Editorial workers at Canwest daily
Media Guild | CWA Canada
CWA Canada members who work at a Canwest
daily newspaper in Saskatchewan have ratified a new contract
just ahead of a change of ownership.
Members of the Saskatchewan Media Guild,
which represents about 40 editorial workers at the Regina
Leader-Post, voted 97 per cent in favour late last week to
ratify a new contract that gives them wage increases of 4.5
per cent over three years.
Karen Schlamp, president of the Local,
says the "collective agreement we have reached is a
step forward for our members. We lost nothing and only gained. (It)
provides some certainty for our members as the new owner
of our newspaper comes into place and we see their future
intentions for the Leader-Post."
One week previous to the ratification vote, an Ontario Superior
Court judge approved the sale of Canwest Global Communications'
newspaper division to a group of its creditors, led by Paul
Godfrey, president and CEO of the National
Post. The company
is aiming to have the transaction completed by July 14.
David Esposti, the CWA Canada staff
representative who worked with the bargaining team in Regina,
said the three consecutive days of talks leading up to
the tentative deal on June 17 "went
While the contract expired in November 2009 and the union
served notice to bargain, Canwest's filing for protection
from creditors early in the new year left things in limbo
until it became clear who the new owners would be.
The new contract comes into effect June 30 and runs until
the same date in 2013, says Schlamp.
In addition to the annual salary increases of 1.0, 2.0 and
1.5 per cent, there were signing bonuses for full-time ($500)
and part-time members ($250).
The new agreement also includes:
a fourth week of vacation
after eight years of service and a fifth week after 17
years (in a province in which labour regulations provide
for three weeks vacation after one
year; four weeks after 10);
language addressing overtime and being
increase in severance pay;
more family members (aunt, uncle, step-siblings)
added to bereavement leave provisions.