Last month the largest-ever delegation of freelancers came together to represent CMG Freelance at the Canadian Media Guild’s 2018 biennial convention in Toronto.

Approximately 175 people from 11 branches of the union — including CBC, Thomson Reuters, VICE Canada, Aboriginal Peoples Television Network and Canadian Press — attended the convention from May 25 to 27 at the Marriott Bloor Yorkville Hotel.

CMG Freelance’s six executive members plus five delegates and one observer spent time together in branch meetings and participated in the union’s plenary sessions.

CMG Freelance president Don Genova said he was heartened by the level of support that CMG Freelance received from delegates and other branches of the union.

“We’re moving forward to develop some guidelines that will help our fellow brothers and sisters at other employers think of our members first when it comes to allowable hiring outside of their collective agreements,” he said.

Genova also said the convention was an opportunity to learn about problems individual members are having with pay and working conditions.

“So-called ‘hallway conversations’ are always important at conventions. This year I found out about a number of our members who were missing payments from work done for the CBC and was able to get those payments processed by contacting management after the convention,” he said.

The convention was an opportunity for the freelance branch to build relationships with other branches of the union.

“We are getting more formal cooperation in terms of an increased relationship with the CBC Branch regarding upcoming bargaining, as well as important consultation on a new policy regarding temporary employees who also freelance that was instituted by the CBC without consulting CMG,” said Genova.

Genova, along with the other branch presidents, made a presentation to the convention attendees and took the opportunity to play CMG Freelance’s new promotional video, which was produced by CMG Freelance member and union delegate Leanne Allen.

The energy generated by such a large group of freelancers — including several new union members — made for a productive and fruitful convention for CMG Freelance.

“This convention marked our largest gathering of our executive and delegates ever. We were able to put our caucus time to good use in planning campaigns and communication strategies for the future,” said Genova.

“Look out world, here comes CMG Freelance!”

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