February 23, 2009

February 23, 2009


CBC’s The Current looks at Work-sharing

Frank Reid, an economist and the Director of the Centre for Industrial Relations and Human Resources at the University of Toronto and Seth Klein, the British Columbia Director of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, were interviewed recently by Anna Maria Tremonti, on the CBC program The Current. Part one of the program looked at the rash of lay-offs across Canada. Part two looked at the company Mitel, a hi-tech firm in Ottawa, that instead of laying people off had employees take one day of unpaid leave every three weeks. Frank Reid was also interviewed by the Canadian Press on work-sharing agreements.

The Current, February 16, 2009: Part 2: Financial Woes and Alternative Policies (podcasts of interviews are available)

The Canadian Press, February 16, 2009: Work-sharing agreements a 'shockingly well-hidden' alternative to layoffs by Kristine Owram


Can We Transform the Auto-Industrial Society?

The February 26th issue of The New York Review of Books features an article by Emma Rothschild titled,”Can We Transform the Auto-Industrial Society?" The article looks at what “an enduring bailout” would entail – expansion of rail and bus services, innovation in public transportation to make it safer and more convenient, people still owning cars but using them for family and personal trips. “There are, according to the American Public Transportation Association, seven hundred programs of investment in public transportation, by 216 transit systems, which are ready to be started within ninety days.” The Globe and Mail’s Canadian Auto Summit, 2009, with interviews by Jeremy Cato and Michael Vaughan, looks at the Canadian auto industry.

Article, February 26, 2009

American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 – Special Report, CCH Tax Briefing, February 17, 2009

Canadian auto industry faces more job losses in the wake of GM, Chrysler cuts, February 17, 2009

Globe and Mail: Canadian Auto Summit, Parts 1-6 (BNN videos)


Richard Freeman on a New Role for Labour

Harvard University Professor Dr. Richard Freeman was the 2008 recipient of the Don Wood Visiting Lectureship in Industrial Relations. The Don Wood Lecture was established in 1987 to honour the late Dr. W. Donald Wood, former director of Queen's Industrial Relations Centre and School of Industrial Relations. Richard Freeman's public lecture on, "A New Role for Labour in Financial Crisis?" took place on November 3, 2008 at Queen’s University.

Dr. Freeman's presentation slide deck


Perspectives on Labour and Income, February 2009

Statistics Canada has released the latest issue of Perspectives on Labour and Income, February 2009. Articles included are: “Trends in manufacturing employment”; “Obesity on the job”; “The labour market in 2008.”

Perspectives on Labour and Income, February 2009



Canada's Best Diversity Employers

Canada's Best Diversity Employers recognizes employers across Canada that have exceptional workplace diversity and inclusiveness programs. The competition examines a range of diversity initiatives covering five major employee groups – women, members of visible minorities, persons with disabilities, aboriginal peoples, and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered/transsexual (LGBT) peoples. The University of Toronto was one of the winners. Links to newspaper article are also provides on the website.

Canada's Best Diversity Employers website (includes list of winners with selection criteria)

U of T among Canada's top diversity employers, February 19, 2009


Canadian Employers Diversity and Inclusion Practices

Catalyst has released the fifth and final report in its series Career Advancement in Corporate Canada: A Focus on Visible Minorities. This publication, subtitled Diversity & Inclusion Practices, looks at the work environments of Canadian business organizations that contribute to or impede the retention, development, and advancement of visible minorities. There is evidence that diversity programs are relatively underutilized in Canada.

Report, February 2009, (44 pages, PDF)

Press release


Salary Increases will Decline for Canadian Employees

The Conference Board of Canada has released a winter update of its publication Compensation Planning Outlook. The Winter Update was conducted in December 2008 and January 2009 to assess how Canadian organizations are reacting to the recent downturn in the economy. According to the report projected average increases fell from 3.9 per cent to 2.9 percent. The report contains both the Winter Update and the original Compensation Planning Outlook.

Compensation Planning Outlook 2009: Winter Update is available to the University of Toronto community by creating or accessing their Conference Board of Canada e-library account.

