After seven long years of waiting for the conclusion of her arbitration to protest her exclusion from the CBC, Brenda Levy, our member from Ottawa, can finally breathe a sigh of relief. Arbitrator Serge Brault released on March 31, 2020, an eighty pages award on the quantum to be paid out to Brenda as compensation for various losses and damages suffered concerning the termination of her employment on April 30, 2013. Brenda Levy has always maintained that her job cut was the result of a move by the Corporation to punish her for standing up for her rights rather than a true redundancy job cut as was alleging the CBC. It was on November 12, 2018, that the Arbitrator declared the CBC had violated the collective agreement and that the alleged redundancy was, in fact, an illegal dismissal.
Arbitrator Brault rendered two awards prior to this last one regarding the grievance filed by Ms. Levy (May 26, 2015, and November 12, 2018). The CBC filed for judicial review of both awards before the Ontario Superior Court and these pending procedures are anticipated to be heard in November 2020.
In his award on the quantum Arbitrator, Brault has ordered the CBC to pay up all compensation with interests within 30 days. This would bring final closure to this long-standing procedure. Will this new decision be the subject of yet another legal procedure preventing justice from being rendered diligently?
At the very outset of this case, a great many of Ottawa workers at the CBC sided with Unit Manager Brenda Levy when news of her departure was first announced under the cover of a retirement. A petition was organized and signed by many to support her and request the CBC to reconsider and reverse its decision to eliminate her position. This final chapter of arbitration gives her full and long-awaited redemption and APS has been standing up, alongside her, throughout this ordeal. In congratulating Brenda for her victory, APS is also turning to the Corporation in the hope that it recognizes mistakes can be made and rises up to finally put an end to seven years of lengthy and costly procedures, in the best interest of all parties involved.
The CBC has finally succeeded in integrating to salaries, the 0.1% increase due to employees on April 9, 2020, pay. That sum was amputated from salaries until the end of December 2019. For administrative reasons, Shared Services were unable to apply the increase as of the first of January 2020. Thus, you will find on the ninth of April both the retroactive adjustment and the new increase, the latter continuing to be applied from now on.
The sum of 0.1% had been diverted from annual salary increases into a supplementary health care fund, under a joint agreement for the period 2009-2019.
An unprecedented stratagem in the short history of APS came to light by discovering an unusual number of temporary employees working as Script Editors in Montreal. Casual workers without any status were being used to fill recurring job needs. A clear case of unfair practice aimed at employees hired without any status, any protection for access to marginal benefits nor salaries available to the other members of the union.
The problem was finally resolved at the satisfaction of both parties at the end of March by an agreement to erase the last of the litigious points holding up the re-conduction of the collective agreement.
The CBC will now fulfill the recurring work needs of that department with two permanent positions, the last one having been created via the March agreement. That position will work under part-time status with a two day per week guarantee assorted with a priority for all replacements in the Department. To compensate for lost earnings the CBC will disburse a sum corresponding to 12.5% of salaries paid over a two-year period to the 9 employees involved.
Recognizing the exceptional nature of this situation, the agreement will come to an end at the expiration of the collective agreement in 2022.
Two of the four conditions to continue the collective agreement were dealt with by way of Mediation following discussions at the National Joint Committee level. In two successive hearings held in Toronto with the last one on October 15, 2019, Arbitrator Robert Herman proposed to the two parties involved, the CBC and APS to resolve these litigations through Mediation instead of going through the full process of Arbitration. This was, on the part of the employer the path accepted to resolve long-standing disputes on two contentious items; the premiums paid for « on-call » work and the calculation of time to reach the mid-point mark of salary bands. In both cases, APS was represented by Michael Church from the Caley Wray firm and Toronto Local President Nathan Farr.
