September 22, 2008

September 22, 2008

United Steelworkers Local 1998 Ratifies Agreement with the University of Toronto

The new collective agreement between the University of Toronto and the United Steelworkers, Local 1998, has now been ratified by the union membership.  There is new language regarding bullying and harassment, as well as flexible work arrangements, and a new child care benefit that will subsidize child care costs.  The across-the-board increases over the three years of the agreement amount to 9.82%.

Contract 2008 (8 pages, PDF)

Memorandum of Settlement, signed September 7, 2008 (57 pages, PDF)


Toronto Transit Commission has Approved Drug Testing for Some Employees

The Toronto Transit Commission has approved a policy of drug and alcohol testing for TTC employees in safety sensitive when an employee is involved in an accident or when there is reasonable suspicion that they are using banned substances. The Toronto Transit Commission has rejected the original proposal to randomly test drivers, mechanics and maintenance workers for drug use.

Toronto Star, September 19, 2008: “TTC gives green light to drug tests for key staff,”

Transit Toronto website


Mercer’s Compensation Planning 2009

Mercer has released its presentations on salary projections for Canada in 2009, as well as the publication Global Compensation Planning 2009.

Compensation planning 2009 - Canada

Global Compensation Planning 2009 (22 pages, PDF)


Declining US Dollar’s Impact on Multinational Compensation

Mercer has released a survey titled, The Declining US dollar:  Impact on Multinational Compensation, which examines the effect of currency changes on compensation programsOver 60 multinational organizations, with mostly North American headquarters, and including over 20,000employees were surveyed to find what impact the depreciation of the US dollar was having on compensation programs. Mercer also looks at how companies should be responding to the currency fluctuations.

Survey, September 18, 2008 (42 pages, PDF)

Press Release


Canadian Securities Regulators Implement Improvements to Executive Compensation Disclosure

The Canadian Securities Administrators have announced that they are adopting amendments which will result in better communication of payments and awards to executive officers or directors. Improved disclosure will help investors understand how decisions about executive compensation are made and provide insight into executive compensation as a key aspect of the overall stewardship and governance of a reporting issuer.

Press Release, September 18, 2008

Mercer CanadaChecklist: What to do now, September 18, 2008 (scroll down)


Termination in Tough Times

According to the survey, Termination in Tough Times, conducted by employment law firm, Rubin Thomlinson LLP, the economic downturn is creating difficult decisions for employers concerning cutting costs and losing employees.

Press release, September 10, 2008

Globe and Mail, September 17, 2008: “Get lost… but don't go yet; the new drill: Get the pink slip but work out your notice period,” by Wallace, Immen.

Globe and Mail, September 17, 2008: “Killing Them Softly: As the economy falters, more jobs will be lost. Many managers are in for a rude awakening: Accustomed to years of growth, it will be the first time they have to pull the trigger. Here are tips on how to do the dirty deed,” by Wallace, Immen.


Breaking Down Barriers to Labour Market Integration of Newcomers in Toronto

The programs and services available to help integrate newcomers into Toronto’s labour market are in urgent need of evaluation, according to a new study from the Institute for Research on Public Policy. The study, “Breaking Down Barriers to Labour Market Integration of Newcomers in Toronto,” by Nan Weiner, found that while general awareness of the barriers has increased greatly in the past few years, little is known about how effective and efficient government, community agency and educational programs are in helping immigrants overcome these barriers. 

Study, September 8, 2008 (44 pages, PDF)

Summary (1 page, PDF)

Press Release


Canada’s Global Competitiveness

The Institute for Competitiveness & Prosperity has released its eleventh working paper titled, Flourishing in the Global Competitiveness Game. Although foreign takeovers have risen in prominence over the past few years with the buyouts of Canadian icons like Alcan, Dofasco, Falconbridge, and Inco, the Institute’s research shows that the number of global leaders in Canada has increased over the past two decades. These global leaders, like McCain, Open Text, and Research In Motion, have competed on the basis of innovation, globally significant capabilities, and global expansion to generate prosperity.

Press Release, September 18th, 2008

Working Paper, (74 pages, PDF) September 18, 2008


Information and Communication Technology Investment in Canada

The Centre for the Study of Living Standards has released a research report titled, “ICT Investment and Productivity: A Provincial Perspective”. The report presents and reviews a new set of data from Statistics Canada on information and communication technology (ICT) investment by province. The level of ICT investment per worker in 2007 was highest in Ontario, second highest in Alberta and lowest in New Brunswick. A decomposition analysis reveals that provincial productivity levels were the most important factor for explaining these provincial disparities. Given the importance of ICT investment for productivity growth, further research is needed to identify the underlying reasons behind provincial disparities in ICT investment intensity.

Report, September 12, 2008 (46 pages, PDF)


Fresh Approach Required to Mend NAFTA

A report released by the C.D. Howe Institute titled, Still Amigos: A Fresh Canada-US Approach to Reviving NAFTA,says that mending the pact should be a central trade policy goal for Canada and the United States. The report is co-authored by Canadian international policy specialists Alan S. Alexandroff and Krista Lucenti, and Washington–based Gary Clyde Hufbauer.

Report, September 23, 2008 (30 pages, PDF)


Scenarios for the Future of Pensions and Healthcare in a Rapidly Ageing World

The World Economic Forum’s report, The Future of Pensions and Healthcare in a Rapidly Ageing World – Scenarios to 2030, indicates that new forms of collaboration between key stakeholders – individuals, financial institutions, healthcare providers, employers, and governments - will be critical to finance the ongoing well-being of current and future generations in a sustainable manner.

Report, September 23, 2008 (115 pages, PDF)

Press Release


Book of the Week

The Handbook of High-Performance Virtual Teams: a Toolkit for Collaborating Across Boundaries, edited by Jill Nemiro ... [et al.] San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2008. 764 p. ISBN 978-0-470-17642-9 (hc)

This book provides a framework based on five principles for working collaboratively across boundaries of time, space, and culture. The contributors offer practical suggestions and tools for virtual teams that need to assess their current level of effectiveness and develop strategies for improvement. The book also contains cases and provides tools for designing, implementing, and maintaining effective virtual work.


Back to top

This publication is protected by Canadian copyright laws and may not be copied, posted or forwarded electronically without permission.

Questions or Comments: contact us at

Editor: Vicki Skelton
Designer: Nick Strupat

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

Date posted: 
Monday, September 22, 2008