Dozens of workers at Ontario’s public broadcaster TVO walked off the job Monday morning.
The union represents around 70 journalists, producers and education workers represented by Canadian Media Guild have been in a legal strike position since Friday. The workers have been on the job without a new contract for about a year. Other employees at TVO are represented by Unifor and are not affected by the strike action.
One of the main sticking points is the use of contracts to fill permanent positions, the union previously said. It has also said the wages offered are well below what’s needed for workers to catch up to inflation.
Members have received below-inflation wage increases for the past 10 years, including three years of complete wage freezes, CMG said in a previous press release. “TVO workers do not agree that employees should be placed in a precarious situation based on an arbitrary order from the Ministry of Education. CMG members at TVO have previously negotiated language to allow the employer to trial new positions for two years before making them permanent. We feel that the timeline is respectful of workers by giving them a path to stability while providing TVO with a more-than-fair amount of flexibility.”
“The offer of 2.75%, 2.5%, and 1.75% increases over three years with a potential 1.75% raise for a fourth year is well below the wage improvements workers need during an affordability crisis. It also comes after below-inflation increases since 2012, including three years of zero increases from 2012-2014. Moreover, this offer is well below the increases obtained in the latest noteworthy education, energy and health care Provincial settlements. Our members refuse to be professionally devalued by the Government of Ontario.” said the press release over the weekend.
“They deserve meaningful increases after seeing their wages capped by the one per cent limit imposed by Bill 124, the union said. Bill 124 was declared unconstitutional last year.” CMG said.