People and Leadership

At CBC/Radio-Canada, one of our primary strengths is the quality and dedication of our people. It is clear that our corporate culture was challenged in 2014-2015 as we went through workforce adjustments, and we recognized broader workplace issues following the dismissal of Jian Ghomeshi. Despite these issues, the Corporation continues to prioritize the well-being of our staff, while also working to implement necessary changes that come as part of A space for us all. Further detail on how we are addressing these workplace issues is provided below.


As of March 31, 2015, we employed a total of 7,440 full-time equivalent employees (FTEs),(1) of whom 6,659 were permanent, 158 were temporary and 623 were contract. This is a decrease of 710 FTEs when compared to March 31, 2014, resulting mainly from workforce adjustments following 2014-2015 budget reductions.

Under the Employment Equity Act, we are committed to providing equal employment opportunities to the four designated groups: women, Aboriginal peoples, persons with disabilities, and members of visible minority groups.

As of March 31, 2015, women made up 46.0% of permanent employees, Aboriginal peoples 1.5%, persons with disabilities 1.7%, and visible minorities 8.5%.


Our retention rate has stayed at above 96% since 2010.

As referenced in last year’s Annual Report, the Corporation eliminated 657 full-time positions from across the Corporation to balance the budget for the 2014-2015 fiscal year. These cuts were mostly implemented by the fall of 2014 with approximately 40 positions remaining to be eliminated in 2015-2016.

In addition to these workforce adjustments made to address 2014-2015 budget reductions, the new strategy, A space for us all, will impact our workforce by up to 1,500 positions by 2020. Two announcements relating to these reductions were made in 2014-2015:

  • On October 30, 2014, the Corporation announced the elimination of the equivalent of approximately 400 full-time positions. Most of the employees affected by this initiative were notified before the end of November, with the remainder of notifications occurring in early 2015.
  • On March 26, 2015, the Corporation announced it will be further reducing its workforce by approximately 240 full-time equivalents.

While we continued downsizing exercises this year, voluntary attritions remained low at about 4%.

*(Permanent headcount less departures) / Permanent headcount (excludes retirements and Workforce Adjustment (WFA) cuts)


The joint committee process involves unions and management working together to minimize the overall effect of the workforce adjustments. The goal is to place qualified individuals into suitable vacant positions according to the rights in their respective collective agreements, and to keep the number of involuntary layoffs as low as possible. The joint committees continue to work on the reductions announced in April and October of 2014. In April 2015, they also began to address reductions announced in March 2015 as part of the local strategy and ICI Musique.


Employee Assistance Program (EAP)

Our employees continue to receive support through the Employee Assistance Program (EAP). The EAP offers a variety of services, including confidential counselling for employees, their families and eligible former employees. The EAP also delivers individual wellness initiatives in our locations across the country. Our year-end EAP utilization rate was 18.8% (up from 15.7% in the previous year), and 1,598 cases, including employees, retirees and family members (up from 1,417 in 2013-2014), demonstrating confidence in the program.

Major EAP accomplishments this year include the implementation of four national initiatives aimed at supporting employee wellness: Mental Health Week, heart month, nutrition month, and the launch of the Tune-Up™ program to improve the musculoskeletal health of employees. Our EAP was honoured with the 2015 EASNA Corporate Award of Excellence in recognition of EAPs that enhance employee well-being and foster healthy and productive workplaces.

Report on workplace investigation regarding Jian Ghomeshi

Late last fall, we fired former radio host Jian Ghomeshi. Shortly thereafter, we engaged Janice Rubin, B.A., LL.B., to conduct an independent investigation into the circumstances and facts related to Mr. Ghomeshi and the shows with which he had been associated. We also sought Ms. Rubin’s recommendations on how CBC/Radio-Canada could improve our existing processes and policies to create a better and more respectful workplace.

The report findings were released on April 16, 2015, and we decided in the spirit of transparency to make public the entire report except for the details that were redacted to protect those individuals who chose to come forward and were promised confidentiality and/or to comply with our legal obligations. To be clear, Ms. Rubin was not involved in the decision to publish the full report or to redact any part of it.