Both problems were poisoning relations between parties since the beginning of the 2016 agreement in November of that year. Numerous NJC meetings, as well as grievances, were flying high without any result. For the question of mid-point calculations, the CBC was maintaining its version to award moneys after eight years of service while APS was claiming mid-points should have been awarded at the beginning, in other words, after seven years of service. As for the on-call premiums, the CBC was awarding only one three-hour premium per night while APS was claiming two premiums should have been paid if a second call came in after the original three hours.
Finally, both issues were settled to the satisfaction of APS with a new formula for the on-call situation and acceptance of the APS time calculation for the mid-point argument.
As a result, some 30 members were paid retroactive payments for the delays incurred in reaching the eight-year mark of their salary bands. The APS formula provides for all employees to be adjusted to the mid-point of their salary bands regardless of the actual salaries earned when they complete seven years of service. For the question of the on-call problem, a new formula was accepted to award employees a second or a third premium when more calls are made during the same period. Instead of the three-hour premium at straight time which stills stands for the first call, the successive premiums will represent one hour and a quarter (1.25 H) calculated at the rate of time and a half for each call. Art.2 of Mediation award defines the formula in the following manner: « CBC will guarantee that the employee shall receive a minimum of at least 1.25 hours pay for work within this time period paid at 1.5 times the hourly rate or banked equivalent. » This new formula presently in force will be paid out retroactively when Shared Services succeed in programing the formula.
Tomorrow, Thursday, April 9, we will cover the last agreement between parties to resolve contentious issues preventing prolongation of the collective agreement; the Script Editors status.
It was on the very last day of March that the CBC and APS reached an agreement to prolong the collective agreement to meet the submission date for the APS Executive Committee on April 3, 2020. The Committee gave its approval to the agreement as a result of that meeting.
This is the content of the renewal: « The parties confirm the continuation of the present collective agreement for a period of two (2) years from April first (1), 2020 to March 31, 2022, under adjustments and modifications set forth in the present agreement » - (unofficial translation of art 2). Thus, a renewal provision assorted with a modification concerning a salary catch-up for certain employees.
The Salary Catch-Up
The increase of salary contained in the agreement specifically targets those employees who were left stranded at the higher echelons of the salary bands as the result of the CBC’s decision to raise bands first in 2017 and then in 2018 to cover superior levels of the APS salary structure. As a result, more than 160 APS employees will be receiving starting this April, salary increases of 2 or 3% depending on the results of their performance appraisal results for 2019. Employees rated above expectations in 2019 will receive 3% while those having met expectations will be awarded 2% increases in their salaries. Those same increases will be given twice to the same employees; first in April of this year (2020) and then in April of 2021. Those increases will be attributed in addition to normal performance increases usually paid out in early July each year.
Modalities of application are presently being ironed out to meet the obligation to dispense the first payments promised in the agreement. In this regard, APS will be contacting concerned employees to make them aware of the situation.
This deal ended a long struggle APS had undertaken in the aftermath of the first scale increase decreed by the CBC in 2017. Everyone understood that the increases in bands would eventually benefit all employees placed under the midpoint of the bands while those situated above could never benefit from the move.
In a letter sent to Vice Presidents of the two Networks as well as to the then Vice-President of Human Resources, Monique Marcotte, Mario Poudrier had written: « All employees thus penalized represent the contingent of professional elites from the APS ranks. These members of personnel have reached the top levels of salary scales because of their dedication and work achievements accomplished over decades of effort. They are the vital essence of this organization and now they are blocked by the compensation system. A major redress is needed to correct the injustice affecting now the strongest and most vital part of the Professionals and Supervisors working for CBC/Radio-Canada .»
Upgrade of the Discretionary Salary Budget for General Salary Increases
The new agreement also provides for a modification applicable to all employees. Thus the 0.7% discretionary amount of salary increase provided for in art.2 of Appendix « G » will be upgraded to 0.8%. The text reads as follows in the agreement: « The maximum annual amount of spending of 0.7% provided for in art.2 of Appendix « G » of the existing collective agreement is modified to an amount of 0.8%.”
