My Photo
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Saturday, September 17, 2005

The Negotiations: Through a Glass Darkly

I'm still on the line, picketed the last few hours, had a few, shall we say, interesting conversations.

Somebody told me that the other night, in the middle of the night, the picket captains rounded up all the picketers and did a head count. Several dozen people were signed in... but the head count netted something like ten picketers. Probably people had signed in and forgotten to sign out (he wrote generously). I heard another story about a guy who signed in and went to see a movie. Man is that tempting. Tempting, but not really cool. To be fair, most of the people I know feel guilty about pee breaks. It's okay folks, take your pee breaks. No, not in the park. But ix-nay on the movie-nays.

The negotiations.

Drum roll, please.

I love the rumours. I keep hearing, this'll be all over when the hockey starts. This'll be all over when parliament is in session. This'll be all over when I get my novel written (okay, that was just me doing some wishful thinking).

Here's what I know about the negotiations from people who know a tiny little bit more about it than me. The negotiations have little to do with hockey, parliament and, um, novel writing. They have to do with the issues on the table and whether the two parties are happy with the language. The negotiaters try to keep external considerations off the table. The negotiating will be finished when both management and the union are happy with the language and not before. At no time will the union negotiators give us a contract to ratify until they are confident they can defend every single issue.

The pace of the negotiations is excruciatingly slow. (This is not news, I know). The reason it is slow is because lawyers are sitting at the table, poring over every single word. Before the lockout there was a clause in the contract having to do with military service. It was a clause that should have been rubber stamped instantly by management. Instead, they brought forth new language on it. Why? Just 'cause. That slows things down. They are apparently doing this with everything. And not just management... sometimes the Guild is doing the same. In fact, management has actually suggested that the Guild is deliberately stalling until hockey and parliament give them some leverage. This Guild denies this, of course. The fact is, nobody's getting paid out here (unlike the management negotiating committee). Members of the Guild negotiating committee are certainly not getting paid. No, what's happening is that both sides are trying to make the contract perfect for both of them.

Perhaps one can lay blame... a little. The lead negotiator for management is a novice, he's never done this before (hey, everybody's gotta start somewhere.) People sitting at the table for management are not the people that should be sitting at the table. Every time something serious comes up, the management negotiating committee has to check with senior management. On one occasion before the lockout, this necessitated contacting a manager in China. That added a few minutes, you may be sure. In negotiations between GM and the CAW the right people are sitting at the table. Why is that not the case here?

The atmosphere at the negotiating table is described as professional. These are real, live human beings trying to do the best they can under rather trying circumstances; every now and then both sides require time to cool off. But then they roll up their sleeves and get back to work.

Apparently there are about six major issues remaining. The negotiators refuse to speculate on how long it will take to resolve them, although job evaluation is one, and it's tricky. It has been said that negotiations are a process, not an event. A process that can be sped up or slowed down, sometimes on a dime. A breakthrough could happen next week... or next month.

The question still remains, why can't we work why they talk? No one has an answer to that one. And management has apparently made it clear that even if they come up with a deal for us to ratify, they won't let us back in until after the ratification.

Perhaps not surprisingly, some of the Guild negotiators have been reading the blogs. That's not to say that the blogs are any kind of a factor in the negotiations (let's get over ourselves, already). The negotiators have stopped reading blogs that are insulting (representatives of management have told me the same thing). I humbly suggest that we attempt to maintain an adult tone on our blogs if we expect to continue being read, let alone taken seriously.

I still have serious issues with senior management; just the same, I thank the members of both negotiating teams for their hard work and perserverence.

Stay the course.

Get us back inside.

On The Line

I'm in the middle of my ten hour day, just finished Picket Captain duty (did not wear the orange hat), did many many laps, I've decided I deserve to sit for a few minutes and do up a quick post, live on the line.

One of the benefits of being a picket captain is that everybody buys you free beer while you're standing there. Okay they don't, but they ought to. Actually, I just finished reading the picket captain rules and alchohol's strictly prohibited on the line.

I guess that's a good thing.