On June 5, 2015, in a note from the President and CEO to staff, we communicated the Corporation’s action plan for not only dealing with Ms. Rubin’s recommendations, but also our commitment to a respectful work environment for all employees, regardless of level, location or tenure. Our action plan falls into five main key areas and corresponding activities, as follows:

  • Training – New additional mandatory training for all employees, with specific additional content for managers, executive producers, hosts and short-term employees.
  • Surveys and spot audits – A new engagement survey that, among other things, looks at the importance of engagement but also well-being in the workplace.
  • Reporting channels and support – A new external confidential employee helpline and a review of our existing channels.
  • Policy renewal – A review of our policies, including the Code of Conduct.
  • Workplace investigation and data – Training for human resources employees and a review of our data gathering methods.

We are in the process of consulting with our unions on this action plan and will continue to do so as we move forward with the variety of initiatives outlined above. In addition, two executive champions have been named – Susan Marjetti, Managing Director, CBC Ontario, and Ginette Viens, Senior Editor-in-Chief, ICI Radio-Canada Première – to lead the charge. Reporting directly to the President and CEO, Ms. Marjetti and Ms. Viens will be responsible for making sure that the corporate decisions we make, actually translate into something that can live and thrive on the floor, in an everyday environment.

As we execute on this action plan, we are committed to open and timely updates.

Employee development

Our learning and development team focused on supporting employees with initiatives aligned with the strategic priorities, including enhancing leadership capabilities as the organization navigates through the changes ahead.

Highlights of the year included the launch of a single, dedicated e-learning portal that is accessible to all employees; training support for our mobile-first strategy to help employees make any necessary transitions to digital; a new leadership development program; a simplified performance management approach to help managers have effective conversations with staff that inspire performance; and strengthened partnerships across the business to enhance the overall approach to change management.



This year saw both the continued implementation of our current Inclusion and Diversity Corporate Plan, as well as the start of strategic planning for the 2015-2018 period. The new plan will continue to focus on: removing employment barriers; expanding our pool of candidates for the four designated employment equity groups (Aboriginal peoples, persons with disabilities, visible minorities and women); and on making our workforce even more representative of the Canadian population. In addition, our new diversity index, developed in support of the new strategy, will track how we are doing at hiring diverse external candidates in comparison with the Canadian labour force availability.

HELP fund

Every year, we invite managers to apply to the $175,000 HELP Fund, which assists them in reaching their hiring targets of recruiting and retaining diverse candidates by allocating funding for internships and development opportunities. Matching funding of up to $15,000 is provided per internship, while up to $7,500 is provided per development opportunity. An example of the 2014-2015 HELP Fund in action is Radio-Canada’s Kirano project focused on inspiring First Nations, which had a significant digital component produced through one of the HELP Fund internships.

Employment equity questionnaire

As the public broadcaster, it is important that our workforce reflect the Canadian public. Through the Cultural Census, we can better gauge the broad diversity of our employees across the country. As of March 2015, the response rate was tracking at 82%, exceeding our goal of 80% for all employees. We have also launched a new employment equity questionnaire as part of the staffing process in order to better understand the successes of our attraction strategies and to help us adapt our methods when necessary.


2014-2015 was a busy year for labour relations and talent agreements at CBC/Radio-Canada.

We reached an agreement with the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE 675) in June 2014 to renew the monetary clauses until the current collective agreement expires on September 20, 2015. On August 26, 2014, we ratified our agreement with ACTRA to extend the terms of the current agreement for another year (from July 1, 2014 to June 30, 2015). We also reached an agreement with the Canadian Federation of Musicians (CFM), which was ratified on February 17, 2015. Its terms expire on September 30, 2015, and will include an increase of 4% over the term of the agreement. In November 2014, CBC/Radio-Canada and the Société des auteurs de radio, télévision et cinéma (SARTEC) renewed their collective agreement for a four-year term – from July 10, 2012 to July 17, 2016. In April 2014, CBC/Radio-Canada and the Canadian Media Guild began their five-year term under their new collective agreement.

In addition, the Canada Industrial Relations Board (CIRB) ruled in September 2014 that the existing French Services bargaining unit structure was no longer appropriate for purposes of collective bargaining in the province of Quebec and the city of Moncton, New Brunswick. One of the unions, the Association des réalisateurs (AR), contested certain aspects of the Board’s finding. The Corporation and the remaining unions were in favour of creating a single bargaining unit.

In May 2015, the CIRB ruled that the new French Services union structure will comprise two bargaining units. One of these units will represent members of CUPE 675, STARF-CUPE 5757 and the SCRC, while the other will represent AR members. On June 15, CBC/Radio-Canada filed an application for judicial review with the Federal Court of Appeal. The Corporation took this action to protect its right to challenge the reasons behind the CIRB’s decision, which had yet to be shared with the parties. The vote is not delayed by this, however, and will go ahead as planned from June 15 to 26. Filing such applications does not automatically suspend the effects of the original decision. Employees will be asked to vote electronically (from June 15 to 26, 2015) to choose the new bargaining unit that will represent them. Voting will be overseen by the CIRB. Negotiations between Radio-Canada and the new bargaining unit will begin after the vote. For more updates on this, visit our Corporate Website.


Challenge Us! 2014

Challenge Us! is an event that brings together our employees from many different business areas across the country to get inspired, brainstorm and make recommendations on issues that matter deeply to the Corporation’s future success. The 2014 edition of Challenge Us! was held on November 4 and 5, in Montreal.

This year, Challenge Us! was used to discuss how to bring the A space for us all strategy to life across all of our departments. Working in groups based on themes from the strategy, participants proposed concrete projects that could be implemented within the Corporation. Once selected, the project teams are given four weeks to develop and test a functional prototype.

Projects already underway include Taking Risks for Change, which provides modest seed funding to support the strategic plan in ways that might not occur otherwise. The project went on to support the mobile and online aspects of the event #CBCAsks: Is Politics Broken? Projects also include Ideas Accelerator, a process that accelerates innovation at Radio-Canada. Open to all employees, this initiative enables everyone to prototype the most innovative ideas in the digital and technology worlds, while being collaborative and working across sectors among all branches.

2014 employee awards

Recognition is an important aspect of the corporate culture at the public broadcaster, and the annual CBC/Radio-Canada President’s Awards are one way that recognition is formalized. There were 12 categories for the 2014 edition and 160 nominations came in from employees across the country. For the first time, this year’s awards included the Doing Things Better employees’ choice award, in which 740 staff voted.

CBC – British Columbia

CBC Vancouver marches at the Vancouver Pride Parade 2014


Changes to the Board of Directors

On October 9, 2014, Sonja Chong was appointed for a five-year term in replacement of Peter D. Charbonneau. On April 30, 2015, Rob Jeffery was also appointed for a five-year term, following the departure of George T.H. Cooper. Effective June 1, 2015, Edward W. Boyd was renewed for a second five-year term. On June 18, 2015, Norman May was appointed for a five-year term, following the resignation of Cecil Hawkins from the Board of Directors on March 17, 2015.

Changes in Executive Management

In February 2015, Roula Zaarour announced that she would be leaving the post of Vice-President of People and Culture at the end of April 2015. On May 28, 2015, Josée Girard was named the new Vice-President of People and Culture, and will join the Corporation in August. The interim position is held by Monique Marcotte, Executive Director, Planning, HR Corporate and Total Rewards, People and Culture.

At the end of April 2015, it was announced that Maryse Bertrand, Vice-President, Real Estate, Legal Services and General Counsel, would be pursuing other initiatives outside the Corporation, effective May 31, 2015. Sylvie Gadoury will become Vice-President, Legal Services, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary.

In May 2015, Judith Purves joined CBC/Radio-Canada as Vice-President and Chief Financial Officer (CFO) following the departure of Suzanne Morris in January 2015. Ms. Purves was previously an executive with IBM, holding a number of roles including CFO of IBM Canada Ltd.

  • (1) Effective this fiscal year, the tracking of FTE positions includes the base positions of employees on leave for fewer than two years; all unique secondary assignments; all long-term contract positions of more than 13 weeks; all unique long-term temporary employees; and all long-term vacancies in the positions listed above. Part-time employees are counted as a portion of an FTE.