June 22, 2009

June 22, 2009

On Strike!

Canadian Union of Public Employees Local 79, representing 18,000 inside workers, and Toronto Civic Employees Union Local 416 CUPE, representing 6,200 outside workers, went on strike Monday June 22nd, 2009. The strike affects garbage collection, city run daycares, recreational facilities, senior centres, permits and Island ferries. The unions’ key concerns are seniority rights, wage increases that match recent settlements of 3% for Toronto police, firefighters and transit workers, and protecting the existing sick-day plan that allows employees to bank unused sick days. The CBC report titled, A Tale of Two Strikes, compares and contrasts the current municipal workers' strike to the previous 2002 strike which ended when the Conservative government introduced back to work legislation on July 11, 2002.

TCEU Local 416 website

CUPE Local 79 website

Globe and Mail, June 23, 2009: 'No hope' of settling strike this week, union says: Hostility mounts on Day 2 of massive walkout as picketing workers block access to garbage-transfer stations and City Hall

CBC News, June 22, 2009: A tale of 2 strikes: Garbage begins to pile up again, 7 years after city workers last walked off job

Globe and Mail, June 22, 2009: Garbage strike is here after talks break down: Civic workers walk off the job as unions accuse city of dragging its feet, while city cites budget pressure


Work-Sharing Works

An article in the Globe and Mail looks at the increase in work-sharing agreements throughout Canada. Currently there are over 3,500 such agreements in place affecting 130,000 workers. Work-sharing helps employers retain skilled employees and avoid having to recruit and train new employees when business returns to normal levels. Employees supplement their wages with Employment Insurance benefits for the days they are not working.

Service Canada, Work-Sharing 2009

Globe and Mail, June 23, 2009: 'Buying jobs and buying time': Participation quadruples in work-sharing program as companies look for alternatives to layoffs by Tavia Grant


Overtime Class Action Suit Dismissed

The Ontario Superior Court has dismissed a class action claim Imperial Bank of Commerce “brought by Dara Fresco on behalf of a proposed class of front-line service workers in branches of the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC) seeking damages for allegedly unpaid overtime. The court refused to certify the claim, finding that there was no evidence of systemic wrongdoing by CIBC and that claims for unpaid overtime were individual in nature and should be resolved on an individual basis.”

From: Osler Update, June 23, 2009: Ontario Superior Court Dismisses Overtime Class Action Claim Brought Against CIBC in Fresco v. Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce By Larry LowensteinLaura FricDenise SayerAdam Hirsh

Fresco v. Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, 2009 CanLII 31177 (ON S.C.) — 2009-06-18 Superior Court of Justice — Ontario



The newest issue of Perspectives on Labour and Income from statistics Canada is now available. The June 2009 issue features a report titled, International Differences in Low-Paid Wok, which explores Canada’s high proportion of low paid jobs from an international perspective. The author examines how Australia – a country with many similarities to Canada – has managed to maintain a much lower rate of low paid work in comparison to Canada.

Perspectives, June 23, 2009 (9 pages, PDF)


Cost-Benefit Review of Work-life Balance Practices

Donna Lero and Karen Korabik of The Centre for Families, Work and Well-Being, University of Guelph and Julia Richardson of York University, recently completed an extensive review of academic, policy and business literature on the costs and benefits of work-life balance practices for employers. The report titled, Cost-Benefit Review of Work-Life Balance Practices – 2009, was prepared for the Canadian Association of Administrators of Labour Legislation (CAALL). The authors review the reasons why many organizations do not systematically assess costs and benefits and consider what measures and resources might be used for this purpose. Results indicate that some benefits accrue to individual employees, while others are reflected in improved organizational performance -- including cost savings, increased productivity, shareholder value, and increased customer satisfaction and retention.
The cost-benefit review was designed to inform and support governmental efforts to craft policy and legislation which address work-life balance issues.

Report, 2009 April 22, 2009 (123 pages, PDF)

CAALL website announcement


2008 Employment Equity Act Annual Report

On June 17, 2009 the Minister of Labour, Rona Ambrose, tabled the 21st Annual Report on the Employment Equity Act in the House of Commons. The Employment Equity Act Annual Report describes the progress made by federally regulated employers in creating a workforce that is more representative of the country's diverse population. The report examines the hiring, retention and promotion of the four groups designated under the legislation: women, Aboriginal peoples, persons with disabilities and members of visible minorities. The findings in the report, which analyzes 2007 data, indicate that improvements have been made in the representation of Aboriginal peoples and members of visible minorities but that efforts must continue in order to increase the representation levels of women and persons with disabilities in the workforce.

Employment Equity Act: Annual Report 2008, June 17, 2009 (html)

Employment Equity Act: Annual Report 2008 June 17, 2009 (118 pages, PDF)


Catalyst Report to Women in Capital Markets

Catalyst has released its fourth Report to Women in Capital Markets: Benchmarking 2008. This series was commissioned by Women in Capital Markets to track the representation of women in the Canadian Capital Markets industry. It also profiles senior women in the industry. The study found that in 2008 women held only 17 percent of all line positions—those important to advance to the highest levels—with no change since 2000.