One of the REAL benefits is that you get to talk to managers entering the building. At first glance that might not sound like a good thing, but like much else in life, it is if you make it work for you. I like to engage them in conversation, and these days they're only too happy to talk. I still find it sad how many of them continue to toe the management party line, but as one of them explained to me, some feel they have to do that, because they're paranoid. Word gets out. So they have to be careful.

One manager told me that his crowd inside thought it would be all over by next week. He'd heard that they'd planned to expedite bargaining this weekend and start wrapping it all up by next week. Yes, I know these rumours aren't worth the paper they're printed on, but myself I don't have a problem with speculating. Another manager told me that the managers inside are fervently reading the blogs, and there have been some hurt feelings. He said, there's no reason to get personal. Senior managerment may have asked for it, but the middle managers haven't, so why be mean to them.

I'm inclined to agree, frankly, and have made it a point in this blog not to get personal with anybody other than senior management, who I feel orchestrated this whole fiasco. This is not an opportunity to settle personal scores with people with whom I may have issues. It's not about that. It's about getting back inside, earning money to support my family, and perhaps (not to put too fine a point on it) saving public broadcasting in this country. Yes, I know I hurled a few epithets a few posts back, but they were generic epithets, directed to anybody willing to embrace them, that may have been feeling rather like a bastard or an idiot that particular day. I'm sure you know who you are.

But I digress. Digression is better than standing in the sun, although I will return to my picket line duties shortly.

Speaking of which, as I was standing directly in the sun a short while ago, lamenting aloud the imminent onset of skin cancer, a friend said, "Don't worry, skin cancer's the happy cancer. You'll look back later and think, well, at least I got this spending lots of time outside in the sun."

Um... I think not.

Yesterday while it was raining I noticed many people clinging to the walls and doors. Several of them were reading. One of them told me today that management complained, forcing these people away from the walls. Apparently having them so close to the walls "bothered them." Gee, we can't be bothering those poor people inside, can we? Just to be sure, they turned off the lights so that people couldn't read.


My time is up, time to hit the bricks again.

Fun in the sun.


Back from a ten hour shift... a quick post and a few snapshots before heading off for another ten hour shift.

But first of all, to answer Justin's question, this blog will almost certainly be shut down after the lockout. This is a CBC lockout blog ("the new porn", as some have called it) and when this sad chapter in history is over, I will not continue the blog. Happily, I seem to be on strike or locked out of the CBC fairly frequently, so it's only a matter of time until the blog starts up again.

As the pizza add goes, "it was a rainy day" on the line today. The talk was of relationships, and love affairs on the line. Any picket line romances out there? Husbands and wives, if your spouse tells you, "Gee honey, I'm sorry but for some reason we have to picket forty hours this week... um, at night..." be suspicious.

They made me be a picket captain today. I usually agree because I know they're short of picket captains. And I'm a pushover. But not that much of a pushover. When you're a picket captain you have to sport some kind of picket captain ID. Mr. Picket Marshall said, "Put on this hat so they'll know who you are." He was talking about the famous orange picket captain hat. Did I mention it was orange? This is one ugly hat. Now, I've seen lots of people wear the hat and all I have to say to that is they're better people than me. Dorkier, but better. "Sorry," Mr. Picket Marshall told me, "It's non-negotiable. Now be a man and put on the damned hat."

Well, I'm sorry, but I draw the line at orange hats. I'm allergic to orange. It's bad enough I'm out on the street, do I have to look like a nerd, too? Okay, okay, yes I know that I AM a nerd... look, it's bad enough that I have to be a nerd, must I look like one, too? Folks, I'm serious, we need better picket captain hats. Something cool. Something, oh, I don't know, NOT ORANGE.

I get that they have to be visible. I know... how about something like what firemen used to wear? Those bright red metallic hats.

Now THAT would be a cool picket captain's hat.

As I said, back on the line today for another ten hours.

See ya.

I'll be the one not wearing the bright orange hat.

Manna From... Somewhere

It may have been wet, but we didn't go hungry. I'm not exactly sure where these sandwiches came from, but many thanks to whoever donated them.

