Perry Work Report for the Week of January 21, 2008
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Nurses Win Gender Discrimination Complaint: A group of nurses employed by Social Development Canada have won a discrimination complaint against their employer. The nurses were employed as medical adjudicators, classified as “administrators”, and paid accordingly. The doctors in the department who did the same job were employed as medical advisors, classified as “health professionals” and paid at almost double the nurses' rate. The nurses' complained that it was discriminatory to treat a female dominated group of workers differently from a male dominated group when they are performing the same or substantially similar work. The settlement could cost the government millions of dollars.
Links: “Equality for nurses about respect, not cash: Landmark decision a positive sign, but nurses still need to receive full recognition for the work they do,” by Andre Picard, Globe and Mail , January 17, 2007: Walden et al v. Social Development Canada, December 13, 2007, Canadian Human Rights Tribunal Decision.
Best Small and Medium Employers in Canada: This year's ranking of the top 25 of Canada's best small and medium employers is the fourth annual undertaking by Queen's Centre for Business Venturing in partnership Hewitt Associates, and the Globe and Mail. Axia NetMedia Corp. of Calgary won number one place for a company culture with high levels of communication and collaboration between employees and executives.
Canada's Ten Most Admired Corporate Cultures: Waterstone Human Capital has released the results of their third annual Canadian Corporate Culture Study. The study looks at how culture drives a company's performance and at best practices of successful companies. This year's first place winner for the third consecutive year is West Jet. The new winners for 2007 are Boston Pizza, Maple Leaf Foods, Purolator Courier and Toronto-Dominion Bank.
Women in Corporate Canada : A recent report released by the management consulting firm Rosenzweig & Company found that the number of women in top executive positions has decreased from 37 to 31 over the last year. The report looks at the 100 largest publicly traded companies in Canada . The decrease in numbers was attributed to corporate restructuring, mergers, retirements and a change in which companies were included in the top 100.
Links: The Annual Rosenzweig Report on Women at the Top Levels of Corporate Canada
Benefits Legislation in Canada: Mercer has released its annual summary of Canadian legislation that affects benefit plans.
Links: Benefits Legislation in Canada 2008, (20 pages, PDF) December 2007, available at Mercer.
Child Care Benefits in Canada: In a recent report, the Caledon Institute proposes an expanded and redesigned Canada Child Tax Benefit that would boost federal child benefit payments to $5,000.
Links: A Bigger and Better Child Benefit: A $5,000 Canada Child Tax Benefit, by Ken Battle, Caledon Institute, January 2008, (63 pages, PDF); A $5,000 Canada Child Tax Benefit: Questions and Answers, by Ken Battle, Caledon Institute, January 2008 (11 pages, PDF)
Employers and Ontario's New Family Day: Watson Wyatt has surveyed a number of organizations in Ontario to determine how they will treat the new Family Day, Ontario 's ninth statutory provincial holiday.
Link: Sorting Out Ontario's New Family Day, Watson Wyatt, January, 2008.
Federal Budget Surplus May be at Risk: According to a paper published by the Centre for Policy Alternatives, a downturn in the economy could mean that federal budget surpluses become deficit. The study models four scenarios of economic slowdown and recession.
Link: How Resilient is the Federal Budget to an Economic Downturn? by Marc Lee, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (8 pages, PDF); Feds to post first deficit in a decade if economy slows: study, January 14, 2008, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives news.
Quebec Pension Plan Faces Future Financial Difficulties: A report released by the Caledon Institute compares the actuarial value of the Canada Pension Plan with that of the Quebec Pension Plan. It finds the CPP to be financially sound for the next 75 years whereas the QPP must make changes to either its financing or benefits before 2050 to remain viable. This paper examines the reasons for the divergence in the financial projections of the two plans and proposes changes to address future problems.
Link: A Tale of Two Pension Plans: The Differing Fortunes of the Canada and Quebec Pension Plans, by Ed Tamagno, Caledon Institute, January 2008, (46 pages, PDF); “Quebec Pensions Face Crisis: Report,” by James Daw, January 17, 2008, Toronto Star.
United States is Not Headed for a Recession According to a CIBC Report: “ The U.S. economy is not in a recession and not likely to get there according to a new report from CIBC World Markets. While many aspects of the U.S. economy are showing weakness, the report notes that dozens of temperature readings - from employment numbers to factory indexes - show the American economy is simply in a typical mid-cycle slowdown.”
Links: Does it Matter? By Jeff Rubin, CIBC World Markets, January 18, 2008 (12 pages, PDF); “Key indicators say U.S. economy will avoid a recession and rebound in mid-2008: CIBC World Markets,” January 18, 2008, CNW Group.