September 15, 2008

September 15, 2008


Labour Relations in the Ontario Public Service

The Ministry of Government Services recently concluded a consultation among Ontario Public Sector bargaining agents in which a “leading option” emerged that would have seen 75% of the members of the Association of Management, Administrative and Professional Crown Employees of Ontario (AMAPCEO) become part of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU). AMAPCEO remains intact after considerable internal friction, including a rally of 1,000 AMAPCEO members and now have an agreement with the employer. OPSEU has filed an unfair labour practice charge, demanding that Ontario Labour Relations Board declare the agreement invalid and pay $5 million in damages to the union.

Agreement Signed with Employer Resolving Bargaining Unit Crisis, September 11, 2008

Memorandum of Agreement

Employer Proposals and AMAPCEO Responses Now Posted In Full;  Amapceo Board Rejects Employer Leading Option

Ontario government violated labour laws; OPSEU seeks $5 million in damages, September 15, 2008


College Support Workers Memorandum of Settlement

Support workers are scheduled to vote on a tentative deal on October 2, 2008. Complete details of deal are outlined in the memorandum of settlement. If ratified the three-year deal, will provide support staff at the 24 colleges with a wage increase of nearly four per cent in the first year, and three per cent in each of the next two. The agreement also includes groundbreaking language on bullying and harassment.

Memorandum of Settlement, August 31, 2008 (24 pages, PDF)


Declaring Public Services ‘Essential’ Leads to Higher Wage Costs

Designating public services as essential may be aimed at protecting public safety by guaranteeing service availability, but it can be costly to the public purse, according to a report released by the C. D. Howe Institute. Evidence from across Canada shows that declaring a public service to be essential drives up negotiated wage increases by 13 percent, drives up hourly wages by up to 0.8 percent and does not necessarily reduce strikes or other job actions. The report titled No Free Ride: the Cost of Essential Services Designation is based upon the author’s examination of 6,721 public sector contract settlements involving at least 500 employees over the last 30 years.

Report, September 11, 2008, (6 pages, PDF)


Unpaid Overtime

Toronto Life magazinetakes a look at employee class action suits in the article, Breaking the Bank: Dara Fresco, who earns in a year what CIBC’s president makes in a day, launched a class-action suit against the bank for unpaid overtime. Is this the start of a 21st-century labour rebellion? By Susan Bourette.

Article, Toronto Life, July 2008


Ivey Business Journal

The July /August issue focuses on the very popular topic of leadership but also includes articles on negotiating in difficult environments and HR strategies for downsizing and layoffs.

IBJ Online, July/August 2008 issue


Employee Benefits -- New Study Reveals What’s Hot and Not in Workforce Perks

As companies scramble to attract and retain skilled workers in a market characterized by an aging workforce and increasing labour shortages, they are becoming very creative in designing new employee perks in order to compete. What are the most popular benefits?  A new study, released September 5th, conducted by the Canadian Payroll Association ranks all 39 categories of taxable employee benefits in terms of the percentage of organizations offering them.

News release with rankings of benefits (scroll down)


The Retirement Plans and Expectations of Older Workers2007 General Social Survey Report

After many years of public discussion about Canada’s aging population, the leading edge of the baby boom generation is now on the cusp of retirement.  Focusing on Canadians aged 45 to 59, this article, published in the September issue of Statistics Canada’s Canadian Social Trends, examines the age at which individuals intend to retire, the certainty of their plans, and their expectations regarding their retirement income. Evidence from the 2007 General Social Survey is used to show how retirement plans and expectations are related to demographic, employment and financial characteristics.

Article, September 9, 2008 (25 pages, PDF)

Summary, The Daily, September 9, 2008


The Retirement Puzzle: Sorting the Pieces2007 General Social Survey Report

Do Canadians have the information they need to plan for retirement? Drawing on data from the 2007 General Social survey, this article examines the ‘informational resources’ of Canadians aged 45 to 59. While most individuals receive financial advice, understand the basic structure of their pension, and say they understand Canada’s public retirement income programs, significant proportions do not. The characteristics associated with differences in this regard are examined.

Article, September 9, 2008 (14 pages, PDF)


Pathways for Youth to the Labour Market:  A Synthesis Report

This report, released by the Canadian Policy Research Networks, summarizes the findings of eight CPRN studies carried out over the past two years on the school-to-work transition and identifies the policy implications of this research. The report notes the traditional straight-line path from school to work has given way to a non-linear path that sees young people "zigzag" between schooling and work as they seek to find their way. Students are taking longer to complete their education and become established in the workforce. A key finding is that career development programs and services can reduce dropout rates, increase aspirations and achievement, help people find jobs that match their talents and interests and help employers meet skill needs.