CBC Couple

This is Pat Onysko and Alan Lawrence, a CBC couple, both out on the line.

Pat and Alan are both picketing and doing some work on the side, but expect it to get a little rough soon financially. They had to cancel their sixteen year old daughter's birthday trip to New York. Just the same, they told me they're in this for the long haul.

It's Raining Again

A wet day on the line for Kent Hoffman, Jowi Taylor and Jeff Goodes

Best Sign of the Day

A Picket Captain and His Hat

Picket Captain Ian Cooper, (formerly) of Newsworld.

I just want to say that I met Ian Cooper last night and he's a really nice guy. He let me take this picture and the one below. He's a better man than me for wearing that hat.

Thanks Ian, and thanks for volunteering to be a Picket Captain... forgive me for poking fun at your hat.

Would You Wear This Hat?

The infamous hat...

Ever wonder why you can't get enough picket captains?

It's because you make them wear this hat.

Friday, September 16, 2005


Picketing ten hours today and tomorrow so I'll probably be hard pressed to post much until Sunday. One of the kids isn't sleeping well... night terrors... so we haven't got much sleep the last couple of nights. If you see me sleeping on the concrete today with a picket sign over my face, that'll just be where I fell down.

Philly had a post about the impact of this whole thing on her kids; I'm beginning to wonder about the impact on my family. Parents anxious, projecting their anxiety onto their kids who suddenly can't sleep, keeping the whole house awake, increasing the tension and anxiety in what threatens to become a vicious feedback loop. Now, lest any senior management type read this and get the wrong idea, no, it doesn't make me want to cave. It makes me want to do something I've resolved not to do on this blog. It makes me want to call you names. Something like...


This is the height of stupidity. You're talking, working things out. Progress is slow, but progress is being made. Now, why couldn't we be working while you're talking? Serving the Canadian public? Fulfilling our mandate? Earning money to feed and house our families? Why couldn't we have been doing that all along?

This could just be lack of sleep talking, but...


Another labour dispute is resorting to arbitration to settle their dispute. It should have been arbritration from the get go. Most labour disputes should always be settled by some form of binding arbitration.

Lest it result in name calling.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Scabs R Us

John Gushue reports:

"A company hired by the CBC to co-ordinate a broadcast Friday for the Terry Fox anniversary has been approaching retired CBC workers, according to the Canadian Media Guild."

Check out John's site for more info.

I remember the last couple of times out some of my former colleagues, who had quit the corp for one reason or another, did struck work. It was difficult to comprehend, especially given that many of these guys had spent time on the picket line in past labour disputes. I have friends now who still refuse to have anything to do with these people, won't even look at them (let alone speak to them) because they crossed the picket line (some of them have returned to work for the corp, others we meet in the street).

Although I regret that these people did this, I'm not good at sustained anger... it's not healthy, and I prefer to place people over ideals. Just the same, I understand where the anger comes from. If you cross the picket line, you're taking money out of my pocket. You're partially responsible should I lose my house or have trouble feeding my family.

Which reminds me. In case you didn't know, there is more than one kind of picket line. In the type of work we do, there exist electronic picket lines. Don't do interviews by line or by phone. There's also a snail mail picket line. Somebody e-mailed me just this evening to ask if it's appropriate to mail a CD to the broadcast centre during the dispute. I informed them that it's not. Consciousness raised, they assured me that they wouldn't.

So... please don't cross the picket line. Any picket line.

I may still talk to you afterward... but I won't really like you.

Another Recipe...

This time from Edith Prickley (of all people) of Picketers Anonymous.

Prickley writes: "Disclaimer: This recipe is provided for entertainment/informational purposes only. "Picketers Anonymous" does not condone or advocate the use of illegal substances. We accept no responsibility for the way this information is used, nor for any harm that might occur from the use of this recipe."

After an introduction like that, how can you resist?

You will find the recipe here, and here, and even here

Thanks Edith!

Aigle, You Are Too Cool

How's a guy supposed to pick a favourite blog with so many great blogs to choose from?

