February 02, 2009

February 2, 2009


Frank Reid, Director of the CIRHR, Welcomes Professor Rafael Gomez

“On behalf of everyone at the CIRHR, I’d like to welcome Professor Rafael Gomez to the Centre! In January Rafael began a joint appointment at the University of Toronto, split between graduate teaching at the CIRHR and undergraduate teaching in the Employment Relations program at Woodsworth College.

Rafael’s hiring is special for the Centre because he is the first faculty member with a tenure base at the CIRHR. It was a significant development when the Centre received the power to appoint faculty with tenure base at the Centre because it meant that, rather than depending on other units to hire faculty members who might be interested in doing multidisciplinary teaching and research at the Centre, the CIRHR could initiate searches and form alliances with other units reflecting the Centre’s own priorities.

Rafael received his PhD in industrial Relations from the CIRHR in 2000 and taught at London School of Economics (Dept of Industrial Relations and Institute of Management) and Glendon College before returning to the University of Toronto.

Rafael joins the Centre at an exciting time since we have recently undertaken two of the most significant changes to the MIRHR program since the Masters program was founded. First, the size of the MIRHR program, which had been fairly constant at about 35 FTE since the inception of the program, was doubled to 70 FTE (90 students). Second, a new “12 month” (three semester) stream of the MIRHR was added to the traditional two-year (four semester) program. Students with appropriate undergraduate background in IR and HR are admitted to a shortened version of the Masters program (14 half-courses rather than 18 half-courses) in which students enter the program in September and complete the MIRHR degree the following August.”


Professor Rafael Gomez thoughts on his return…

“Even though I have been away from the Centre and Woodsworth College, in a full-time working sense, for almost a decade now since 1999, it still feels like home. Coming back and starting to teach in the middle of a term can sometimes be a challenge, but the great staff at Woodsworth College and the Centre are second to none and have made the transition appear seamless. The course offerings at the Centre are as great as I remember them being when I was a student, and I am still impressed by the varied geographic and academic backgrounds of our graduates. While here at CIRHR, I am pleased to be taking on the role of teaching a second section of Research Methods to our Masters students. I will also be teaching a course in Compensation next door at Woodsworth to the undergraduates in the Employment Relations degree program. I am also eager, of course, to continue on with my research in Industrial Relations and Labour Markets. Given that most of the work that I do is co-authored with colleagues that I have met while abroad, and those closer to home, there is no better base from which to continue these academic/collegial relationships than at the Centre. “

Professor Rafael Gomez, CIRHR Faculty website


National Study of Work-Life Conflict Final Report

The 6th and final report of the National Study of Work-life Conflict by Dr. Linda Duxbury, Professor, Sprott School of Business, Carleton University and Dr. Chris Higgins, Professor, Richard Ivey School of Business, has been released. This final report provides a summary of the key findings and recommendations coming from this research program begun in 2001.

“The issues associated with balancing work and family are of paramount importance to individuals, the organizations that employ them, the families that care for them, the unions that represent them, and governments concerned with global competitiveness, citizen well-being and national health. Although much has been written about the topic, only a handful of "high-impact" studies have been conducted on this subject in Canada. The 2001 National Work-Life Conflict Study was conducted to address this gap in our knowledge by providing a rigorous empirical look at the issue of work-life conflict. The research study was undertaken with the following objectives in mind:

to provide a clearer picture of the extent to which work-life conflict is affecting employees and employers in Canada

to help organizations appreciate why they need to change how they manage their employees by linking conflict between work and life to the organization's "bottom line"

to expand the overall knowledge base in this area

to suggest appropriate strategies that different types of organizations can implement to help their employees cope with multiple roles and responsibilities.”

Report Six: Work-Life Conflict in the New Millennium: Key Findings and Recommendations From The 2001 National Work-Life Conflict Study provides a summary of the key findings and recommendations coming from this research program.

Ottawa Citizen, January 22, 2009: “Get 'family-friendly,' or recession will last longer”

The other reports in the series:

Report One: The 2001 National Work-Life Conflict Study puts the series into context by describing the sample of employees who participated in the research and examining the various "risk factors" associated with work-life conflict.

Report Two: Work-Life Conflict in Canada in the New Millennium: A Status Report makes the business case for change by looking at how high levels of role overload, work-to-family interference, family-to-work interference, caregiver strain and spillover from work to family affect employers, employees and their families.

