March 23, 2009

March 23, 2009

Save Our Severance

The CAW is calling on the government to develop a provincial wage earner protection program, that is integrated with the existing federal initiative, applies to all severance and separation monies owed, provides significant additional protection on top of the federal program and applies to all insolvencies and 'run away' employers. But the Toronto Star reported that “a call Monday for provincial action on severance pay for autoworkers was deflected by Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty, who said the federal government must do more on the issue.”

CAW Brief to the Ontario Government on Severance Pay, March 17, 2009 (9 pages, PDF)

Save Our Severance Fact Sheet

CAW website, March 23, 2009

Toronto Star, March 23, 2009: CAW calls for provincial action on severance pay, by Arron Harris 

CAW–Canada and General Motors Restructuring Agreement

CAW Members at GM Approve Restructuring Deal, March 11, 2009

Highlights of the Tentative Restructuring Agreement between CAW-Canada and General Motors Production and Skilled Trades, March 2009 (4 pages, PDF)


Respectful & Inclusive Workplaces: Stakeholders & Strategie

Conference: May 28 & 29, 2009 London Convention Centre

Four Plenary Panels and twenty-four workshops offer an immersion in issues related to workplace discrimination, harassment, bullying & violence. Presenters will share expertise on law, policies and practices. Themes include: standards and strategies for creating and maintaining safe and respectful workplaces; personal & institutional costs of workplace violence; corporate best practice; labour’s responsibility and involvement in creating a safe and respectful workplaces; addressing workplace violence as an occupational health and safety issue; and human rights in the workplace.

Anita Hill
In 1991, Anita Hill was thrust into the public spotlight when she testified about sexual harassment
before the Senate Judiciary Committee during the Supreme Court confirmation hearing of Clarence Thomas.

The conference will appeal to a wide range of stakeholders: labour, management, community advocates, academics, legislators, policy experts, woman abuse experts, human resource professionals,
health and safety specialists, trainers, consultants, equity officers, and individuals who have experienced unsafe, disrespectful, exclusionary workplaces

For details & registration visit


Executive Pay and the Economy

Watson Wyatt has surveyed 145 human resources and compensation executives at large U.S.-based organizations to understand what effect the economy is having on their executive pay programs. According to the survey the percentage of respondents that have frozen salaries has jumped to 55 percent from 21 percent in December. Approximately half of respondents plan to decrease this year's bonus pool by an average of about 40 percent and 23 percent of respondents have added a clawback policy.

Effect of the Economy on Executive Compensation Programs Update: March 2009, Watson Wyatt (11 pages, PDF)

Press release (provides summary or results), March 17, 2009


Say on Pay

Ten of Canada's largest companies have agreed to giving investors a non-binding annual vote on chief executive officer pay - a practice known as ‘say on pay’. Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan Inc., one of the biggest fertilizer producers in the world, has announced the introduction of this practice for its annual meeting in 2010. Gary Hawton, CEO of Meritas, a mutual fund company committed to socially responsible investments, has spearheaded the Canadian ‘say on pay’ campaign.

Globe and Mail, March 24, 2009: Amid Wall Street bonus furor, Canadian boards pay heed by Janet McFarland

Globe and Mail, February 27, 2009: Shareholders win voice on CEO pay at 3 big banks by Boyd Erman and Janet Mcfarland and Wendy Stueck

Meritas website: Financial Post Magazine, December 2, 2008: Whose Money is it Anyway? By Mark Anderson


Hewitt’s Annual Health Care Report

Hewitt Associates' health care survey titled, “Challenges for Health Care in Uncertain Times” highlights employer-sponsored health care programs and other benefits including short- and long-term cost trends, strategy, and design features. It covers employers' practices, views, and perspectives regarding managing health care costs, improving workforce health and productivity, and cost prevention

Challenges for Health Care in Uncertain Times: Hewitt’s 10th Annual Health Care Report, March 2009 (18 pages PDF) – register with Hewitt to obtain free document

Press release (provides summary of report): Keeping Employees Healthy Remains a Priority for U.S. Companies, Despite Short-Term Need to Cut Costs, March 4, 2009.


Employers Managing Chronic Health Conditions

A recent survey by Hewitt associates has found that the number of companies taking action to combat the chronic health conditions of employees and their families has jumped almost 30 percentage points over the past year. Employers are attempting to balance rapidly rising U.S. health care costs with a growing population of unhealthy Americans. The targeted diseases are diabetes, cardiovascular disease, asthma and depression. Hewitt recommends how employers can design effective condition management programs.

Hewitt Survey Reveals Employers Intensifying Efforts Around Managing Chronic Health Conditions, March 12, 2009.

Hewitt Associates Launches New Solution to Help U.S. Employers Effectively Manage Diabetes in the Workplace, March 24, 2009.