How's a guy supposed to MAINTAIN a blog with everybody upping the ante every day?

Ouimet wrote:

"Check this out...

Now hit control-A and look at it again."

Thanks, Ouimet.

And Aigle.

And all the rest of you bloggers.

You should be generating this kind of content inside.

The Punchline

You might be surprised to learn that Rabinovitch and company have been kind enough to submit a recipe of their own to our food fight. It's a little something called:

A Recipe For Disaster


1 hapless public broadcasting corporation
5500 employees
half a dozen self-serving senior managers
many frightened middle managers
1 apathetic federal government
1 bemused national media

Place the self-serving senior managers in charge of the hapless public broadcasting corporation. Limit their vision until thoroughly shortsighted. Stir in frightened middle managers until completely brainwashed. Kick the 5500 employees the hell out onto the street. Keep the apathetic federal government apart indefinitely. Season with bemused commentary from the national media. Bake until completely indigestible.

Feeds: one nation starved for intelligent public discourse.

...I tried it, and found it a little bitter.

So I added raisins.


I just checked Tessa's blog and found that she had posted this recipe... with the same title as the recipe above. I daresay hers will taste a darned sight better.

A(nother) Recipe For Disaster (by Tessa)

"I'm no cook. I eat toast, cereal and chocolate bars (Crunchie). I do, however, have a strange addiction to bagles with saurkraut, mozarella and feta cheese. This is a disgusting thing, I know. But I am in love with it.Nonetheless, I will share with you a recipe that's been passed down to me through generations.

Buy one bag of Hershey's milk chocolate chips. (NOT the dark ones, or the regular ones. Blecht!)

Use about 1/2 a cup less flour than the recipe on the back of the bag calls for.

Bake the cookies for about 1.5 minutes less than said recipe says. (In my oven that's about 7 minutes. But I have a gas oven and someone once told me that makes a difference. Whatever that means).


They're are the the Best Chocolate Chip Cookies Ever in History. I swear. (And the raw dough is freakin' amazing too.)"

Thanks Tessa!

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

New Favourite Blog etc

Hey, I can play favourites too. This is a cool lockout blog. It would be a cool blog anytime, I think. It's called qiqitiqpuq. Course, I always was a big fan of Northern Exposure.

... and Ouimet has weighed in on our Food Fight:

"I'm trying to quit smoking. This is the only thing that seems to work."

Good luck quitting smoking, Ouimet, and I do mean that sincerely.

More Recipes

Philly M has risen to the challenge! Philly says of her recipe:

"These cookies never fail. They are studded with intense bursts of candied ginger, the applesauce keeps them chewy and the sugar on the outside makes a nice little crunch. The batch makes about 40 cookies - easier for sharing with your buddies on the line than 12 muffins."


Blend together: 3/4 cup sugar1/2 cup applesauce 1/4 cup vegetable oil

When smooth, add:
1 teaspoon grated fresh lemon rind
1 tablespoon grated ginger root
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Pour above into a well in the middle of these sifted ingredients:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup whole-wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
Stir in: 3/4 cup chopped crystalized ginger

The dough will be stiff. Chill for a few hours. Scoop the dough, one teaspoon at a time, and roll each scoop into a ball shape between your hands (you may want to flour your hands - keep the dough cool while working if possible). Toss the ball around in a little bowl of sugar to coat. Place on a lightly greased pan, flatten slightly with a fork, or even better, the bottom of a plastic spool of thread (it'll look like a flower). Bake for about 15 minutes in a 350F oven. Cool on racks... serve with the beverage of your choice (I'm partial to a dram of Ardbeg and some tea, myself).

Not to be outdone, Matt Watts has responded to the Lock Out Food Challenge by unveiling his famous pie. Now if only he would tell us how to bake it...
Dan Misener writes: "I don't have any great recipes to share (Tim Hortons and KD are staples in my diet), but I know two gentlemen who do: Mat and Dave from Let's Get Baked with Mat and Dave."
Soon to come... a recipe from everyone's favourite Tessa (he typed optimistically...) :-)

Recipe Time

Sadly, senior management remains out to lunch, but there's no reason why we should go hungry while they feast on the remains of public broadcasting.

