This just in: Your job sucks

“Everybody knows” that CBC is a hostile work environment in the same way “everybody knows” Igor was a bicycle thief. It took a while for authorities to back up the latter allegation, if still unproven; backing up the former allegation took even longer. The facts, however, are in.

Almost half of CBC’s 10,000 employees suffer from “high levels” of psychological distress related to their working conditions, according to a 2005 “wellness” survey of 4,630 staff obtained through the Access to Information Act.

The survey, which cost an estimated $100,000 [Ouimet said $1 million! – Ed.], asked employees questions related to psychological health, harassment, working conditions and job satisfaction.

The results describe a “troubled” working environment where 44% of staff displayed symptoms of high-level psychological distress. […]

When it came to harassment, 12% of staff said they had endured abusive comments, rude gestures and even death threats from their fellow employees and supervisors…. A short list of comments made by respondents reveal that one of the most common harassment complaints was: “My boss told my co-workers that he couldn’t stand me and that he hated me.” […]

The stress and harassment has led to poor job satisfaction. A third of CBC staff said they had a high intention of quitting their jobs.

Well, hey, join the club: Most CRTC employees surveyed also want to quit.

The report concluded by saying staff, regardless of their department, are at risk of poor recognition for their work, poor relations with supervisors, work overload, conflicts over who does what job, career instability and substandard communication within the company. […]

The corporation has yet to conduct an additional survey to find out if conditions have improved.

Well, why would they? Canadians are lousy at follow-through.

If ever there were a time for guest posts, this is it

Feel free to write non-defamatory blog comments if you’d like. But if you’d prefer to write a guest post about your work experience at the Corpse, go ahead and ask.

I may cover this topic a bit more on my own in future posts.


  1. Anonymous
    Posted August 24, 2008 at 6:57 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    I’m in the same boat as the last Anonymous poster. Fresh out of J-School and I’ve now been working as a casual for a couple months.

    My experience has generally been great. I think one of the reasons may be that I’m at a smaller regional station that is kind of distanced from all the bullshit.

    With that said, once the summer ends I could end up in “casual hell” where I may not be able to work a consistent 40 hours a week.

    I also had lunch with my union rep last week and we went over the agreement in principle relating to pension plan surplus and the health care plan. It was all very complex but what I basically got from it is that if the inflation rate veers off the predicted path we could be fucked.

    So all that to say that my actual experience in the workplace has been great but I’m a little worried about my future with the Ceeb.

  2. Dwight Williams
    Posted August 21, 2008 at 1:51 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Anon. of 20 August:

    Good. You’re in precisely the best frame of mind here.

    I charge you, good soul, fight like a holy lunatic to hold onto that feeling and help others to do likewise or to regain it if they’ve lost it as best you can. We need that of you.

    We’ll do what we can from here.

  3. Anonymous
    Posted August 20, 2008 at 9:02 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    I’m fresh out of J-school and have only been working at the CBC for a few months.
    I’ve never been to a “Respect in the Workplace” seminar (but they seem kind of ineffective).
    And I’ve never lived through a lockout (but I’ve been told it was an awful experience).
    Maybe I haven’t worked here long enough and maybe I haven’t had to deal with anyone from HR too often.
    But I’ll say this:
    I love my job.
    I love working at the CBC.
    And most of my classmates would jump at the chance to be hired position at the so-called “corpse”.
    Everyone I’ve worked with, from radio to tv to online, has been wonderful.
    I have some incredible role-models who believe in journalism.
    Their intent is to do good, and their commitment is true.
    Because of my colleagues, I can’t wait to get to work in the morning, and I am pained when I leave in the evening.
    So maybe I haven’t worked here very long.
    But I hope I never lose that feeling — and I hope some of you can re-capture it in the very near future.

  4. Johnny Happypants
    Posted August 12, 2008 at 3:33 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    “And where is the union in all of this? Why has the Guild allowed the CBC to engage in such hostile tactics against CBC employees?”

    The Guild is kaput. The Corpse shedding employess has hit their coffers bigtime and they can’t raise dues because they’re already the highest of any union in the country. The old folk are pissed at them for how they handled the JE process and the sham JE Appeals process. The youngsters are turned off by the crusty nature of the CBC union reps.

