanding the exploitation of non-permanent employees.

    And in the end it’s about ideology, which means you either embrace the union’s stand or you don’t.

    Of course, it’s hard to imagine certain managers grasping any of this when they’re petty enough to come outside in a rainstorm and order locked-out workers away from the shelter of the CBC’s Toronto building.

  16. Anonymous
    Posted September 29, 2005 at 7:55 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Ah yes, another person who works for the privates who thinks we have a cushy existence. Well, it’s just not true. I’ve worked at both the CBC and in the privates. The pressures differ a little bit, but CBC workers punch a long hard, busy day like everyone else. As far as pay scale goes, it has been studied. If you work in a small market, you get paid better at CBC. If you work in a large market, you get paid better in the privates. But, then again, this is not about money. Again, there are more temporary employees (per capita) at CBC than in the privates. And I’ve never heard of a unionized private that doesn’t honour seniority and bumping rights in the event of a layoff. I am sure there would be hell to pay at any unionized private if the network tried to do what the CBC is trying to do to us.

  17. Anonymous
    Posted September 29, 2005 at 6:58 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    I work in privates. A couple of things. Check the layoff record of privates like CHCH, Global, Chum and compare them to yours…and i don’t mean the sweet goodbye deals, I mean lay offs….I’m betting there are more laid off privates working as casuals for CBC than the other way around….as for pay scales, calculate overtime, penalties (time card fraud) and tax free loot like benefits, and you’ll find you make more with more security….didn’t global get rid of pay scales out west not long ago? raises on merit….you guys got those? be happy you have programming to produce, because cbc isn’t far from buying it from the privates.

  18. Anonymous
    Posted September 29, 2005 at 6:46 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    really…then why aren’t you all with CEP?

  19. Anonymous
    Posted September 29, 2005 at 5:18 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Talk about having to state the obvious, but certainly anyone who lives in a relatively large city is NOT IN IT FOR THE MONEY. Have you seen the difference in pay scales for largers centres compared to the privates? Hello? I’d be making 40,000 a year more at CTV. I AM in it for a job I love, a corporation I used to love and public broadcasting, which I still believe in. And before I start getting hate mail from people in snmaller cities, I’m not suggesting you’re in it for the money, it’s just that you are probably paid equal or better than privates. Or you were.

  20. Anonymous
    Posted September 29, 2005 at 4:16 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    what truly disturbs me is that you people think a review by the heritage minister, or a public inquiry, or a senate committe or any other bullshit bureaucratic government warm and fuzzy will actually help any of us, causual, staff troughers, or contract gluttons…..whining about a mere 250,000.00 which is scot oakes’ travel budget for six months, is petty….here’s the deal folks, if you want to work and make money doing what you like, encourage your union to get it done, if you don’t give a shit about how much money you make, and have some idealistic vision of becoming a former journalist who’s now governor general because you’ve been an integral voice of canada…tell them to reject any deal offered….see at real estate school.

  21. 21stcenturyschizoidman
    Posted September 29, 2005 at 3:27 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Forgive me for recycling a tired quote from Apocalypse Now, but ‘the bullshit is piling up so high you need wings to stay above it.”
    I’m no expert in industrial relations, and although I support the union in this struggle, I get uncomfortable when I need someone else to tell me what the numbers mean.
    I’m hoping this
    “comprehensive offer”is just the first in a series of negotiating positions on both sides that will lead to a deal, and soon.
    Yes, this probably means the end for Rabinovitch, Smith, Stursburg, et al, but that won’t be enough …
    … I’m hoping this disaster forces the Heritage Committee to recommend a sweeping review of the CBC and its bureaucratic structure … and I hope that sweeping review leads to sweeping reforms.

  22. Anonymous
    Posted September 29, 2005 at 3:16 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Bang on post! Firstly, I am very disturbed about the fact that CBC management had a National Ad ready to post in Today’™s paper’™s, two days before they had presented their proposal to our bargaining team. The ad in itself is totally misleading. It asks Canadians and members alike to believe they are only looking to add a minimal of 90 Casuals a year (which in itself is and exuberant number). But what about that is more troubling and is not clearly stated is that the ad is that if those 90 people were hired under two year contracts, the following year they would still be able to hire another 90 people under 2 year contracts as well. Smoke and mirrors? I would say so.