Behold, some lockout recipes from locked out fiddle players, bloggers and more:

The first, from violin virtuoso Laurence:

"This one's a no-brainer and thus perfect for a Scot. It's also my favourite comfort food as my waistline demonstrates:

Take 2 potatoes and one sweet potato/yam. put them in the microwave and cook. (There's usually a preset of some kind. At least there has been on my last 2 microwaves.)Put in a pot and mash with butter, milk and seasoning. Maybe Cajun seasoning to remind us of the wonders of New Orleans.Serve.And then make some more for whoever else is around.........."

This next isn't a recipe per se, but rather the snack food of choice for one Tod Maffin, while he's putting together the Champion of all Lockout Blogs:

"Microwave popcorn. The breakfast of champions. ;-) " writes Tod.

Thanks Tod!

Blogger Cindy in Yellowknife (who got the ball rolling on the Canadian Broadcasting Cookbook) writes:

"Hey, I've already got two recipes:

Pineapple Coconut muffins

And the original lock-out muffins, Banana Zucchini Chocolate chip

These are so good, they're gone within the hour whenever I make them for the picket line. Remember the lock-out muffin motto: "Can't fight The Man on an empty stomach!"

Coming soon, I've been promised recipes from blogger (and radio host) Philly M:

"hey workerbee, I'm on it - lobio tkemali and 3-ginger applesauce cookies coming up ASAP. "

...and the infamous Tessa, who writes...

"CBCWorkerbee, I am thinking about my recipe. Though that’s a toughie, as my appetite’s plummeted since the lockout began and I’ve developed horrendous eating habits. (Last week there was a day in which my sustenance consisted of a glass of milk and a hunk of cheese.)"

Keep 'em comin', folks... I get real hungry writing these posts. And better yet, whip'em up and bring them to the picket line.

Here's mine, before I get on with my life:

"Lock Out Choc Out"

1" square of Parawax (half of 1 block)
Enough chocolate chips to cover Parawax (aprox 8 oz)
1 cup peanut butter
1 cup icing sugar
2 1/2 cups Rice Krispies

Using double boiler, melt Parawax. Cover Parawax with chocolate chips and melt. Turn off heat. Add peanut butter and melt. Add icing sugar and stir. Add Rice Krispies and stir. Put in 9X11 pan. Refrigerate 10 minutes. Cut, then eat. Digest, then eat more. Repeat.

You can omit the Parawax if you like, and you don't really have to use a double boiler.


Conversations With Managers

Lately a lot of managers have made it a point to stop and talk. One, who has a history of laudatory behaviour on the line, freqently providing food and really taking the time to talk, really talked to me the other day. I'm afraid I got into it a bit with her.

She mentioned that the senior managers are always making the rounds inside, answering questions. She said that many inside are not afraid to ask the hard questions of these people. I said, what questions? She said, you know, they want to know when this will end, what the plan is, that sort of thing. I said that my first question would be, "What the F*** are you people thinking?"

She laughed uncomfortably and said that both sides are right and wrong, both management and the union. I asked, how so? She said, well, we get all our information from management inside and you get all your information from the union, so we're both biased as a result. I pointed out that in fact I've heard very little from the union, except the odd matter-of-fact update that seems pretty devoid of rhetoric. Instead I get most of my information online, from locked out investigative journalists with nothing better to do than attempt to get to the bottom of what's going on.

I continued to press her. I said, why doesn't somebody ask them why they can't pen some kind of interim agreement? They're talking, we might as well be working while they're talking, right? She replied that even interim agreements take a while to sort out. Bullshit, I thought, thinking of all the competing radio stations in New Orleans that got together almost overnight to broadcast together. I said, are you afraid to speak? I said, if you all spoke with one voice, refusing to buy into what might well result in the demise of public broadcasting in this country, perhaps you might accomplish something. She shook her head. You just can't talk to senior management that way. People would get fired.

