The Corporation has decided to suspend its survey on social benefits launched at the beginning of September 2020.
We will keep you posted on future developments.
La Société a pris la décision de mettre en veilleuse le projet de sondage sur les avantages sociaux qu'elle avait lancé en début de septembre 2020.
Nous vous tiendrons informés pour la suite des événements.
In light of the recent survey sent to our members on September 1st, 2020.
APS wishes to inform the members that it has never given its approval for the content of this survey. The questions were never submitted to us nor the approach, highly questionable, resorting to the FORCED CHOICE technique. The survey does not reflect the values we believe in as a union and we wish to disassociate from it as an organization.
On September 1st, 2020, the employer transmitted to all unionized employees of CBC/Radio-Canada a questionnaire on social benefits by asking them to return the completed form to the employer. The questionnaire targeted employees’ personal evaluations for the different benefits presently available in the spectrum of the coverages at the CBC. The questionnaire also sought to find out about replacement options such as the free choice option as an example. Furthermore, the survey placed existing benefits in competition with each other by asking employees to choose by excluding some at the expense of others (the forced-choice technique).
Social benefits are in fact the result of negotiations between the employer and the unions. In the case of the social benefits in force at the CBC, all the unions of the employer collectively negotiate through the Consultative Committee on Staff Benefits (the CCSB). The forced choices used in this survey are leading us to suspect that the employer is feeling out the possibilities of modifications or cuts to existing benefits. in effect, at the CBC We want to make it clear that the benefits contained in our working conditions are here to stay. They were achieved as the results of long-standing efforts deployed by all the unions sometimes originating from decades past. We want to make clear that we stand committed to the preservation of every one of them as well to the only decisional forum that oversees them, the CCSB.
This is the reason we are asking the CBC to step back and eliminate this survey or at the least to inform the employees that were solicited to fill out this questionnaire that ONLY the unions are responsible to negotiate these benefits they have presently. APS on its part wants all of its members to know that existing benefits are enshrined in our working conditions and any future change will only be made to enhance them.
At the close of the nomination period for the three national positions vying for election this year, on August 31, 2020, the three acting officers are appointed by acclamation. They are Stéphane Désautels as National President, Sébastien Fleurant as National Secretary and Pascal Baczyk as National Treasurer.
The National Executive Committee had appointed the three officers on an interim basis to carry out the mandates of their predecessors.
For Stéphane Désautels, he succeeded Mario Poudrier who had decided to retire from the Montreal Engineering Department in mid-mandate. Stéphane arrived on the scene with major issues on the table, namely the decision to renew the Association’s collective agreement for an additional two years. To achieve this, four new agreements were reached with the employer to settle challenging cases (On-Call payments, Script Editors’ status, calculation of the mid-point salary range and enhancement of the salary increases to long-tenured employees). In addition, Stéphane has committed to improving APS communication channels, particularly through the redesign of our website, which will be launched shortly. Previously, he served for several years as Local President of the Montreal Executive Committee as well as a long-standing member of two major committees, the National Joint Committee and the Negotiation Committee.
For the APS’s second-highest-level position, Sébastien Fleurant served on the Montreal Local Executive as well as APS National Executive Committee. He was appointed following the suppression of Daniel Lavigne’s position as Technical Producer in Ottawa, the same Daniel who had succeeded Dominique Barrette. Since his appointment, Sébastien is actively involved as the leader of the Communications Committee currently overseeing the change of directions of APS in terms of branding and its website.
Pascal Baczyk, unlike the other two newly elected Officers, figures as a recent addition to the APS ranks. He succeeds Isabelle Benoit who took over the presidency of the Montreal Local Executive thus succeeding Stéphane Désautels. She marked her stay in the APS’s finances, by implementing the reform of the Association’s investment policies favouring optimal revenue on long-term investments. Pascal, a professional Forensic Accountant, joined APS shortly after he arrived in Canada when he joined the CBC in the Finance Department in Moncton. His appointment as National Treasurer convinced all of the association’s representatives that their decision was a wise choice.
We, therefore, welcome these three acclamation victories that confirm the strength of the team at the helm of the APS.
Any member in good standing wishing to solicit a two-year mandate for the positions of National President, National Secretary, or National Treasurer must apply by e-mail at email@example.com or, by fax at (438) 380-0737 on or before August 31, 2020.
The call for applications period will run from August 13 to August 31, 2020, at midnight, as provided for in our By-Laws.
The attached nomination form to be filed by the applicant also requires the endorsement of five (5) members in good standing currently registered with APS.
Membership Application Form to become a member in good standing:
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: