Bonjour Dear members of the Canadian Media Guild (CMG),
My name is Annick Forest and I have been elected by acclamation to be the president of our union for the 2023-2025 term of office. I look forward to working with all of you to make CMG a strong union for all members.
Helping to ensure the best work environment possible for my co-workers has been important since my first job as a unionized cashier at 16. Union values were passed on to me at a young age by my mother who was active in her union and helped negotiate collective agreements. She taught her three daughters well, as we’ve all been active in our respective unions. You could say “stronger together and fairness for all” is the family motto.
I first set foot in a Radio-Canada newsroom in 1991on a six-week internship in Vancouver, a requirement for my double major in journalism and political science at the Université de Moncton. After a 10-month contract as a TV reporter, and a move to Halifax to work as a freelance and temporary employee, I returned to Vancouver in 1998 to work as a temporary TV and radio reporter before being hired as a permanent full-time senior researcher. I then worked as san associate producer, associate producer/technician and resource producer, before going back to my love of writing as a web reporter in 2010, then as a web producer in 2015.
Fighting for my collective agreement rights was par for the course from day one in the newsroom, but it’s in 2005, following the lockout at CBC/Radio-Canada, that the CMG local president reached out and encouraged me to become active in the union. I’ve never looked back, and have served in various CMG roles since:
-Western Director of francophone affairs on the CBC Branch Executive Committee
-Member of the CBC Branch National Grievance Committee
-Director of New Media on the CBC Branch Executive Committee
-Member of the CBC Branch Consultative Committee on Staff Benefits
-Member of the 2008-2009 CBC Negotiating Committee
-President of the CBC Branch Vancouver Location Unit
2016 was a year of many blessings for me – I got engaged to the Toronto man who became my husband and adopted a 5-year-old boy from Honduras. It was time to focus on family and I gently stepped back from my union work promising myself that I would be back.
And so, here we are!
I am ever so grateful to all my union mentors over the years, for their example as leaders in our union. I hope to do them proud by working with all of you to make real improvements in our workplaces. And there is a lot to do:
. With several collective agreements expiring in the next 24 months, mobilizing will be one of my top priorities. We are stronger together, and strong unions negotiate strong collective agreements.
. Mental health for members, along with a fair and inclusive workplace for everyone will continue to be a key focus during this mandate.
. Since its creation in 1994, thanks to the work of all its past presidents, the CMG has continued to grow as a union. Now, some of our bylaws and regulations need updating to reflect today’s realities. I will be preparing proposals with our in-house experts to submit to the general membership for review at the CMG convention.
. Last but not least: Education. The road to active membership in a union often involves key moments where members get together, share their experiences at work, and learn about the best ways to support each other. A goal of my mandate will be to offer these opportunities to our members.
I look forward to working with all of you.
Annick R. Forest
President / Présidente
Canadian Media Guild / Guilde canadienne des médias