Those are the main modifications contained in this agreement, one of the four conditions for renewal APS had affixed for the continuation of our present collective agreement. As we announced on Monday, the other modifications will be explained in the next two days. Tomorrow, Wednesday we will cover the mediation deals for on-call payments and the midpoint changes. On Thursday, we will explain the changes for the Script Editor statuses.
Following the meeting of the National Executive Committee on April 3. 2020, the CBC and APS accepted the renewal of the collective agreement until March 31, 2022. The joint announcement of this agreement was made today Monday, April 6, 2020.
The Agreement to Renew
The exchanges between the parties to examine the possibility to renew the agreement, have been going on since October 2019 when APS and the CBC had met under the auspices of the National Joint Committee to raise the possibility of renewal. The duration article of the agreement contained a provision clause (23.2) to stretch the end date of the contract to March 31, 2022, if the two parties agreed to do so. « I believe we have a good deal to redress and compensate errors that we felt were affecting adversely some of the members, » said National President Stéphane Désautels at the end of the National Executive meeting last Friday, « The employer demonstrated a willingness to review and modify points of contention to the benefit of our members who are also employees of CBC/ Radio-Canada. This is a win-win result ».
In essence, APS had four points of contention, it wished to resolve to keep the agreement alive: salary issues with the more senior members of the union, interpretation disagreements over the midpoint of salary bands and payment of on-call premiums and finally the creation of a new and unauthorized class of casual workers.
All four irritants were finally resolved through mediation and negotiations between the two sides to the benefit of APS members who will be the ultimate winners in the short and long run as the detailed account of those settlements will be presented to you on this Web site starting on Tuesday, April 7, 2020. At that time, we will be explaining the renewal provision along with the salary increases for those employees left out of the loop following past band increases. Wednesday we will cover Mediation agreements for employees on-call as well as the agreement covering employees having reached the midpoint of their salary bands until last October. Thursday will be dedicated to the agreement concerning Script Editors.
All those changes involve major financial settlements for a great number of our members. Thus, the Tuesday communiqué will explain the 2 or 3 % salary increases to be paid out in April for the next two years for most of our members who were situated above the midpoint of their bands when the corporation increased bands in the past. (APS will contact the concerned members individually). For those agreements to be presented on Wednesday, financial gains will be available for all employees working on “on-call” status while some 30 members involved in the other agreement have already collected retroactive payments worth thousands of dollars for each. All employees reaching the midpoint of their salary bands in the future will also benefit from this agreement. Finally, for the Script Editors, a retroactive payment representing 12.5% of salaries paid for the last two years will be awarded to the 9 employees involved.
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The main Officers of APS all contributed to the National Council event by filing their annual reports on Saturday, November 2, in Montreal. The orientation of the Association was, however, at the heart of the annual get together of delegates assembled from the different regions of the country. This was the last presentation for Mario Poudrier who took the opportunity to cover both the remuneration policies and the APS-CBC collective agreement as his ultimate message to members. The agreement will expire on March 31, 2020 with an option to prolong for two years or to proceed with the negotiation of a brand new agreement.
For details of content click on the following link:
Election of a New Leader
The National Executive Committee meeting on Sunday, November 3, 2019, provided an opportunity for a change of guard at the lead of the APS with the election of Stéphane Désautels as APS National President. It was the last major topic on the agenda. The historic proposal was presented by David MacFarlane, the most senior member of the group. He was seconded by Toronto Local President Nathan Farr. The motion was unanimously adopted to appoint Stéphane Désautels, President of Montreal Local Branch, as interim National President.
APS in Good Financial Standing
Under the direction of the National Treasurer, Isabelle Benoit.
