June 15, 2009

June 15, 2009

Bargaining in the Broader Public Sector Conference

Lancaster House is hosting the Annual Conference on Bargaining in the Broader Public Sector. The conference in Toronto takes place on December 15th & 16th, 2009, and in Vancouver on December 1st & 2nd, 2009. In preparation for the upcoming conferences, Lancaster House would appreciate input on panel topics, so please take a few minutes to fill out a short online survey. Everyone who completes the survey will have his/her name entered into a draw for a free registration to either conference. Please complete the survey no later than Wednesday, June 17, 2009.

You can access the survey at:



Air Canada Pilot’s Association Reach a Mediated Tentative Settlement

The Air Canada Pilots Association has reached a tentative agreement with the airline on a restructuring plan aimed at providing Air Canada with long-term financial and operational stability. The pilot group's tentative agreement with Air Canada includes: pension funding relief, a restructuring plan for the airline, equity participation and Board representation, and a renewed collective agreement on wages and working conditions. The tentative agreement, developed on the basis of the pilots' proposal, was reached under the mediation process established by the federal government and led by former Ontario Superior Court Justice James Farley.

Details at Air Canada Pilot’s Association website

Globe and Mail, June 16, 2009: Air Canada, unions reach pension deal

CAW website: Air Canada: Fly it Right!


The State of Pension Plans in brief

Morneau Sobeco’s June 12, 2009 newsletter features two brief stories on the state of pension plans in Canada. CPP: Increased Early Retirement Penalties and Other Proposals discusses changes made in the May 25, 2009 triennial review of the CPP by Ministers of Finance, while Tracking the Funded Status of Pension Plans follows changes made to a typical defined benefit plan since December 2006.

Newsletter, June 12 209 (9 pages, PDF)


Top 100 Pension Plans

Benefit Canada has released their annual report titled Top 100 Pension Funds. While this report does list the top pension funds, it also discusses what plan sponsors are doing to survive the recession - and more importantly, what they believe needs to be done to keep the Canadian pension system alive.

Report, June 2009 (6 pages, PDF)


Workplace Bulletin

The newest issue of the Workplace Bulletin, issued by the Labour Program, Human Resources and Skills Development Canada, is now available. Published twice a month, this bulletin provides wage and other information relating to collective bargaining in Canada and offers updates on industrial relations issues. 
This issue features wages adjustments made in both public and private organizations affecting more than 500 people.

Workplace Bulletin, June 15, 2009 (20 pages, PDF)


The “Green” Paradox: Barriers to implementation

The Canadian Policy Research Networks has released a report on the policy paradoxes that green building and development faces, titled Green Building and Development as a Public Good. The report explains that while there is a general consensus that improvements are necessary in the building environment, the implementation of “green” development is constantly being challenged by numerous factors – labour retraining being one of these.

Press Release, June 11, 2009

Report (10 Pages, PDF)


The EI Debate

As today’s meeting with Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff over employment insurance reforms looms, the C.D. Howe Institute has released a study that proposes the creation of a new rate-setting mechanism that “would avoid pro-cyclical EI premium decreases during booms and harmful premium increases during downturns.” Part one of this study, titled Getting Off the Rollercoaster: A Stable Funding Framework for the EI Program also discusses the reforms that are necessary to protect the EI fund.

Study, June 16, 2009 (8 Pages, PDF)

Globe and Mail, June 16, 2009: PM, Ignatieff to discuss EI reforms

Toronto Star, June 16, 2009: 'Outdated' EI traps temp workers; Workers plan rally today to push government to ease benefit rules


Marxism Revived?

Ian Brown interviews Professor Leo Panitch in the Globe and Mail, Saturday June 15th. Panitch is a political economist, a Marxist, co-editor of Socialist Register and the Canada Research Chair in Comparative Political Economy, York University. Panitch also delivered Ryerson University’s 2009 Phyllis Clarke Memorial Lecture entitled "Still a Marxist After All: Lessons and Insights for our Time".

Globe and Mail, June 13, 2009: The 18th Brumaire of Barack Obama : Frederick Engels and Karl Marx, authors of the Communist Manifesto The means of production are being seized – though for the sake of the ruling class, by Ian Brown

Phyllis Clarke Memorial Lecture, 2009 links to video and audio of lecture


Employee Free Choice Act

American Rights at Work has issued a guide titled, The Facts Behind the Employee Free Choice Act. The publication looks at the history of labour legislation in the United States, the desirability of union certification by majority vote as opposed to the current use of NLRB elections, and first contract arbitration. According to the United Steelworkers the current Bill in Congress titled the Employee Free Choice Act was influenced by the Quebec Labour Code which was sent by the union to President Obama -- Quebec legislation allows union accreditation when 50 percent plus one of employees sign union membership cards. An article by Stanford University law professor, William B. Gould IV, suggest s the expediting of NLRB certification elections as a less divisive means of improving the current certification process.

Guide, May 2009 (30 pages, PDF)

Quebec laws an influence for Obama's new labour legislation: union leader, June 14, 2009.

AFL/CIO Factsheet 2009: The Employee Free Choice Act, Professional Employees and the Public, March 2009 (8 pages, PDF)

Slate, August 2008: How Obama Could Fix Labor Law A Labor Day gift to workers with bipartisan trimmings, By William B. Gould IV, August 2008.

Kate Bronfenbrenner has recently released "No Holds Barred: The Intensification of Employer Opposition to Organizing" May 23, 2009 (33 pages, PDF)


ILO Summit on the Global Jobs Crisis, June 15 – 17, 2009

The International Labour Conference 98th Session, 2009 is titled Global Jobs Crisis Summit and is being held this week in Geneva. Links to the programme, daily bulletins, and reports are available on the ILO website.

ILO Summit on the Global Jobs Crisis website

ILO website

Report of the Director-General: Tackling the global jobs crisis Recovery through decent work policies, May 2009 (30 pages, PDF)


Book of the Week

Privacy in the Workplace, by Ian Turnbull. 2nd ed. CCH Canadian Limited, 2009. xv, 480 p. ISBN 978-1-55367-936-3

Is your organization fully compliant with regard to its privacy responsibilities? Now in its Second Edition, Privacy in the Workplace is a practical guide that clearly explains your privacy compliance responsibilities and even instructs on steps to take once a breach has occurred.

About the Authors:

Ian Turnbull is the Executive Director of The Canadian Privacy Institute.


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

Date posted: 
Monday, June 15, 2009