November 24, 2008

November 24, 2008


Professor Morley Gunderson inducted as a Fellow to the Royal Society of Canada, November 15, 2008

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.

CIRHR website, November 15, 2008.


Expert Commission on Pensions Releases Final Report

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”.

Report, November 20, 2008 (224 pages, PDF)

Report, November 20, 2008 (html)

Expert Commission on Pensions website


Globe and Mail, November 20, 2008: “Broaden pension mix, Ontario panel urges”, by Janet McFarland


Ontario Agricultural Workers and the BC Health Workers Decision

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 Court, November 20th, 2008


Retired but Still Working

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.


Article, November 24, 2008 (8 pages, PDF)


Canadians are Rethinking Retirement

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.

Booklet, November 20, 2008 (12 pages, PDF)

Globe and Mail, November 20, 2008: “Crisis prompts many to delay retirement: Poll”, by Tavia Grant


Rural Commuting

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.


Article, November 24, 2008 (9 pages, PDF)


Managing Employees at a Distance

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)


Transforming Health and Safety Culture

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


A Comparative Study of Academic Salaries in 15 Countries

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.

Report, October 2008 (84 pages, PDF)

Chronicle of Higher Education, November 14, 2008: “Saudi Arabia and Canada Lead in Pay for Faculty Members, Study Finds.”



The ILO Looks at Executive Compensation

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.

Discussion Paper, November 2008, (40 Pages, PDF)


Book of the Week

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.


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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Date posted: 
Monday, November 24, 2008