Excerpt from the OH&S Canada magazine (January 2016)
The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) is recently conducted an internal employee-engagement survey to measure staff perception of the working environment, as it continues to recover from the Jian Ghomeshi scandal that rocked the National broadcaster in late 2014.
The survey follows up on CBC Workplace Investigation Regarding Jian Ghomeshi, also known as the Rubin report. This unsettling 55-page investigative report reveals the extent of the disgraced Q host’s consistent abuse of colleagues and the “host culture” that allowed such behaviour to flourish at the CBC’s Toronto headquarters.
According to a statement issued by the CBC on December 9, 2015 the survey results were “mixed”, indicating that employees’ psychological health was a particular area of concern for the employer.
“CBC/Radio-Canada continues to lag on recognition, development and a sense of progress on the job,” the statement notes. “Overall satisfaction has dropped significantly… Well-being and psychological health are of concern.”
But the CBC points out that its employees are still committed to quality work and that the organization has scored well in terms of ethics and integrity.
Marc-Phillippe Laurin – the CBC branch president for the Canadian Media Guild, the national union that represents CBC employees outside of Québec – says low employee morale at the broadcaster a result of fiscal cuts and downsizing is much as it was of the Ghomeshi situation.
“It is tough to be an employee of the CBC and keep your cheery face on when you are faced with thousands of cuts in such a short time,” says Laurin, citing the $150 million cut that the Stephen Harper government imposed on the CBC in 2012. “The Ghomeshi situation is one incident that really scarred the CBC, hurt a lot of people.”
Lauren explains that the most significant action that the CBC has taken to date was to establish a phone hotline for employees to get guidance on where to direct a complaint about bullying or harassment. “But it is not a hotline for reporting, which is one of the Rubin recommendations,” he says, adding that the broadcaster is currently training its managers and hotline supervisors on how to handle complaints.
According to the CBC, it will continue working on employee engagement. Action plans are to be established early this year, the broadcaster notes.
This report is almost 6 years old now and we still have to deal with egos and workplace harassment all over the place.
If the reader has forgotten the original story, I have written a brief summary of the complaint(s).
In late 2014, Canadian radio host Jian Ghomeshi was arrested and charged with four counts of sexual assault, and one count of overcoming resistance by choking, in relation to three complainants. He was charged with three additional counts related to three more women on January 8, 2015.
It cannot be tolerated today anymore than it was 5 years ago.
Under provincial law, there is a hotline number to report, anonymously if needed, any workplace violence or harassment. Section 50 of the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) protects staff from retribution for making a complaint. It states,
“No employer or person acting on behalf of an employer shall,
(a) dismiss or threaten to dismiss a worker;
(b) discipline or suspend or threaten to discipline or suspend a worker;
(c) impose any penalty upon a worker; or
(d) intimidate or coerce a worker,
because the worker has acted in compliance with this Act or the regulations or an order made thereunder, has sought the enforcement of this Act or the regulations or has given evidence in a proceeding in respect of the enforcement of this Act or the regulations or in an inquest under the Coroners Act.”
‘Work’ and ‘Play’ safe.
Daniel L. Beal
CHSEP – Advanced Level
VP & Senior Trainer
HRS Group Inc.