87-M asks Metroland for central bargaining for sales staff commission plans

Metroland advertising sales employees across multiple workplaces agree that they need to align themselves closer together in order to better respond to the massive changes the company is proposing to their compensation structures.

At a Metroland-wide sales staff meeting Sept. 9 in Hamilton at the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 163, both union and non-union staff shared their thoughts on the company’s verticalization plan. Together with Unifor staff, they agreed that going forward, a more unified strategy was needed by the local.

Metroland is looking to move sales staff across the chain from their current plans to one where sales reps are assigned verticals. The proposed plan comes with a new commission structure for all sales staff across the Metroland chain. Previously, each paper had their own sales commission and structure.

“The changes to advertising sales methods and compensation were made by the employer with little or no consultation with employees or their union and are being presented in local collective bargaining as a comprehensive chain-wide plan,” said Unifor representative Gary Ellis, who services Metroland units such as The Hamilton Spectator, Hamilton Community News and the Waterloo Region Record, as well as the Toronto Star. “In order to address this change the union has approached Metroland/Torstar about bargaining advertising sales and commissions at a single central table.”

Staff say these new structures are coming with extra administrative duties being downloaded on sales staff that keep them from their core work of talking to clients and selling products.

We will be hosting a followup meeting at local headquarters in Etobicoke on Oct. 28 from 6 to 8 p.m. All sales staff working for the Metroland chain are invited and encouraged to join.