May 26, 2008

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25th Canadian Labour Congress Convention in Toronto: The President of the Canadian Labour Congress, Ken Georgetti, opened the 25th Convention of the CLC with a call for increased unionization in Canada. The convention is being held at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre from May 26 to May 30.

Links: Canadian Labour Congress websiteUnions More Than Ever, Georgetti says, May 26, 2008, CLC websiteKen Georgetti opens Convention 2008 available on YouTube.

Lynn Williams Responds to the Framework for Fairness Agreement: Lynn Williams served as International President of the United Steelworkers from 1984 to 1994. He has recently written an article on the CAW leadership that begins with this statement: This is an opinion piece that I never expected to write and do so more in sorrow than anger. It is a criticism of the action of one of Canada 's best known labour leaders in accepting, indeed in promoting, a company union approach to the challenges that face the labour movement today.

Link: “The Rightward Journey of the CAW (in six steps),” by Lynn Williams, Rabble News, May 16, 2008.

Recommendations for Keeping Women Lawyers in Private Practice: The Law Society of Upper Canada has voted to support the recommendations made in a report by the Working Group on the Retention of Women in Private Practice. The recommendations include the establishment of parental leave programs for small firm practitioners, a practice locum service, and the creation of the Justicia Think Tank, a project in which the Law Society would work with a group of large and medium-sized firms committed to implementing programs aimed at improving the retention of women.

LinksFinal Report - Retention of Women in Private Practice Working Group, The Law Society of Upper Canada, May 22, 2008 (174 pages, PDF); Final Consultation Findings (35 pages, PDF);Executive Summary (17 pages, PDF); Press release.; “Parental leave subsidies, registry of temporary replacements among newly adopted measures,” by Tracey Tyler, Toronto Star, May 23, 2008.

The Trade, Investment and Labour Mobility Agreement (TILMA): According to two written opinions by Sack Goldblatt Mitchell lawyer Steven Shrybman, TILMA violates the Canadian constitution. Steven Shrybman, commissioned by CUPE to analyze TILMA and the BC Liberal government's Bill 32 and Alberta's Bill 1, has written an opinion on each Bill and the Agreement.

Links: Lawyer: Alberta's Bill 1 unconstitutionalCUPE, May 26, 2008; TILMA legislation flouts rule of law, democracy: ShrybmanCUPE, May 21, 2008; Legal Opinion by Steven Shrybman on Alberta's TILMA implementation law, Bill 1, May 26, 2008 (15 pages, PDF) ; Legal opinion on BC's TILMA implementation law, Bill 32 by Steven Shrybman, May 7, 2008 (14 pages, PDF).

Outsourcing and Offshoring in Canada: A Statistics Canada paper that assessed trends in international trading patterns has found that Canadian industries have steadily increased their levels of both "outsourcing" and "offshoring" from 1961 to 2003. According to the paper, offshoring in goods has been positively related to multifactor productivity growth, while service offshoring has been associated with a shift towards higher value-added activities in Canadian industries.

Link: Outsourcing and Offshoring in Canada, by John R. Baldwin and Wulong Gu, Economic Analysis Research Paper Series, Statistics Canada, May 23, 2008 (49 pages, PDF).

College Education a Blue-chip Investment: According to a study on the economic impact of colleges, institutes and polytechnics, released by the Association of Canadian Community Colleges, graduates earn a 15.1 per cent annual return on their investment. The study also found that investing in college education makes good economic sense for governments, and by extension taxpayers, as the rate of return is15.9 percent on every taxpayer dollar spent.

Links: Economic Contribution of Canada's Colleges and Institutes , Association of Canadian Community Colleges, May 20, 2008, Executive Summary (17 pages, PDF); Volume 1: Main Report(87 pages, PDF); Volume 2: Detailed Results (13 pages, PDF); Fact SheetTaxpayer Perspectives;Media Release.

Number of Self Employed Canadians on the Increase: Information from the 2006 Census released earlier in March indicated that Canada 's job creation record was the best in the G7 during the first half of this decade. An analyses of census data by the Canadian Federation for Independent Business found an 8.5 per cent increase in the number of paid employees between 2001 and 2006 and an 18.6 per cent increase in the number of self-employed in incorporated businesses for the same period.

Link: A Nation of Entrepreneurs: Census 2006 findings on the self employed, by Ted Mallett, Canadian Federation for Independent Business, May 2008 (4 pages, PDF).

Immigrant Skills Wastage Due to Flawed Selection Process: Selecting economic immigrants who can make an immediate contribution to the economy would address Canada's current immigrant underemployment problem according to a new study from the Institute for Research on Public Policy. The author of the study finds that Australia 's revised selection criteria have dramatically improved employment outcomes relative to Canada's. 

LinksThe Impact of Economic Selection Policy on Labour Market Outcomes for Degree-Qualified Migrants in Canada and Australia, by Lesleyanne Hawthorne (52 pages, PDF); Summary.

Transgender Inclusion in the Workplace: The second edition of Transgender Inclusion in the Workplace provides human resource professionals with best practices for transgender workplace inclusion. The publication covers discrimination and benefits policies, internal practices that reflect how gender is expressed and integrated in the workplace, and legal issues concerning gender identity in employment situations. The guide also covers topics such as appropriate terminology with which to discuss gender identity, the creation of policies that protect transgender workers from discrimination, and the expansion of diversity programs to include gender identity and expression.

Link: Transgender Inclusion in the Workplace, 2nd edition, A Human Rights Campaign Foundation Report, April 2008, (64 pages, PDF).

The Economic Value of Older Adults' Work: Older people's employment rates could reduce the economic pressures of an aging population, yet, numerous public policies and private practices continue to encourage early retirement. In a report which summarizes an Urban Institute Roundtable discussion, researchers, practitioners, employers, and policy makers discussed the potential supply of and demand for older workers, the benefits of working longer, barriers to continued employment, and policy solutions to encourage work at older ages.

LinkCapitalizing on the Economic Value of Older Adults' Work: An Urban Institute Roundtable, by Eric J.Toder, Richard W. Johnson, Gordon B.T. Mermin, and Serena Lei, with support from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, May 2008 (24 pages, PDF).

2008 National Study of Employers: First conducted in 1998, the 2008 National Study of Employerslooks at U.S. employer initiatives that address the changing needs of the workforce. Designed by the Families and Work Institute, the NSE interviewed 1,100 employers with 50 or more employees located throughout the United States to provide data on changes that have occurred over the past 10 years. The study addresses questions such as:

  • What is the prevalence of programs, policies, and benefits that address the needs of the changing workforce, including workplace flexibility, caregiving leaves, child and elder care assistance, and health care/economic security benefits?
  • Are smaller or larger employers more likely to provide these programs, policies, and benefits?
  • Have these initiatives increased or decreased in the past ten years?
  • Which employers provide higher levels of support to their employees?

Links: 2008 National Study of Employers, by the Families and Work Institute, May 21, 2008 (44 pages, PDF); Press release .

Date posted: 
Monday, May 26, 2008