Report Three: Exploring the Link between Work-Life Conflict and the Use of Canada's Health Care System focuses on how work-life conflict affects Canada's health care system (i.e. quantifies the system demands associated with high work-life conflict and attempts to put some kind of dollar value on how much it costs Canada to treat the health consequences of such conflict).

Report Four: Who Is at Risk? Predictors of High Work-Life Conflict identifies key risk factors for role overload, work-to-family interference, family-to-work interference and caregiver strain.

Report Five: Reducing Work-Life Conflict: What Works? What Doesn't? examines what employers, employees and their families can do to reduce work-life conflict.


York Strike Ends

On January 29th, 2009 back-to-work legislation ended the 12-week strike at York University. On February 2nd 45,000 students returned to classes.

Globe and Mail, February 2, 2009: “Class on at York”

Toronto Star, January 30, 2009: “Buzz is back at York campus”

Doorey’s Workplace Law Blog, February 2, 2009: The York Strike in Retrospect


A Bad Year for Pension Funds

Morneau Sobeco has released the results of Performance Universe of Pension Managers’ Pooled Funds for the Fourth Quarter of 2008. According to the report the results was the worst in thirty years. The survey covers approximately 350 pooled funds managed by more than 60 investment management firms with a market value in excess of $150 billion.

Fourth Quarter 2008, January 20, 2009 (7 pages, PDF)


Towers Perrin 2009 Health Care Cost Survey for United States

The Towers Perrin 2009 Health Care Cost Survey; The Health Dividend: Capturing the Value of Employee Health, has been released. This is the 20th consecutive year that Towers Perrin has surveyed employers to analyze and report on major trends in U.S. employee and retiree health care costs. Participants reported their 2008 per capita premium costs for insured health and dental plans, or premium equivalents for self-insured plans. A total of 609 employers of primarily Fortune 1000 companies participated.

Survey, January 2009 (40 pages, PDF) – in case this link does not work use the one below

Access to Survey, January 2009 (40 pages, PDF) – you will need to fill in a brief form to receive the survey by email


Census 2011

An online discussion forum has been created to facilitate the exchange of comments between census and geography data users in order to explore and gather ideas and suggestions for the 2011 Census dissemination strategy. You are invited to submit comments to be posted on the discussion forum from January 29, 2009 until March 31, 2009.

2011 Census Dissemination Discussion Forum


We Don’t Need More Sweat Shops

Aron Cramer, President and CEO of Business for Social Responsibility responds to Nicholas Kristof ‘s January 14th column in the New York Times on the role of “sweatshops” in economic development.

Better Work Portal, January 26, 2009


Regional Trade Agreements Information System

This database gives access to information on Regional Trade Agreements under the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade and the World Trade Organization.

Regional Trade Agreements Information System website


Global Employment Trends

The ILO has released its annual report titled, Global Employment Trends, January 2009. According to the report the global economic crisis is expected to lead to a dramatic increase in the number of people joining the ranks of the unemployed, working poor and those in vulnerable employment.

Report, January28, 2009 (55 pages, PDF)

Press release


Book of the Week

Challenges in European Employment Relations: Employment Regulation, Trade Union Organization, Equality, Flexicurity, Training and New Approaches to Pay: Bulletin of Comparative Labour Relations 67, edited by Roger Blanpain. Alphen aaan den Rijn, The Netherlands : Kluwer Law International, 2008. 259 p. ISBN 978-90-411-2771-6


Has European economic and market integration curtailed the autonomy of national industrial relations actors and institutions? Or has it reinforced their roles in securing much-needed economic adjustment? This important book offers a deeply-informed comparative perspective on these questions, drawing on empirical research on changing conditions within and beyond the EU. The book builds on papers presented at the 8th European Regional Congress of the International Industrial Relations Association, held in the UK in September 2007.

In practical terms, its many insights into how current trends affect specific working conditions open the way to new initiatives in developing and maintaining a just and equitable employment relations regime for Europe and beyond.

The authors are leading academic authorities from Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Germany, The Netherlands, Norway, Spain, and the United Kingdom.


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Questions or Comments: contact us at cirhr.library@utoronto.ca.

Editor: Vicki Skelton
Designer: Nick Strupat

Copyright © 2008 Centre for Industrial Relations and Human Resources, University of Toronto. All rights reserved.

Date posted: 
Monday, February 2, 2009