The National Executive session began with a detailed presentation of the association’s financial statements by the firm Désormeaux, Patenaude Inc. The two main partners running the CPA (Chartered Professional Accountants) firm, Aline Désormeaux and Jasmin Patenaude were present to describe to the participants the details of APS financial activity and its results at the close of its fiscal year ended June 30, 2019. In addition to the members of the executive, delegates present at the previous day’s National Council were invited to attend as observers. The association not only carries on the tradition with sound financial management, but its assets are increasing significantly, thanks to the implementation of its new investment policy and the increase in new members. Both C.A. partners were pleased to learn that the voting results gave them the mandate to prepare the financial statements for the fiscal year 2019-2020.
The Executive Committee also discussed numerous topics ranging from the collective agreement status to Christmas parties.
For more information, please click on the following link for additional detailed minutes of the meeting:
Herewith are the results of the APS election unveiled Sunday, November 3, 2019, by the election officers David MacFarlane and Pascal Baczyk. It took place at the APS Members’ Annual General Assembly held in Montreal at the Place D'Armes Hotel at 9 a.m.
For a full report of the event, please follow the following link:
The APS National Executive Committee has elected the President of the Montreal Local Branch Stéphane Désautels to become the new National President of the Association, succeeding Mario Poudrier, who will officially retire from the CBC at the end November. This nomination takes effect as of the third day of November 2019 until the end of Mario’s mandate, which expires in a year.
The nomination was adopted unanimously by the members of the National Executive as the result of a proposal submitted by David MacFarlane, Regional Director for Western Canada and seconded by Nathan Farr President of the Toronto Local Branch.
The meeting of the Executive Committee was held the day after the National Council in conformity with the Association’s By-Laws providing the obligation to hold a session during the annual meeting of APS Delegates.
Stéphane thus becomes the fourth president of APS succeeding in order Réal Jean from Québec City, Stephen Moore from Toronto and Mario Poudrier from Montreal.
After 36 years with the Corporation Mario Poudrier, the National President of APS announced he was leaving the CBC to take his retirement at the end of November.
« I overshot my maximum tenure for pension purposes by one year because I wanted to participate in the rebirth of La Maison de Radio-Canada (the MRC) in Montreal », Mario said, « A fantastic opportunity for an Engineering aficionado like myself ».
Mario will officially leave APS at the National Council event, which will be held in Montreal on November 2, 2019. With a year remaining in his mandate, APS will proceed to nominate an interim replacement to complete the term. The APS By-Laws stipulate that the National Executive Committee has the responsibility to appoint the interim President.
All in all, Mario Poudrier will then complete 18 years of service at the head of our association, a record far removed from any foreseeable threats. He took over in 2001 succeeding Stephen Moore to become the National President of APS. Before, Mario was sitting as President of the Montreal Local since its creation in 1995. He was there at the assembly foundation of the Association when the founding members elected him to preside over the Assembly. A grand total of 24 years of union commitment is then the stature of a well-deserved salute we are sending his way upon his retirement.
He was in the trenches for his whole term by sitting on all of our Negotiation Committees from the very first in 1995 to the very last in 2016. Mario acted as a spokesperson on every imaginable front heading significant committees for almost a quarter of a century.
A FREE AND AUTONOMOUS UNION
He has thus left an imprint on a unique type of union philosophy, which characterizes APS. A Union totally controlled by its participating members, each and every one of them an employee of the CBC. APS gives the choice to every member of its bargaining unit to belong or not to its union life. APS is the only union to build its Union demand list for negotiations by using a professional, independent firm to conduct a scientific survey with each individual participating member. It is also dedicated to transparency by giving access to all of the participating members to its financial statements conducted by an independent bona fide professional accounting firm. Those are a few of many examples to characterize the unique style of the Association. However, Mario is also responsible by his personal touch to have placed the credibility of a small union at the same level as the other major players in the industrial relations’ world of the CBC.
