Screwed, factually

I guess we should be shocked by the revelation that contract employees were being taken advantage of, but is anyone really?

She also explained that she and her colleagues routinely put in overtime to get the show on the air but were told, as self-assigning employees, they were not to report their hours of work to HR. As a result, they were paid nothing for the hours they worked beyond the regular workweek. The witness testified that she worked an average of 47.5 hours per week and got paid for only 38.75 hours.

Glenn Gray of the CMG said “We don’t want this to become a standard for how television gets made at CBC.” But isn’t this already the time-honoured standard? Work the new kids like dogs and if they survive bring them back next year.

Most of the CBCers I know put in more time than they’re paid for. It might be time spent in the building or on location, or it might be time spent writing emails from home. Sometimes it’s unmeasurable time solving a thorny problem or devising an innovative solution in your head, something she came up with while she was supposed to be listening to her husband talk about his workday.

This place gets in your blood. We all know that. Sometimes it’s hard to stop.

Although I know for a lot of people, the 2005 lockout made them reconsider why they were putting in the extra time for nothing. They cut it out.

I feel sorry for those kids. The Gill Deacon Show took advantage of them, and saved money at their expense. And it wasn’t and isn’t the only show doing this. It’s going on right now. Everyone knows it.

Those kids were right to speak up. Some of us have the power to say no, or to stupidly give away our free time and our free thoughts. We do it if we want to.

And there are still plenty of young people with energy, ideas, and enthusiasm for whom working at the CBC is considered a cool job. But making them “self-assigning employees” at a whim, stealing their time, energy, ideas, and enthusiasm to save a few dollars, is not so cool.

Not cool at all.

14 comments:

  1. Allan
    Posted November 9, 2007 at 12:48 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    farmpunk doesn’t impress me as a goof, and he’s certainly not hijacking a post.
    More power to him.

  2. Anonymous
    Posted November 8, 2007 at 11:37 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Farmpuke said…

    “Love the blog, hate the people. Keep it up.”

    The people you hate are the blog, you goof.

    You sound like one of those 30-year-olds who still live with mommy and daddy and spends all his time complaining about how hard life is.

    Grow up.

  3. Kevin
    Posted November 7, 2007 at 8:22 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    My point actually was that media blogs tend to have media stories. Getting annoyed at them for not covering the asparagus harvest is nonsensical.

    Although it is the best post hijack ever, have to give you that.

  4. Anonymous
    Posted November 6, 2007 at 4:36 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Farmpunk is obviously very unhappy in agriculture. No one cares enough about asparagus.

  5. Farmpunk
    Posted November 6, 2007 at 4:13 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Apparently Kevin knows how to best use a shovel. It’s great for digging yourself deeper, or moving bullshit around.

    The assumption is, I think, that I don’t know a thing about media culture or the Ceeb. It’s not fair to burn anyone for not knowing my personal affairs, but media centric navel gazing is such a consistent theme on the Ceeb these days that I have to let loose somewhere. No one owes media people a living. It’s either good or bad – it’s not necessary, whereas food is. Basic economics. Don’t bitch about a game once you bother to learn the rules. Work is hard, we need more funding to recognize the irreplaceable contributions of such cultural luminaries as Goldstein and Jian.

    Moving onto what I apparently don’t know… I can’t count the number of times I hear laughably covered farm-agricultural-rural issues on CBC Radio. Today was a good example: hey, there are illegal cigarettes in Ontario! Who knew? How long has this been going on? Or how about a show about food, produced in Toronto, that never bothers to consult a farmer and if the farmer gets on air he or she is usually some stumbling dumb fucker who bows and scrapes to the city folk like a fucking servant. Are we illiterate or are the media people ignorant and lazy? It’s not that hard a question to answer, in my mind.

  6. Kevin
    Posted November 6, 2007 at 2:59 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    farmpunk:

    It’s a bit weird to read a CBC employee’s blog and get all huffy because they talk about working conditions in the media industry. What did you expect to find here, macramé? Leaving aside issues of “my root vegetable’s bigger than yours”, what it comes down to is the the CBC has agreements with unions and contracts with employees and in this case it’s been found in violation of them.

    While I’ve never picked asparagus, I’ve done my time as a kid cutting turf, building dry stone walls, picking weeds, and all manner of fun stuff the average urbanite would only ever see in tourism videos. I’ll say this for it, it may be hard physical work, but you don’t spend your time off arguing about it and you don’t go to sleep thinking about it (with the exception of the wall-building, which has serious OCD potential).