  5. Anonymous
    Posted August 10, 2008 at 9:38 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Although infested with bad management often built on nepotism I hope Hubert has the strength and measurement tools in place to see if his goals of rebuilding people relationships is actually progressing. We need the CBC for cultural reasons.The inside mgnt bullies have strived too long due to a major lack of accountability. Their mgnt training in the last 10 yrs basically amounted to "Risk management" courses teaching them "we have no money so let it just fall apart" and then there are the endless lies -"just lie to them to get them off your back, after all you are the manager – they can't fire you for lying".
    And yes the outside world is getting more & more pissed off at the CBC's mgnt attitude. I see partnerships and liasons falling apart continually with comments from outside I dare not post here.
    Hubert should do a confidential employee survey just on mgnt hirings based on nepotism in the last 4 years. Accountability needed here………

  6. Anonymous
    Posted August 8, 2008 at 11:16 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    I used to have a job in the radio archives, and the only bearable day of work I had there was the day I left. Well, that and the lockout, which was nine weeks of sheer bliss; I voted to not go back, as walking around the building for 20 hours a week was infinitely preferrable to going inside and “working”.

    Fuck that place.

  7. Anonymous
    Posted August 8, 2008 at 11:08 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    It happens at the management level as well.

    There are a couple of tyrants in the place who think nothing of turfing people after years of service, and have the power to do it as they reach and climb to what they feel is the top.

    What happened to succession planning? Building your workforce? Teaching your employees? Craft? Iain Alexander?

    Blame the big man, and the people he hires. It’s awful.

  8. Anonymous
    Posted August 3, 2008 at 9:55 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    And where is the union in all of this? Why has the Guild allowed the CBC to engage in such hostile tactics against CBC employees?

    The CBC publicists were all fired several years ago in a move that the CBC (Stursberg) labeled a “business decision”. Arbitration and a grievance determined that the CBC broke the rules and $100,000 was awarded to ALL of the publicists for wrongful dismissal – but $100,000 doesn’t go far between 27 employees who just got screwed out of their pension.

    The instances of CBC employees being forced out of the workplace before qualifying for a full and unreduced pension after a lifetime of service to the CBC are numerous and well-known…. and the Guild just lets it happen.

    The only explanation can be that the CBC is run by unscrupulous and pathological individuals who don’t care for the employees or their families.

    The CBC has become an absolute disgrace. No “respect seminar” is going to improve the toxic climate at the CBC – it’s just another 6 figure contract awarded to somebody’s nephew.

  9. Anonymous
    Posted August 2, 2008 at 9:06 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    It is laughable that the “Respect In The Workplace” seminars were their response to the numbers in the Wellness survey. It’s just to make it seem they are addressing the issue.

    The CBC has some master plan that doesn’t include permanent staff, so to get rid of those they can’t let go because of the settlement cost, they make the environment so unpleasant, they leave of their own accord. While people still have perks achieved from negotiations in more civilized times (benefits, DB pension plans, vacation time, etc) they have to make it EXTREMELY unpleasant to get those people to leave on their own.

    On the other front they chip away at the contract, forcing confrontations, strikes and lockouts.

    It’s taken them decades to realize their goal, but they’re well on the way.

    If they spent half as much time and energy on broadcasting as they do on making war with their own staff, we wouldn’t need the Tea Makers blog.

  10. Anonymous
    Posted August 1, 2008 at 4:53 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    It would be great if the ‘Respect in the Workplace’ sessions made a positive impact. It would be great if Hubert is a man of his word and keeps working to improve the relationship between management and the Union/employees. For his (and our) sake, I hope Hubert does not get eaten alive by his own team.

    Getting involved in the Union was an eye-opener for me…I always thought the ‘bad’ managers were spread thin and scarce. It’s definitely worse than that. I’ve come across some really wonderful ones too and I hope they stay that way. There are some managers who really have a hate-on for the Union and its’ reps too. One of my first experiences as a ‘new’ Union rep…the minute I opened my mouth the senior manager turns and looks at me like I’m the guy that got little Juno pregnant. (I fixed this BS with him swiftly, BTW).

    But management as a group are not as spooky as the folks in HR and IR. I’ve seen this first-hand when I represent employees. Watch your back when dealing with anyone from HR/IR, especially if you go at it without a Union rep (you are foolish to do this, BTW).

    In fairness, since Hubert took over, I’ve personally seen a kinder, gentler side to the IR/HR department. So maybe there’s hope that our jobs will sick a little less in the near future.

  11. Anonymous
    Posted August 1, 2008 at 3:15 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    We had an equipment vendor in our plant recently who said that they had never experienced an employer
    (the CBC) who exhibited such contempt and outright hatred for its employees. This was from a salesman who was supposed to suck up to managers and sell them something.

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