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Morley Gunderson Prize request for nominations: The purpose of the Morley Gunderson Prize is to recognize and honour current students or graduates who combine outstanding professional achievement with significant service to the Centre for Industrial Relations and Human Resources, University of Toronto . Nominations may be submitted by current students, graduates, faculty and staff to the Director of the Centre by Monday March 3, 2008. The selection committee considers all nominations, and the presentation of the award is a highlight of the annual Sefton Lecture, co-sponsored by the Centre and Woodsworth College of the University of Toronto each spring.
Sefton Lecture 2008: This year's 26 th Annual Sefton Lecture will be held Thursday, March 27th, 2008, 7 pm at the University of Toronto Multi-Faith Centre, 569 Spadina Avenue (( Koffler Institute Building - entrance off Bancroft Avenue). The form of the lecture will be a debate with Jim Stanford and Charlotte Yates. The working title of the lecture is, Tough Times, New Strategies: Beyond Magna for Union Survival under Globalization.
CAW Conference: The CAW's Skilled Trades Collective Bargaining Conference was held in Toronto, February 15th–22nd. Delegates from across Canada gathered to debate key bargaining issues facing the skilled trades. Concerns around the upcoming Big Three bargaining centred on recent negotiations in the U.S. that included two-tier wage structures and the elimination of post-retirement health care benefits for new hires. Buzz Hargrove said that these types of concessions would not buy job security or save the auto industry.
Links: The Crisis in Manufacturing and the Skilled Trades , Skilled Trades Collective Bargaining Conference, February 2008 (49 pages, PDF ); “At a crossroads, Big Labour digs in,” by Ingrid Peritz and Greg Keenan and Bertrand Marotte, Globe and Mail , February 22, 2008; CAW leader bucks trend, refuses wage cuts: Stance highlights contrast with U.S. labour; companies on both sides of the border are seeking major concessions,” by Greg Keenan, Globe and Mail , February 21, 2008 ; “Two-tier Wages, Second-Class Workers,” Sam Gindin, The Bullet, Socialist Project, E-Bulletin No. 82, February 23, 2008.
Ontario Nurses Reach a Tentative Agreement: The ONA bargaining team is recommending that members vote to accept a tentative agreement reached on February 22nd. The agreement includes new language concerning workplace safety and a commitment on the part of the employers to address workplace violence. Salary increases are 9.55 per cent over the three-year term of the agreement and a lump-sum payment and improved vacation, benefits and premium pay. A full-time registered nurse will earn between $29.36 and $42.44 an hour by April 1, 2010.
Links: Highlights of the Settlement Between ONA and Participating Hospitals, term: April 1, 2008 toMarch 31, 2011, ONA; “Tentative deal for nurses, Ontario hospitals: Vote scheduled on contract endorsed by union offering safer work environment, pay raises,” by Joanna Smith, Toronto Star, Feb 23, 2008.
American-style Anti-union Consultants in Great Britain: The AFL-CIO and the TUC have joined forces to combat the recent introduction of American-style anti-union consultants in Great Britain. The two federations have agreed to share information and jointly lobby governments and international organizations.
Links: “AFL-CIO, U.K. Unions Join Forces Against Union-Busters,” by James Parks, AFL-CIO Now Blog, Feb 22, 2008; Protocol between AFL-CIO and the TUC, February 12, 2008 (1 page, PDF); U.S. Anti-Union Consultants: A Threat to the Rights of British Workers, by John Logan, Employment Relations and Organizational Behavior Group, Department of Management, London School of Economics and Political Science, 2008 (28 pages, PDF).
Repetitive Strain Injury Awareness Day, February 29, 2008 : The Canadian Labour Congress is calling on all levels of government to take the issue of repetitive strain injury more seriously. This call for government action is supported by a Statistics Canada report indicating that one out of every 10 Canadian adults has had a repetitive strain injury serious enough to limit their normal activities.
