The full union bargaining committee at Pacific Newspaper Group met yesterday to discuss strategy and to get caught up on where negotiations are at.
“It was a good meeting, with full and frank discussion from everyone on the committee,” said Local 2000 President Mike Bocking. “We are moving forward.”
Last week editorial bargaining members and the executive met with management from both newsrooms to talk about the future as described by the editors in chief.
The next meeting, in two weeks, is expected to discuss pressroom issues.
The emergence today of two contenders for Director of CWA Canada both triggers an election for the position and confirms that Arnold Amber is stepping down as leader of the union.
Shortly before nominations closed at noon today, it was announced that Ron Carroll of the Montreal Newspaper Guild (MNG) would be a challenger to Martin O’Hanlon, currently the Deputy Director, whose nomination for the top job was filed April 26. Carroll is a copy editor at The Gazette in Montreal and O’Hanlon, a member of the Canadian Media Guild (CMG), is Ottawa News Editor for The Canadian Press.
Lois Kirkup, president of the Ottawa Newspaper Guild, has been acclaimed as Deputy Director by the Elections Committee.
Carroll was nominated by Mona Leroux, president of the MNG. Seconders were Debbie Newton, president of the Kingston Typographical Union, and CMG member David Hawkins.
Amber has been Director of the union since its inception as TNG Canada/CWA in 1995. He was the driving force behind its evolution from a politically autonomous part of The Newspaper Guild to the Canadian Region of the Communications Workers of America. As of Jan. 1, 2007, the Director of the newly christened CWA Canada went from being a volunteer position to a full-time paid job.
This will be the first time that members of CWA Canada will cast ballots for Director of the union. That position, as well as that of Deputy Director, were previously determined by elections at the National Representative Council. Changes to the union’s bylaws so they would conform to the constitution that governs the CWA require that elections for the two positions be held at the national level. Also, the terms of office have increased to four years from three.
The campaign period began at 12:01 p.m. today and runs until June 2. That is followed by a three-week period during which voting would be either by mail ballot (sent directly to members and returned) or at the Local level with ballots sent to the National Elections Committee for counting. It expects to announce results on June 27.
During the campaign period, union funds, staff and other resources are not to be used in support of any particular candidate. Locals must provide equal treatment to both candidates in terms of making websites, bulletin boards and other spaces available for election material.