But above everything else, Mario’s personal trademark will always be his devotion in helping out individual members in need of assistance. Mario has never backed down from a request for help coming from the ranks. In his very personal style, he would plow in headfirst, never fearing obstacles whatever their size. It’s by the hundreds that APS members are there to attest their gratitude after 24 years of loyal service to the Association.
Mario is leaving APS in a solid financial situation after instituting a flexible and light structure, ensuring tight control on spending. He faced a substantial challenge with a huge debt present at the start of his presidency and also major membership reductions hitting the organization in the middle part of his mandate as the result of massive job cuts undertaken by CBC Management.
He will then preside over his last National Council during the weekend of November 2 in Montreal in the midst of the APS family, undoubtedly ready to wish him the best to salute his departure.
This year, the APS National Council will take place during the weekend of November 2, 2019, in Montreal, at Place D’Armes Hotel, Tango Room. Delegates from the different regions of the country will meet to decide on the orientations of the association as well as learning about the various work activities in the life of the union. The President, the Interim National Secretary, the Treasurer as well as the General Manager will provide accounts of the outputs from their respective areas of concern while delegates will inform the assembly of their preoccupations and realities in the regional Round table event.
Members in good standing wishing to attend may contact their local APS officers to obtain the delegate status. Our By-Laws provide the possibility to nominate one delegate per share of 50 members. Members in good standing residing in the location of the National Council can also attend as observers. Maria Gaglione, APS Coordinator, is responsible for overseeing the operation.
Members’ Annual General Assembly
The day after the National Council, Sunday, November 3, 2019, the Members’ Annual General Meeting takes place at 9 a.m. at the same location. The purpose of the meeting is to disclose the election results following the vote held electronically during the week of October 21, 2019. This year, the only resolution proposed to a vote will be the renewal of the external auditors Désormeaux, Patenaude Inc.’s mandate, as submitted by our National Executive Committee.
The current Regional Directors, as well as the Montreal and Toronto Local Presidents, have all been re-elected by acclamation. All APS positions are submitted to two-year rotating mandates.
Two election officers representing each network will be appointed to oversee proceedings; David MacFarlane Regional Director in the West and Pascal Baczyk Regional Director in the East will be responsible for announcing the results by connecting to the company conducting the consultation, Big Pulse.
The beginning and duration period during which members in good standing will be able to cast their vote will be held from Monday, October 21, 2019, to Sunday, October 27, 2019, at midnight.
National Executive Meeting
Immediately following the Annual General Assembly, the National Executive Committee will meet for one of its yearly two face-to-face compulsory meetings.
Financial Statements year ended 30 June 2019
Members in good standing who require access to the Association’s financial statements 2018-2019 are invited to send their request to the Coordinator at email@example.com.
At the term of the nomination periods ended on August 8, 2019, for the Toronto Local Branch and September 6, 2019, for the Montreal Branch, the following candidates are elected to represent their respective regions for a two-year term mandate as per APS By-Laws.
Local Presidents Nathan Farr in Toronto and Stéphane Désautels in Montreal have been re-elected by acclamation.
The Local Elected Officers -
Calum McLeod – Ontario Regional Director / Secretary
Robert Chen – Director
Tandra Chakroborty – Director
Nadia Aftab – Director
Sébastien Fleurant – Quebec Regional Director / Secretary
Nicolas Ouellet – Director
Daniel Foisy – Director
Alain Gingras – Director
The Regional Directors in the East, West and Ottawa regions were elected by acclamation last August 30th:
Pascal Baczyk - Eastern Region
David MacFarlane - Western Region
Anne-Marie Roy – Ottawa Region
Congratulations to the elected Officers!
The end of the nomination period to fill the Regional Directors positions closed on August 29, 2019. The following three incumbents were elected by acclamation to represent their respective region for a two-year term mandate as per APS By-Laws.
Pascal Baczyk - Eastern Region
David MacFarlane - Western Region
Anne-Marie Roy – Ottawa Region
Congratulations to the elected Directors and a successful continuation with the Association!