Report, September 2, 2008 (43 pages, PDF)

Press release


Manpower Employment Outlook Survey Reveals Employers Expect a Positive Hiring Climate for the Fourth Quarter of 2008

Manpower Employment Outlook Survey Reveals Employers Expect a Positive Hiring Climate for the Fourth Quarter of 2008
Canadian employers expect a positive hiring climate for the October to December period of 2008 according to the latest results of the Manpower Employment Outlook Survey.  The survey of more than 1,700 Canadian employers reveals that 20 per cent expect to increase their payrolls in the next three months while seven per cent of employers anticipate cutbacks, for a Net Employment Outlook of 13 per cent.  Of those polled, 70 per cent expect no change and three per cent are unsure of their staffing intentions for the upcoming quarter.

Survey, September 9, 2008 (24 pages, PDF)


Measuring Labour Markets in Canada and the United States: 2008 Report

The Fraser Institute has released the fourth installment in their ongoing research to assess the performance of labour markets and explain why results differ among jurisdictions. The study provides a series of specific evaluations as well as a comprehensive measure of labour market performance. Indicators of labour performance such as job creation, unemployment, and productivity are used to assess Canadian provincial and US state labour market performance. This study also examines those characteristics and regulations of the labour market that have been shown to affect its performance.

Report, August 28, 2008 (70 pages, PDF)

News Releases:  Quebec’s labour market the second worst in Canada and ranks 50th out of 60 in North America,August 28, 2008.

News Releases:  Alberta boasts best performing labour market in North America; Western provinces dominate within Canada, August 28, 2008.


The National Apprenticeship Survey

The National Apprenticeship Survey 2007 looks at factors affecting the completion, certification and transition of apprentices to the labour market. The 2007 survey was a collaborative effort on the part of Human Resources and Social Development Canada, apprenticeship authorities in each of the provinces and territories, and Statistics Canada. The work was carried out under the guidance of the Canadian Council of Directors of Apprenticeship.   It is hoped that the findings will contribute to the ongoing dialogue by governments, industry and unions to ensure that the apprenticeship systems in Canada continue to respond to the demands of the 21st Century.

Summary, The Daily, September 16, 2008

National Apprenticeship Survey: Canada Overview Report 2007, September 16, 2008 (88 pages, PDF)

Atlantic Provinces Overview Report 2007, September 16, 2008 (87 pages, PDF)

Quebec Overview Report 2007, September 16, 2008 (88 pages, PDF)

Ontario Overview Report 2007, September 16, 2008 (89 pages, PDF)

Manitoba Overview Report 2007, September 16, 2008 (89 pages, PDF)

Saskatchewan Overview Report 2007, September 16, 2008 (88 pages, PDF)

Alberta Overview Report 2007, September 16, 2008 (89 pages, PDF)

British Columbia Overview Report 2007, September 16, 2008 (88 pages, PDF)


Trends Shaping Education 2008

This new biennial publication presents the latest available information on 26 major current trends in education, grouped in 9 broad themes  -- ageing, global challenges, the new economic landscape, work and jobs, the learning society, ICT, citizenship and the state, social connections and values, and sustainable affluence.    

Trends Shaping Education - 2008 Edition OECD Publishing – read only version (91 pages, PDF), September 2, 2008.

Trends Shaping Education - 2008 Edition OECD Publishing – available for purchase


Book of the Week

Talent: Making People Your Competitive Advantage, by Edward E. Lawler. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2008. 281 p. ISBN 978-0-7879-9838-7 (hc)

The source of competitive advantage has shifted in many organizations from reliability to innovation and flexibility. But what does it take for an organization that innovates to then manage effectively? The author argues that it is a combination of the right structure and the right people. Organizations must decide what structure they are: a high-involvement organization that requires a high level of coordination and cooperation among employees, a more global competitor structure which constantly brings in new talent and technological expertise, or a mixture of both? He then outlines the human capital strategy for each approach.


About the Author:

Edward E. Lawler III is director of the Center for Effective Organizations at the University of Southern California (USC) and distinguished professor in the USC Marshall School of Business.


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Editor: Vicki Skelton
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Copyright © 2008 Centre for Industrial Relations and Human Resources, University of Toronto. All rights reserved.

Date posted: 
Monday, September 15, 2008