She brought up the famous Krista and Fred memo. Nobody seems to give them any credit for rescinding that memo, she pointed out. They changed their mind, saw reason. They deserve credit for that, she said. I said, "Should we give Pat Robertson credit for changing his mind about assassinating the president of Venezuela? He's still a goof, isn't he? I question his sincerity, and I question theirs."

At which point I felt I had gone too far and apologized. This was a good person I was talking to, I reminded myself.

It wasn't her fault she suffered a bad case of Stockholm Syndrome.

Lockout Dreams

Had my first lockout dream last night. It's been said that there's nothing more boring than another person's dreams. Having said that, I'm not going to spare you the details.

I dreamt that we were picketing outside the Broadcast Centre at night. We completely surrounded the place. I was with some francophone colleagues... I speak French (after a fashion) but I was having a lot of trouble understanding them. The dream stuttered and I found myself inside the building. I thought, "Is the lockout over?" But I could see the picket lines outside. My God, they'll think I crossed the picket line! I tried to get out, and wound up in the basement levels. Water was rising from the floor, emergency crews were trying to deal with it. Suddenly the place was filled with my colleagues trying to escape. The crews were warning us: "Get out! Get out now!" but it was impossible to tell which way to go.

The water continued to rise. Debris barred our way. Soon we floated in water several metres deep. I tried desperately to keep a female colleague afloat. Debris struck me and we separated; I lost her beneath the waves.

I made it to a floating bit of debris, mourning my colleague. The Broadcast Centre drifted away in chunks of jagged flotsam. The dream stuttered again and I found myself in an endless convoy of dishevelled former CBC employees on the road to an uncertain future.

Not hard to interpret that dream.

Sorry to inflict it on ya.

While Waitin' For The Recipes to Roll In...

Andre Alexis with unidentified picketer...

Monday, September 12, 2005


A call for recipes at such a serious time. What am I thinking? I'm thinking mood, is what I'm thinking. Morale. Some folks are despairing. Others are posting potentially bad news. Others are thinking food, and frankly I like where Other's head is at. You're gonna like where my head's at when I post my recipe for "Lock Out Choc Out!" (Names are important...)

I've got more psuedo-serious thoughts on this whole thing but right now some other folks have got the market cornered on that one. So I'm going to concentrate on stomachs for a post or two.

It doesn't mean that I'm not taking this whole thing seriously. Au contraire... it's proof that I am.

The proof is in the pudding, after all.

Food Fight!

It's a soft news day. I'm afraid the picket line hero stories just aren't forthcoming (okay, it's only been a day, give it a while) but I've had another bright idea. I'm sorry, I just can't do the hard news 24/7 like Tod and Robin, bless their journalistic hearts. Cindy in Yellowknife has posted a recipe for Lockout Muffins and I'm thinkin'... food fight!

Tomorrow I'm going to post a lockout related recipe and I challenge everyone to do the same. Hey, even you managers are welcome to join in, especially those of you who (for shame!) have been sneaking food to us on the line. You know who you are! :-) Hmm... I'd love to know what Rabinovitch is snackin' on as he dreams up yet another indignity for the employees he (allegedly) cares so much about.

Post the recipe to my comments, or e-mail it to me cbcworkerbee@gmail.com, and I'll post it on the big screen. One recipe per person. Just something delicious to get us through this lockout... ummm... maybe something economical. But tasty.

Or imaginary...

If you're a fellow blogger, post a recipe. I mean it... even you serious journalistic folks. What do journalists eat, anyway? Do you even have time to eat? Tod, we've seen your workstation... what snacks are you hiding behind there? Robin, there's no way you could get through one of those long, thought provoking posts of yours without gobbling something without at least a little bit of peanut butter in it. What is it? John, what's everyone eatin' on the rock these days? John in Toronto? John in Vancouver? Philly, what do you snack on wherever the heck you are? Tessa, don't hold out on us... Tom, Tania, Sheila, Dan, Justin...

...Aigle, Matt, Ouimet... I'm sorry if I've left anybody out...

...what do gnomes eat?

Posting mine tomorrow... and it rocks.

It's got chocolate in it.