New release, February 19, 2009


Mercer on Compensation and Global Rewards

Mercer’s Canadian 2009 Salary Budget Planning poll conducted in January 2009 found that the average planned salary increase will be approximately 2.6 per cent. Mercer has also released a publication on global rewards strategy.

“Chilled but not frozen: Canadian employers plan to keep balance in salary budgets”, February 18, 2009

What the future holds: Global rewards strategy 2013, February 2009

Mercer’s Compensation Planning 2009 website


Interview with the President of the Human Resources Professional Association of Ontario

“In December 2008, Hilary Sirman of Queen’s IRC spoke with Antoinette Blunt, President of Ironside Consulting Services Inc. and President of the Human Resources Professional Association of Ontario, about the current and future state of the Human Resources profession.” The Current and Future State of Human Resources Leadership, provides excerpts from the interview on topics such as talent management strategies, recruitment and training, lifelong learning, and the value of professional associations.

Interview, December 2008 (14 pages, PDF)


Head of the Roundtable on Addiction and Mental Health retires

After 10 years of service, Bill Wilkerson, creator and head of the Global Business and Economic Roundtable on Addiction and Mental Health is leaving the organization and putting the Roundtable on hiatus. He certainly deserves accolades for his work and his message which is, “mental illness is part of the mainstream in Canada - and it does not spell an end to meaningful work.”

Global Business and Economic Roundtable on Addiction and Mental Health website

Globe and Mail, February 21, 2009: “BREAKDOWN: CANADA'S MENTAL HEALTH CRISIS A CONTINUING SERIES: He switched on the light - then fell into darkness”, by Tavia Grant


The Greening of the Alberta’s Oil Sands

The Government of Alberta has released a report titled, Responsible Actions: A Plan for Alberta’s Oil Sands, which outlines how government, industry, and communities can address the economic, social and environmental challenges in the oil sands regions. The report addresses both the immediate challenges associated with oil sands development and future investment in social and physical infrastructure and innovative technology. Reducing the environmental footprint associated with oil sands development is of primary concern.

Report, February 12, 2009 (50 pages, PDF)

Alberta Treasury Board: Responsible Actions: A Plan for Alberta’s Oil Sands website


Survey of Canadian Attitudes toward Learning

The Canadian Council on Learning has released a report titled, 2008 Survey of Canadian Attitudes toward Learning: Results for learning throughout the lifespan. The survey was designed in cooperation with Statistics Canada. It addresses four aspects of learning throughout the lifespan: early childhood learning, structured learning (elementary, secondary and postsecondary), work-related learning, and health and learning.

Survey, released February 23, 2009 (52 pages, PDF)

News release


Investing in Workplace Learning

The Canadian Policy Research Networks has released, Employer Investment in Workplace Learning: Report on the Edmonton Roundtable, by Ron Saunders. The CPRN convened a series of four roundtables on employer investment in workplace learning across Canada to identify practical steps to ensure that the quantity and quality of workplace learning in Canada matches the needs of the economy and maximizes the potential of Canadian workers. Roundtables took place in Toronto, Halifax, Yellowknife and Edmonton.

Report on the Edmonton Roundtable, February 19, 2009


The New Face of Global Mergers and Acquisitions

The recent issue of Accenture’s publication Outlook features an article titled, “The New Face of Global M&A,” which finds the dramatic rise in emerging-market multinationals to be the hallmark of global merger and acquisition activity.

Article, January 2009 (8 pages, PDF)


Book of the Week

Employee Well-Being Support: a Workplace Resource, edited by Andrew Kinder, Rick Hughes and Cary L. Cooper. Hoboken, N.J. : Wiley & Sons, 2008. 339 p. ISBN 978-0-470-05900-5

Employees have a set of needs as part of the 'psychological contract' of employment. However, organizations operate for a reason and they too have agendas and needs. It is how the two come together that determines the capacity for good human relations and optimum productivity. Employee Well-being Support is an edited collection of expert contributions that explores all key issues in this increasingly critical area.


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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 23, 2009