  7. Eric S. Smith
    Posted November 6, 2007 at 6:09 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    “It is only at places like the CBC and other over unionized jobs that people seem to get so much over time.”

    Did you even read this post? They aren’t getting paid for it.

    “…start your own business.”

    That actually is a great way to prove that “working hard” means nothing if you’re not getting money out of it. You can put in 25 hours a day, and if income doesn’t exceed outgo, you are doomed.

  8. Farmpunk
    Posted November 6, 2007 at 4:01 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    So… Ceeb jobs are rewarding but not so overwhelmingly awesome (might that be a BBC job in London?) that people are willing to work, gasp, for free on occasion? Workers taken advantage of? Not in Canada, but probably in Mexico, or maybe Mexicans working in Ontario picking TO’s organic veggies are taken advantage of, but we never see those people and they don’t blog so they don’t really count. Do they?

    There’s something terrible and amusing about how many net based stories are about the poor fucking media people who work oh so hard, god so hard, sometimes without proper compensation! It’s almost like everyone else who has a job. Work’s tough – more funding is necessary. Jesus, where will this trend end? I bet more funding, indexed yearly to inflation plus, will fix everything.

    Go try picking asparagus for a day you ignorant urbanistas. Yes, CBCers, there is work that’s harder and less financially rewarding. You eat it every day, assholes.

    Love the blog, hate the people. Keep it up.

  9. Jim O'Brien
    Posted November 5, 2007 at 11:31 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Unfortunately, most Canadians already think that CBC employees get 10 weeks of vacation. It is only at places like the CBC and other over unionized jobs that people seem to get so much over time. The rest of us work long hours until the job is done. If you don’t like the long hours working for someone else… start your own business. I bet your theories associated with overtime change overnight.

  10. Jim O'Brien
    Posted November 5, 2007 at 11:31 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Unfortunately, most Canadians already think that CBC employees get 10 weeks of vacation. It is only at places like the CBC and other over unionized jobs that people seem to get so much over time. The rest of us work long hours until the job is done. If you don’t like the long hours working for someone else… start your own business. I bet your theories associated with overtime change overnight.

  11. Jim O'Brien
    Posted November 5, 2007 at 11:31 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Unfortunately, most Canadians already think that CBC employees get 10 weeks of vacation. It is only at places like the CBC and other over unionized jobs that people seem to get so much over time. The rest of us work long hours until the job is done. If you don’t like the long hours working for someone else… start your own business. I bet your theories associated with overtime change overnight.

  12. Anonymous
    Posted November 4, 2007 at 9:57 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    I would suggest everyone negotiate the same arrangment a certain montreal host has, and get more time off instead of overtime pay… that guy takes like 9 or 10 freaking weeks of holiday a year.

  13. Book of Don
    Posted November 3, 2007 at 8:24 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    It’s the “getting in your blood” thing that’s the real killer. Folks are proud to work at the Corp – they like it – even now. Speaking as someone who used to have a foamy under his desk so that he could sleep there I really DO know the syndrome. And it’s not a healthy one. But the alternatives are bleak.

    Work for a rapacious little prodco ? Longer hours for less money ? Work at a private sector network to put money in the pockets of shareholders ?
    Freelance ? Wait a minute…here’s an idea ?

    Law School. Yea..that’s it. Let’s all forget why we got into this business in the first place – and become lawyers. That will make us happy.

  14. Anonymous
    Posted November 3, 2007 at 3:59 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    The “don’t ask don’t tell” overtime policy has been in place for quite some time. Even as a long term employee, you find yourself pulled into it.

    If you dig in your heels and demand your overtime, you get labelled as deadwood and then get to watch the young contract employees who are willing to work without overtime get the better assignments.

    And of course the young contract employees do what they’re told in the hopes of someday being given an actual job. Didn’t we all…

    And there’s no easy answer to this. Ask anyone who has ever put in a grievance what happens to their career after that.

    Overtime buyouts are kind of a joke as well because many new employees are asked to sign them as terms of new employment and before they know what they are really giving away.

    And as far as the lockout, maybe it changed a few habits for a while but even the CAW it seems is getting out of the strike/lockout business. Their latest Magna deal seems to demonstrate a new understanding that no one wins in these situations.

    The old saying “why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free” applies in a big way at CBC.
    And often we don’t claim our overtime because we’re led to believe that if we do they’ll just close the farm altogether…and then at 9:00 on the way home we see
    Farmer Brown drive by in the limo on the way to the Niagara Institute.


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