Lockout Grows Annoying

Time to get back to work, folks. I've enjoyed the time off, I really have, so far the lockout's been everything I hoped it would be, but there's such a thing as too much of a good thing. Yes, I've got a lot done, I completely organized the big filing cabinet, fixed the fence, got lots of sunshine and exercise (infinite laps around the broadcast centre @ a quarter of a mile a lap), spent lots of quality time with the family, and cooked many a fine meal for said family, folks that ordinarily don't get a chance to eat with me during the week because it's a long, long commute and I usually don't get back home 'til after midnight or thereabouts. So there certainly have been plusses.

But the minuses are starting to add up. I'm starting to forget things. I'm not quite sure where my desk is anymore. What is it that I used to do inside? Something to do with the floors? My Swiss bank account manager called. It doesn't look good... soon I'm going to have to sell one of the chalets and trade in the Lamborghini. And that damned gnome is driving me nuts on the picket line... if I hear one more thing about his beard I'm going to rip it clean off his face.

I need to get back to work. My self esteem is plummeting; I'm starting to lose faith in my divinity. I've forgotten all my passwords. I felt a chill in the air yesterday... I can't picket in the cold (again). My feet hurt. I have a toothache. My hair is falling out (oh wait, no that happened years ago). I love my work (what I remember of it, anyway), and I can't wait to get back to it. So thanks for the vacation but I'm good now.


Sunday, September 11, 2005


In lieu of stunning insights of my own, take a look at this glimpse into what heros are made of, from blogger CBC Drone.

Another such hero is radio producer Karen Levine, who from what I understand refused to cross the picket line back in 1981, and was fired for it, although eventually rehired. I don't know the details of this story; feel free to fill me in, anyone.

If anybody knows of other such stories, I'd love to hear them. Leave a comment, or e-mail me at cbcworkerbee@gmail.com

Gnome Shirks Picket Duty

Pedro the Gnome found lying down on the job... shirking picket duty!

Okay, now I'm just being silly. These are the kind of pictures you take waiting for the Go Train after picketing sixteen hours.

Off to cut the lawn, do the dishes, hang out the clothes, feed the cats... man I'm looking forward to picketing ten hours tomorrow.

"Anonymous" Floats Alternative Funding Idea

Here's an excerpt from an idea for an alternative funding formula that someone posted to my binding arbitration post a while back. I have reservations about the idea (who determines how much where, and what makes them more qualified than us to determine it... do we really want to make ourselves more dependant on bureaucrats and politicians in Ottawa?) but this is the kind of debate we should be engaging in:

"We all know the cbc is underfunded. we also know that no amount of complaining about is has done any good. i can't help but wonder if we were funded differently - then perhaps, we could make the argument more persuasively.here's what i'm suggesting. before the canada health and social transfer ($$$ money from the feds to the provinces), ottawa sent money targeted for 3 envelopes. health, education and social services. provinces had to spend in those areas accordingly.once it became the CHST, it was a lump sum the provinces could portion out any way they chose and the accountability was lost.

perhaps the cbc should be funded in a targetted way. instead of a lump sum - a specific amount for regional, national, radio, french, drama/entertainment/ sports etc. then the CBC couldn't engage in voodoo accounting. but more important, when one area was found wanting, the cbc could say - well we spent all the money we had for that department.

of course regular external audits would have to be done to make sure the money was spent where is was supposed to. but it would also put pressure on the feds. no local and regional presence??? well we've only got 50 million dollars for that! the idea needs some work - but i think it's a campaign we could sell and win.

the cbc always complains it's asked to do too much with too little. well the feds should be forced to fund exactly what it thinks the cbc MUST do. what it doesn't fund, we don't do. what it doesn't fund appropriately, we don't do well. as it stands right now, we've got all of the responsibility of meeting countless demands within our mandate with diminishing resources and then we're criticized for letting some things slide in favour of something else. if this kind of funding was in place in 1990, the closures wouldn't have happened - they COULDN'T have happened. and we wouldn't be in this ridiculous situation where we keep trying to reinvent supper shows."

An idea floated by Anonymous, posting to my comments section.