March 10, 2008

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26th Annual Sefton Lecture presented by Woodsworth College & The Centre for Industrial Relations and Human Resources: New Union Strategies for Tough Times: The CAW-Magna Deal, and other Responses, Speakers: Charlotte Yates, Dept of Political Science/Labour Studies, McMaster University and Jim Stanford, Canadian Auto Workers Union, on Thursday, March 27, 2008, 7:00 p.m. at the University of Toronto Multi-Faith Centre 569 Spadina Avenue (Entrance off Bancroft Avenue) ~ Free Admission - All are Welcome ~ Reception Follows the Lecture.

Link: Centre for Industrial Relations and Human Resources What's New

Human Rights and Accommodation Conference Toronto Presented by Lancaster House & the University of Toronto, Centre for Industrial Relations and Human Resources, on Tuesday, April 1, 2008 and Wednesday, April 2, 2008, at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, South Building, 222 Bremner Blvd., Toronto, Ontario.

Link: Lancaster House website.

Supreme Court of Canada Dismisses CBC Appeal: The SCC dismissal of the application to appeal in the Canadian Broadcasting Corp v. Canadian Media Guild (2007) case supports the finality of grievance arbitrator's decisions. The case involved a CBC Radio reporter, fired in 2003, who was reinstated by the arbitrator. “By refusing to hear the appeal, the SCC clearly confirms the role and deference owed to the labour arbitrator. If the court allowed the CBC's appeal, a labour arbitrator's ruling could essentially be replaced by the views of the court, diminishing the arbitrator's role and mandate.” [extract from text – The Court Blog]

Links: CBC: Deference to Labour Arbitrators, by Jakki Warkentin, The Court Blog, March 7th, 2008;Judgments of the Supreme Court of Canada, scroll down to Dismissed with Costs; “Reporter gets CBC job back after court battle”, Marsha Lederman, with a report from Rod Mickleburgh, Globe and Mail, March 5, 2008

Ivey Business Journal Online The latest issue of the Ivey Business Journal Online is devoted to executing business strategy. The articles discuss how to move from good strategy to good execution. There is also an article titled, “How to Tame the Alpha Male Leader”, by Mitch McCrimmon.

Link: Ivey Business Journal Online, March/April 2008.

WSIB Review of Experience Rating Program Announced: The Ontario Workplace Safety & Insurance Board has announced that it will review its financial incentive program for companies with good safety ratings. Also, effective immediately, companies responsible for a workplace fatality will no longer be eligible for a rebate. A Toronto Star investigation found that companies where workers have died on the job still receive rebates from this program. An earlier report by the Ontario Federation of Labour has also pointed out problems with the experience rating program.

Links: WSIB Announces Review of Experience Rating Program, March 10, 2008, Workplace Safety & Insurance Board, (1 page, PDF); “Risky workplaces face cash penalty: Moratorium placed on payments to companies with safety issues pending WSIB review”, Toronto Star, March 11, 2008: The Perils of Experience Rating: Exposed! Ontario Federation of Labour, October 2007 (12 pages, PDF).

Violence Against Long-Term Care Workers in Canada A study of employees in long-term care facilities in Canada revealed that they experience a high level of violence from residents; much higher than that experienced by employees in similar facilities in Nordic countries. The reason, according to the authors, is the heavy workload -- care is rushed or is carried out at inappropriate times.

Links: “ Out of Control”: Violence against Personal Support Workers in Long-Term Care, by Albert Banerjee et al. York University and Carlton University, February 23, 2008 (29 pages, PDF ); Physical violence daily occurrence for 43% of Canadian long-term care workers: York U study Media release, York University March 10, 2008.

Gender Wage Equity: According to a Canadian Labour Congress report the gender wage gap in Canada is one of the highest of the advanced industrial countries. The gap in earnings between men and women is attributed to several factors: the greater number of women employed in low-paid, part-time, and temporary jobs; women's exclusion from more highly-paid skilled trades jobs; and women's under-representation in well-paid professional jobs.

Link: Women in the Workforce: Still a Long Way from Equality, Canadian Labour Congress, March 6, 2008 (38 pages, PDF); Press release .

Pay Equity in Ontario “Women on average still earn only 71% of what men earn. This is the best evidence that pay equity in Ontario is far from being achieved nor has it been maintained as the Act requires.” A paper from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives calls on the Ontario government to fully fund pay equity adjustments for publicly funded agencies and to adequately fund the Pay Equity Commission and Tribunal.

Links: Putting Fairness Back Into Women's Pay: The Case for Pay Equity in Ontario , by Mary Cornish, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, (5 pages, PDF); Press release ; Honour pay equity, Ontario urged, by Karen Howlett, Globe and Mail, March 7, 2008.

Employment and Earnings of Single Mothers in Canada and the United States Compared:The employment rates and earnings among single mothers have risen at the same rate in both Canada and United States since 1980. A Statistics Canada study shows that most of the gains in Canada and the United States were the result of the dynamics of cohort replacement and population aging --the large and better educated baby boom generation replaced earlier cohorts.

Link: The Demographic Foundations of Rising Employment and Earnings Among Single Mothers in Canada and the United States, 1980 to 2000, by John Myles, Feng Hou, Garnett Picot and Karen Myers, Statistics Canada, March 7, 2008, (30 pages, PDF).

Improving Bridging Programs for Immigrants: A report from the Public Policy Forum concludes that Canada needs successful bridging programs that help immigrants fill education gaps or other professional requirements needed to integrate into Canada 's workforce. The report compiles best practices from a survey of Canadian bridging programs.

Links: Improving bridging programs: Compiling best practices from a survey of Canadian bridging programs, Public Policy Forum, March 3, 2008, (158 pages, PDFNews Release.

Labour Shortages: The Canadian Federation of Independent Business's latest Help Wanted report showed business owners' concerns over the shortage of qualified labour hit a record high in 2007. Similarly, the Ontario Skill Shortage Symposium, a summit of business leaders and educators, has warned that unless there is more training in the skilled trades Canada faces a severe labour shortage.

Link: Help Wanted: Labour Shortage Troubles for SMEs deepen for 2007 , Canadian Federation of Independent Business (8 pages, PDF ) March 7, 2008; Keynote Address at Colleges Ontario's Skills Shortage Symposium, Len Crispino, Ontario Chamber of Commerce, March 4, 2008; Wanted: Respect for skilled trades, Louise Brown, Toronto Star, March 5, 2008.

Income Stability and Retirement: A recent paper from Statistics Canada looks at the extent to which the Canadian pension system enables individuals and families to maintain their current living standards after retirement. The study uses 20-year longitudinal data to track individuals as they move from age 55 through their retirement years. The study looks at change in income levels through retirement, the role that various income sources play, variation in replacement rates through time, and the degree of long-term stability in individual incomes.

Link: Income Security and Stability During Retirement in Canada, by Sébastien LaRochelle-Côté, John Myles, and Garnett Picot, Statistics Canada, March 10, 2008 (59 pages, PDF).

Productivity and Performance: A recent paper from Statistics Canada provides an overview of the productivity program at Statistics Canada and a description of Canada 's productivity performance. The paper defines productivity and its measures, compares productivity measures such as labour productivity with multifactor productivity and explains why productivity is important.

Link: Productivity: What is it? How is it measured? What has Canada 's performance been? by John R. Baldwin and Wulong Gu, Statistics Canada, February 22, 2008 (29 pages, PDF)

Date posted: 
Monday, March 10, 2008