Link: Repetitive Strain Injury Awareness Day, February 29, 2008, February 19, 2008,
Canadian Labour Congress website
A High Performance Public Service: The second report of the Advisory Committee on the Public Service has been released. The report makes ten recommendations to improve human resources management, accountability and performance in all federal departments and agencies. According to Paul Tellier, a co-author of the study, firing poor performers will boost morale in the public service.
Links: “Pursuing A High Performance Public Service,” Prime Minister's Advisory Committee on the Public Service - Report to the Prime Minister February 22, 2008 (20 pages, PDF); html version; Prime Minister's Advisory Committee on the Public Service website; Firing poor performers will improve federal public service, report says,” by Bill Curry, Globe and Mail, February 23, 2008.
Corporate Social Responsibility: A report released by The Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship and the public relations firm Edelman, has found that transparency in communications concerning business operations, future goals, and treatment of employees are key indicators of a company's social responsibility.
Link: "Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability Communications: Who's Listening? Who's Leading? What Matters Most?" developed by Edelman in collaboration with the Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship, February 2008 (34 pages, PDF).
Flexible Employment Options for People with Disabilities in BC: A study released by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, B.C. makes policy recommendations that would significantly increase the employment for persons with disabilities. Among the recommendations are allowing the disabled to combine income assistance and paid work, and to cycle in and out of the workforce.
Links: Removing Barriers to Work: Flexible Employment Options for People with Disabilities in BC, by Marcy Cohen et al., Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, B.C. Office, February 22, 2008 (65 pages, PDF); Removing Barriers to Work: Flexible Employment Options for People with Disabilities in BC – Summary (25 pages, PDF)
Current State of Family Finances: The Vanier Institute of the Family has released its ninth annual report on the current state of family and household finances. The report examines incomes, spending, savings, debt and net worth across family and household types. Findings show that household incomes are rising, but debt has risen seven times faster since 1990 – to an average total debt of over $80,000 per household
Canadian School-to Work Transition Practices: A report released by the Canadian Council on Learning provides an inventory of Canadian school-to-work transition practices, programs and policies.
Links: Making bridges visible: An inventory of innovative, effective or promising Canadian school-to-work transition practices, programs and policies, by Donnalee Bell and Elaine O'Reilly, Canadian Career Development Foundation, Canadian Council on Learning, February 2008 (Summary,10 pages,PDF) (Full Report, 235 pages, PDF)
Career Development Services for Young People in Australia: A study released by the Australian government evaluates the effectiveness of career development services used by young people aged 15 to 24. The study focuses on career decision-making and outcomes related to vocational education and training.
Links: What choice? An evaluation of career development services for young people The National Centre for Vocational Education Research, February 18, 2008 (45 pages, PDF); Support Document (105 pages, PDF);
Literacy in Canada : A recent study has found that younger Canadians have lower levels of literacy than what older Canadians had at the same age and level of education. The report also found literacy related to earnings: a 25-point increase in the average literacy score had an impact on earnings equivalent to an extra year of schooling.
Link: “Literacy Skills of Canadians Across the Ages: Fewer low achievers, fewer high achievers”, by David Green and W. Craig Riddell, Education Matters: Insights on education, learning and training inCanada, Statistics Canada, February 25, 2008, (html only)
Earnings in the Last Decade: The pay structure for Canada's workers has changed over the past decade. Pay rates have risen in Alberta, especially since 2004. In Ontario and Quebec, earnings in manufacturing have not fallen substantially, despite sharp decreases in employment. This article examines the evolution of earnings in Canada from 1997 to 2007.
Link: “Earnings in the Last Decade,” Perspectives on Labour and Income, Statistics Canada, February 2008, (13 pages, PDF)
Aging of the American Workforce: The Taskforce on the Aging of the American Workforce, formed in May 2006 has released a report. Initiated in response to the impact of the aging and retirement of the baby boomer generation on the labor market, the goals of the Taskforce were to identifying strategies to enhance the ability of older Americans to remain in the labor market and to identify strategies that would help businesses take full advantage of this skilled labor pool.
Link: Report of the Taskforce on the Aging of the American Workforce, U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging, February 14, 2008, (48 pages, PDF).