Report, June 22, 2009 (40 pages, PDF)

Toronto Star, June 23, 2009: Women still face glass ceiling on Bay St.: study by Dana Flavelle

Press release


Hydro One Named Canada’s Best Corporate Citizen

Corporate Knights has released the 8th Annual Best 50 Corporate Citizens in Canada – with Hydro One topping the list this year. As noted on their webpage, Corporate Knights’ rankings use “a transparent methodology that calibrates important metrics from pension fund health and responsible accounting to executive pay and shareholder conflict.”

The complete list, June 2009

Report, June 2009 (13 pages, PDF)


Report on Business looks at Executive Pay

“A Report on Business review of compensation practices at Canada's 100 largest companies reveals that many companies are adopting new formulas and payment methods to try to ensure that compensation is better aligned to corporate performance. But even as these efforts emerge, the review found little evidence that chief executive officers' pay was closely linked to performance last year, despite devastating economic and market conditions.” [Janet McFarland]

Globe and Mail, June 23, 2009: Executive pay practices changing – but not fast enough for some: A Report on Business survey has found that Canadian companies are tweaking their formulas for rewarding those at the top but that reforms linking pay to performance have a way to go by Janet McFarland

Globe and Mail, June 23, 2009: Executive Compensation 2009: The complete list : A closer look at how the payments to Canada's top CEOs break down Janet McFarland ; This is a ranking of compensation paid in fiscal 2008 to the CEOs of the 100 largest companies (by market capitalization) in the S&P/TSX composite index as of June 1. (click on View Full Table at bottom of page to see complete list)

Globe and Mail, June 23, 2009: In pictures -- Compensation: Big earners: Shareholders have complained about recent controversial compensation decisions by some of Canada's biggest companies


Economic Outlook: what the C-Suite Survey says

The Gandalf Group’s quarterly C-Suite Survey is now available. This survey is comprised of the opinions of over 150 chief executive officers, chief financial officers and chief operating officers from the Report on Business’ 1000 Companies from across Canada. Conducted from May-June 2009, the survey finds that “executives are feeling cautiously optimistic towards the economy.” This being said, virtually all respondents believe the economy is still in decline.

Press release, June 2009

Survey (64 pages, PDF)

Several articles in the Globe and Mail also cover C-Suite’s survey results.

Globe and Mail, June 22, 2009: Optimism reigns, but not confidence; David Herle’s, Principal of the Gandalf Group, take on the C-Suite results.

Globe and Mail, June 22, 2009: The return of optimism: It wasn't long ago that executives saw only clouds on the horizon. What a difference four months can make. A relatively sunny view prevails this quarter; article by Richard Blackwell


Slow Growth: The World Bank on the Economic Crisis

The World Bank has released a report titled, What the World Bank is Doing. The reportprojects that the global economy will fall approximately 2.9% next year, with world trade expected to decreasing by 10%. While new initiatives being implemented in order to restore economic growth by the World Bank are listed, the report emphasizes the need for this crisis plan.

World Bank Report, June 22, 2009

Globe and Mail, June 23, 2009: World Bank forecast casts pall on markets: says global economy to shrink 2.9% in 2009, larger than previous estimate; by Barrie McKenna and Kevin Carmichael.


The Crisis and Beyond

The OECD’s 2009 Forum is currently taking place in Paris from June 23-24. This year’s forum, named The Crisis and Beyond seeks to address issues such as strengthening the global economy, green growth, and climate change with labour leaders, government ministers, and international organizations. 
The OECD Forum takes place in conjunction with the annual OECD ministerial summit(from June 24-25) which will be chaired by Korean Prime Minister HAN Seung-soo.

Webscasts of keynote speakers

Daily summary and speeches


Book of the Week

Managing Talent Retention: an ROI Approach, by Jack J. Phillips and Lisa Edwards. San Francisco : Pfeiffer, 2009. 403 p. ISBN 978-0-470-37595-2

Retention is becoming one of the most pressing concerns of employers worldwide. This book provides an overview of talent retention and defines retention and turnover in very specific measures. It explores the full impact of talent departure and most important it offers proven solutions to talent retention. The book clearly shows how to forecast the ROI of talent retention solutions and how to capture the actual ROI after the solution was implemented. This is a practical book providing an ROI approach to HR managers and practitioners.

About the Authors:

Jack J.Phillips is chairman of the ROI Institute. A seasoned HR veteran, Phillips has served as a senior HR executive in two Fortune 500 companies and in top executive roles, including president of a regional bank. A prolific writer, Phillips is the author or editor of more than 50 books and more than 200 articles.

Lisa Edwards serves as director, Global Learning and Development, at Corbis.


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Editor: Vicki Skelton
Designer: Nick Strupat

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

Date posted: 
Monday, June 22, 2009