The Garret Tree
Wednesday, September 28, 2005
  CBC 113: Half empty or half full?

Earlier today (Wednesday) the CBC made its first major offer since the lockout. That offer came after months of CBC management stonewalling the Canadian Media Guild. Last week, the Guild made an offer, an offer that was somewhat controversial among the membership, but it may have gotten something rolling. (Or maybe among the federal mediators in Ottawa there's a big person in black leather whose job it is to knock heads together [just kidding])

The CMG says
:"Unfortunately, it falls well short of establishing a platform for agreement."

The sticking point is still contract/casual/temp status. The CMG says: "the Corporation is proposing to increase the number of contract employees by 225% over the life of the contract."

I agree with the CMG position that money offer is totally inadequate.

The half full point is that there are now two new proposals on the table after months of little progress on the major issues. The negotiators may be able to use these as starting points to move toward an acceptable middle ground.

The half empty point is that they don't have much time.
There are more unconfirmed rumours tonight that there have been more defections.
And around the Toronto Broadcast Centre today, it was a roller coaster, with good news, bad news, good news, bad news. Today I heard people for the first time seriously talking about job hunting, whether it's something temporary like bartending or actually looking for a new full time job.

And remember what that news manager said in early September. After three more weeks (at that time), the bleeding by the CBC news service would become life threatening. This is now the middle of the fourth week. I am hearing from a reliable source who told me that Paul Martin and the PMO were very pleased with the way CTV handled the broadcast of the installation of Michaƫlle Jean as Governor General.

CTV NewsNet has covered Katrina and Rita while we were walking what one of my fellow bloggers calls "the circle of death." Mike Duffy is up and taking the spot once held exclusively by Don Newman.

This afternoon after I left the Toronto Broadcast Centre I ran into two friends, within 45 minutes of each other. One CBC but on disability not locked out said "I never want to go back," saying the lockout will not help the atmosphere and the stress would be too much once we get back. The second friend (graphic design,not TV) hasn't been working much in the last three months and so he has been watching a lot of TV. He stopped watching the reruns on Newsworld quite a while ago. "This week I'm not missing CBC at all," he says.

Late add: Defection confirmed. Andrew Meeson was named chief copy editor at a couple of weeks before the lockout. He is starting at the Toronto Star on Thursday. Note my post on the problems CBC has had getting copy editors because it can't pay them a competitive wage. Now, even if there is a quick return to work, that hunt has to start over.

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I write in a renovated garret in my house in a part of Toronto, Canada, called "The Pocket." The blog is named for a tree can be seen outside the window of my garret.

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Name: Robin Rowland
Location: Toronto, Canada

I'm a Toronto-based writer, photographer, web producer, television producer, journalist and teacher. I'm author of five books, the latest A River Kwai Story: The Sonkrai Tribunal. The Garret tree is my blog on the writing life including my progress on my next book (which will be announced here some time in the coming months) My second blog, the Wampo, Nieke and Sonkrai follows the slow progress of my freelanced model railway based on my research on the Burma Thailand Railway (which is why it isn't updated that often) The Creative Guide to Research, based on my book published in 2000 is basically an archive of news, information and hints for both the online and the shoe-leather" researcher. (Google has taken over everything but there are still good hints there)

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