- Professor Morley Gunderson inducted as a Fellow to the Royal Society of Canada
- Expert Commission on Pensions Releases Final Report
- Ontario Agricultural Workers and the BC Health Workers Decision
- Retired but Still Working
- Canadians are Rethinking Retirement
- Rural Commuting
- Managing Employees at a Distance
- Transforming Health and Safety Culture
- A Comparative Study of Academic Salaries in 15 Countries
- The ILO Looks at Executive Compensation
- Book of the Week
Professor Morley Gunderson of the Centre for Industrial Relations and Human Resources and the Department of Economics, University of Toronto, has been elected to the Royal Society of Canada -- the highest Canadian honour a scholar can achieve in the arts, humanities and sciences. “Morley is an internationally recognized scholar whose research, institution building and teaching has been pioneering in transforming the field of Industrial Relations in Canada from one that was formerly descriptive and institutional to one that uses rigorous quantitative and analytical techniques. He is first in citation ranking in the Canadian Journal of Economics and holds the CIBC Chair in Youth Employment and has received both the Gérard Dion Award from the Canadian Industrial Relations Association, and the Industrial Relations Research Association Award for outstanding teaching in Labour Economics for his “ability to inspire students to a love of the subject” [quote taken from the Royal Society of Canada, New Fellows 2008 program]. Details are available on the CIRHR website.
The Report of the Expert Commission on Pensions: A Fine Balance - Safe Pensions - Affordable Plans - Fair Ruleshas been released. The report of the Commission, headed by Harry Arthurs, examines the role pensions play in Ontario's economic and social policy, the problem of declining coverage in the pension system, the funding, regulation and governance of pension plans, the effect of corporate restructuring, worker mobility on pensions and the consequences of plan failure. Lastly the report looks at new ways of promoting innovation in pension design. The first principle of the report, as stated by the author, is “public policy in Ontario ought to maintain and encourage DB pension plans”.
The Court website has an entry titled, “Collective Bargaining Under the Charter: Ontario’s Agricultural Workers” by Kevin Tilley. Quoting Tilley -- On its face, the decision in Fraser v. Ontario, 2008 ONCA 760 extends the right to collectively bargain to Ontario’s traditionally shunned agricultural workers. A deeper reading, though, delivers a broad application of the Supreme Court of Canada’s landmark decision in BC Health Workers, 2007 SCC 27.
The most recent edition of Perspectives on Labour and Income, November 2008 features an article titled “Bridge Employment”. The paper finds that retirement is a process rather than a discrete event. Many older workers who start receiving a pension stay in the labour market for two to three years before they completely cease employment or subsequently return to the labour market, especially in the first year after leaving their career job. For a substantial proportion of older workers, this ‘bridge employment’ appears to be a choice rather than a necessity.
Desjardin Financial Security has released its 2008 survey on Canadians’ retirement readiness. The initial survey,Rethink Retirement: 2008 Survey of Canadians’ Preparedness for Life after Work, conducted between June and August, found that the majority of Canadians felt confident about their financial security and retirement plans. In October, after the recent market fluctuations, Desjardins conducted a follow-up poll which found that 42 per cent of Canadians over forty said they would postpone their retirement by an average of 5.9 years. Fifty per cent of women, compared to thirty-six per cent of men, said they would postpone retirement.
The most recent edition of Perspectives on Labour and Income, November 2008 features an article titled “Rural Commuting”. Commuting patterns are becoming increasingly complex and rural commuting is more complex than commonly believed. For persons in rural and small-town areas, rural-to-rural commuting is as large as rural-to-urban commuting. Moreover, rural jobs are more than twice as reliant on in-commuting rural workers as they are on in-commuting urban workers.
The Conference Board of New York has released a Working Group Report titled, Meeting the Challenges of a Dispersed Workforce: Managing Across Language, Culture, Time and Location by Peter Linkow. Managers and employees agree that it is more difficult to manage distance than same-site employees. Yet when asked whether or not it is worth the extra effort and cost, both managers and employees agree that it is. The report discusses the payoff from effective distance management, competencies of effective distance managers, selecting and developing employees for distance work, managing across differences in language, cultures, and time zone and evaluating distance employees and managers. Ten Action Steps on how to meet the challenges of distance management are included.
Report, November 2008(40 pages, PDF) available free to the University of Toronto community by registering with the Conference Board’s e-Library (scroll down to find title or put short title of the report in the search box)
The Conference Board of Canada paper titled, From Commitment to Action: How CEOs Can Transform Health and Safety, outlines several actions that CEOs need to consider in order to transform their organization’s health and safety culture. The paper is based upon ideas developed from the Industrial Accident Prevention Association and The Conference Board of Canada’s Leadership Summit held during the IAPA’s annual conference in April 2008.
Briefing, November 2008 (12 pages, PDF) free - funded by the Conference Board of Canada
The Centre for Higher Education, Boston College, has released a paper titled, International Comparisons of Academic Salaries: an exploratory study. Using broad national-level data, recognized purchasing power parity measures, and the insights of in-country experts, the report provides a comparative study of academic salaries in 15 different countries.
The International Institute for Labour Studies of the ILO has released a paper titled, Executive Compensation: Trends and policy Issues. The paper reviews research on one of the key World of Work Report's topics, namely executive pay, its linkages with enterprise performance and related policy issues. The paper is one of the first cross-country analyses of what has become a controversial topic during the financial crisis.
Uniting the Virtual Workforce: Transforming Leadership and Innovation in the Globally Integrated Enterprise, by Karen Sobel Lojeski and Richard R. Reilly. Hoboken, N.J. : Wiley, 2008. 203 p. ISBN 978-0-470-19395-2
Virtual distance describes a new type of psychological distance which results when people interact mainly through media – no matter where those communications originate and end. We can all relate to sitting next to a colleague yet sending an instant message or email to get an update, or to collaborate on a project. This book not only unearths myths about collaboration in the Digital Age, but also reports new data which shows how this very trend can also affect what we value in employees – innovation, high performance and leadership.
ABOUT THE AUTHORS:
Karen Sobel Lojeski, Ph.D. is CEO of Virtual Distance International, a research-based management consulting company.
Richard Reilly, Ph.D. is a Professor of Management at the Wesley J. Howe School of Technology at the Stevens Institute of Technology and Chief Technology Officer at Virtual Distance International.
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