    Don’t even get me started on CBC’s layoff language proposal.

  23. Anonymous
    Posted September 29, 2005 at 1:43 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Ok, look Rabinovitch is done. I personally know three national columnists who plan to call for his head repeatedly until it’s done (even the Sun for god’s sake). Less clear is whether Stursberg, Smith and Chalmers will quietly fade into nowhere land for this disaster. The politicians are spouting the line “three lockouts in five years!” as if they made it up themselves.

    Ouimet, I am very, very, very proud of you for writing this post. You have pissed me off with some ofyour posts, but this is truly the only real truth I have heard from management throughout this whole damned lockout. Senior Management is reading your blog, so are other middle and junior managers. Guys, wave the white flag. There was a moment of panic this morning when people read the “highlights” of the offer. But, once everyone read the fine print and realized the 90 contracts was a red herring and the rest of the language amounts to no rights inthe event of a downsizing (yes, most of us realize that’s why you’re doing this), we are back to being a united team. You hold the keys and we are broke, but we’ve outwitted, outlasted and outplayed you, senior management. You underestimated our resolve and just how willing CBC workers are to do the right thing. We are not cut from the same cloth as you (thankfully). And your jobs are in more jeopardy than ours. Have fun at the Heritage Committee. Dance Monkey, dance.

  24. WristShooter
    Posted September 29, 2005 at 12:19 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Okay, I’ve got to take a couple of shots in this sudden death overtime.

    First of all, I thought referees would be taking a closer look at dirty plays this year, and you’re right, Ouimet, it appears Management is trying to pretend that the puck went over the goalline. But when we go upstairs for the replay, here’s the question I have:

    How many new people does the CBC hire (on the average) every year? And I’m not talking about those “casuals” who get 5-day contracts. Is that number a lot greater than 90? Probably not. If it’s not, then the ability to bring in that many people every year is really a cheap shot behind the referee’s back. I would like someone reading this from the Guild to tell us. I think it’s a much better barometer of Management’s trickery than pouncing on the absolute number of 90, which when you compare it to the total of 5,500 CMG members (not even counting the rest) seems relatively small.

    My other question — and I am going off on a bit of a tangent, but Bob Cole does this all the time —
    is related to your recurring theme of “Where’s Bobby?” Does this guy have any understanding of interpersonal relations or is he also from Neutron? If the Labour Minister — the Labour Minister, not Joe Sixpack at the Air Canada Centre! — asks you as the CBC President to stay at the negotiation session, you STAY!!! It doesn’t matter whether or not you are a member of the negotiating team, YOU STAY! Maybe you don’t actually do anything, but you stay around. He’s the Labour Minister, and you don’t dis the Labour Minister. It’s not smart. It’s even less smart to tell the Minister that you can’t come back in the afternoon because you are “busy.” What possibly can be more important for the President of a major corporation than the existential question of whether or not this corporation is about to die?! And if there IS something more important, than perhaps he should resign and take that up fulltime. Our Bobby is sure no Bobby Orr of Industrial and Interpersonal Relations. Nor of public broadcasting. Perhaps of Real Estate Distribution. And, of course, of lockouts.

    Bottom line: Forget the numbers, FIRE BOBBY THE COACH!

  25. Nardi
    Posted September 29, 2005 at 10:34 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    why are you suprised by the smoke and mirrors act? Management has been dishonest from the start, we
    just caught on to it earlier.
    i guess i’ll have to check off more things i can’t buy off my mommy-to be-list.
    the CBC has truely DISGUSTED me!!!!

  26. Anonymous
    Posted September 29, 2005 at 10:22 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Today’s ad of $250K just adds to the Heritage cmtee case & file for Bobby’s spanking. Oh yeah the treasury board now looking also.
    Coffin waisted $1.5M.of taxpayers money. How much did Bobby waste on advertising $$$ so far on a Lock Out he created.

  27. Anonymous
    Posted September 29, 2005 at 9:13 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Here’s a less confusing number:
    a quarter of a million dollars for today’s CBC negotiation ad campaign

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