The Garret Tree
Sunday, October 02, 2005
  CBC Breaking News: Meditators "want it over tonight"

The mediators working with the CBC and CMG in Hull have apparently told both sides they "want it over by tonight" meaning the current 1800 ET deadline for the end of the news blackout.

Update: 1553. Deadline extended. Tod Maffin reports that his sources tell him the deadlne has been extended to midight. That deadline extension has now been confirmed on the CMG hotline. 1-888-591-9129. The CMG, in its briefing earlier this aftenroon at Simcoe Park, did say that was a possiblity.

CMG officials say there is some progess and "there have been cracks" but management is still sticking to many of their points.

When talks began again after a break early Sunday morning, money was on the table for the first time, a good sign that of progress.

CMG president Lise Lareau briefed picketers at Simcoe Park at about 1330 ET Sunday.
She said she could give few details because of the news blackout but she urged CMG members to keep a close eye on the Guild website in the coming hours.

She warned that some "key issues" still remain to be resolved, but she also commented that mediator Elizabeth MacPherson, director-general of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, who is also a labour lawyer has been "a great deal of help" in sorting out the thorny issues in contract language.

Ratification and return: Asked when there would be ratification vote and a return to work, Lareau made the point that most ratifciation and return customs have been decided in strikes, not lockouts, so "it is a grey area." A ratification and return to work protocol will be negotiated at the table, and, in certain circumstances, it might, emphasizing might, include a return prior to a formal ratification if the CMG was satisfied with all terms of the contract and could recommend ratification.

Another sign of possible progress was that Lareau spoke mainly about the future of the CBC, which she called "a very sick sick organization."

(The CBC is also looking to the future: They have apparently hired yet another consultant to help advise on a peaceful return to work.)

The CMG is also looking at ways of ensuring that there is "a sane way" to return to work.

But in the long term she called on the government to take a hard look at the way the CBC has been managed for the past eight years. "The problems just won't go away," she said, adding the government "cannot distance" itself from what has happened. "The hands off approach has allowed bad management to thrive."

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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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