EAP Financial Counseling on the Rise

The Shepell·fgi Research Group has released a paper titled, Financial Distress Impacts Health and Productivity: Employees Turning to EAP for Help. The report examines the frequency and types of Employee Assistance Program (EAP) requests for service in 2007 and 2008 and found that financial counseling and consultation related to issues such as bankruptcy, retirement, job loss, divorce, estate planning, financial planning and investment planning have risen at twice the rate of other EAP services.

Report, Spring 2009 (4 pages, PDF)

Media Release, February 24, 2009: Proactive management is the answer to stressed-out employees, report says


Management Matters

The Institute for Competitiveness & Prosperity has released a working paper titled Management Matters. According to the study Ontario and Canada need strong management talent to drive innovation and development. The study found that although Canada is a leader in talent management there is still room for improvement.

Management Matters, March 2009: access to working paper

Press release, March 11, 2009


CanLII New Legislation Publishing System

CanLII now provides access to historical versions of statutes and regulations for Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario, Quebec and the Federal jurisdiction. CanLII is a non-profit organization managed by the Federation of Law Societies of Canada. CanLII's goal is to make Canadian law accessible for free on the Internet.

CanLII announcement and description of improvements to the database, March 5, 2009

CanLII Database access


British Columbia’s Labour Mobility Bill

British Columbia has introduced legislation providing full labour mobility for skilled trades and professions. Bill 9 will allow a person certified in any Canadian jurisdiction to be recognized and able to practice their profession in any Canadian jurisdiction, and is similar to legislation being enacted or revised in other provinces. Under the national Agreement on Internal Trade (AIT), each province will continue to be responsible for maintaining and monitoring the requirements that are in place through provincial legislation for regulated occupations, such as doctors, lawyers, engineers and certified trades.

News release, March 12, 2009

Bill 9, the Labour Mobility Act: questions and answers (3 pages, PDF)

Bill 9 – 2009: Labour Mobility Act. British Columbia, Legislative Session: 5th Session, 38th Parliament, First reading


EI Benefits on the Rise

Statistics Canada has released Employment Insurance statistics for January 2009. The report finds that the number of people receiving regular Employment Insurance (EI) benefits rose to 560,400 in January, up 4.4% or 23,700 from December. Since the most recent low recorded in February 2008, the number of regular EI beneficiaries has climbed by 104,000, or 22.8% -- over half the rise occurred in Ontario, much greater than that province's share of the labour force (39.1%).

Employment Insurance, January 2009 release.

Globe and Mail, March 13, 2009: Recession illuminates 'ineffective' EI flaws, by Richard Blackwell


Aboriginal Skills Development

Aboriginal Engagement: Who does what in Aboriginal Skills Development was prepared for the Alliance of Sector Councils, for the purpose of assisting organizations, particularly sector councils, in the understanding of the nature and context of Aboriginal human resources issues in Canada. The paper provides practical information and resources to assist in the development of partnerships and relationships that lead to meaningful work for Aboriginal people and for the sectors of the economy most in need of additional workers and labour market support.

Document, December 8, 2008 (20 pages, PDF)


Work Stoppages and Student Performance

The C.D. Howe Institute has released a brief titled, Collateral Damage: the Impact of Work Stoppages on Student Performance in Ontario by David Johnson. The paper found that strikes by, or lockouts of, elementary teachers in Ontario have measurable and significant negative impacts on student performance.

C.D. Howe Institute e-Brief, March 122, 2009 (5 pages, PDF)


Global Competition for Talent

A recent edition of the OECD’s Policy Brief titled the “Global Competition for Talent” looks at why mobility of talent is important for innovation, which countries attract the highly skilled, what is the impact of international mobility, how to attract and retain highly skilled workers in science and technology and what a future mobility policy should look like.

OECD Policy Brief, February 2009, released March 2, 2009 (8 pages, PDF)


Book of the Week

HR Competencies: Mastery at the Intersection of People and Business, by Dave Ulrich ... [et al.]. Alexandria, Va. : Society for Human Resource Management, 2008. 271 p. ISBN 978-1-58644-113-5

In knowledge and service economics, organization and people issues become very important to long-term success. HR professionals who have competencies to architect, coach, design and facilitate organization and people issues will help their organizations succeedWhat makes a successful HR professional? Which HR competencies have the most impact on the performance of the HR professional? How do HR competencies affect business performance? How much do HR departments affect business vs. individuals who work in HR? This comprehensive and empirical book focuses on research and findings, which are presented in a way that will inform and guide the HR profession. Dave Ulrich and his team states—with clarity and evidence—the knowledge, skills and values that successful HR professionals demonstrate in all types of positions, companies and geographies. They identify the areas in which HR professionals need to be more than good but where they should be great.

About the Authors:

Dave Ulrich is a professor of business at the University of Michigan and a cofounder of The RBL Group. He is the author of 13 books and more than 100 articles.Wayne Brockbank is a professor at the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan and a principal of The RBL Group. Dani Johnson is a director of research for The RBL Group.


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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, March 23, 2009