September 29, 2008

September 29, 2008

Labour Arbitration Conference

Friday, October 3, is the early bird deadline to register for Lancaster's Labour Arbitration Conference and Bargaining in the Broader Public Sector Conference, which will be held from October 28 to 31, 2008, at the Westin Harbour Castle Hotel, Toronto. Register by this date and save $100 off the regular price of the conferences and the full-day workshops.

Lancaster House Registration Form is available here.


Healthy Workplace MonthSeptember 29th – October 26th

Canada's Healthy Workplace Month is designed to introduce workplace health to Canadian organizations and to support those who are already on the journey. The program is managed by the National Quality Institute in collaboration with the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety and is presented by The Great-West Life Assurance Company. Get your organization involved! This year's theme is: Take the Healthy Workplace Challenge.

Healthy Workplace Month website, September 29, 2008.


An Ontario Consultation Paper on Workplace Violence Prevention

The Ontario Government has released a consultation paper on workplace violence to determine whether changes need to be made to the Occupational Health and Safety Act to address this issue. The paper invites labour, employers, and the public to submit their comments. The consultation period runs from September 17 to October 17, 2008. Bill 29, a private member’s Bill, which amends the Occupational Health and Safety Act to require employers to protect workers from harassment and violence in the workplace, has received first reading in the Ontario Legislature.

Consultation paper, September 17, 2008 (14 pages, PDF)

Review may lead to OHSA amendment, Canadian Occupational Safety, September 18, 2008

Bill 29, Occupational Health and Safety Amendment Act (Harassment and Violence), 2007 – carried first reading December 31, 2007.


Mental Health in Workplace Settings

A consensus paper titled, Mental Health in Workplace Settings, prepared for the European Commission’s Conference on Mental Health in 2008, sets out arguments for the different stakeholders -- employers, trade unions, government and organizations -- to take action in the prevention of undue workplace stress and to support people with mental health problems in staying or returning to work.

Consensus paper, 2008 (18 pages, PDF)

European Pact for Mental Health and Well-being


HIV and Aids in the Workplace

The Benefits Canada website features a publication from Bristol-Myers Squib Canada titled, One Life. HIV and AIDS in the Workplace. People with HIV and Aids are now living longer with a chronic illness and employers need to be aware of the health and accommodation issues involved.

Booklet, September 2008 (16 pages, PDF)


Low Literacy Skills can Threaten Health and Safety in the Workplace

A Conference Board of Canada report titled, All Signs Point to Yes: Literacy’s Impact on Workplace Health and Safety,has found that organizations seeking to improve their safety records should investment in employee literacy programs. The payoff is reduced employee accidents, injuries, and absenteeism, resulting in lower workers’ compensation board premiums, claims, and fines. In addition, organizations benefit from higher productivity and better organizational performance overall through reduced work stoppages and slowdowns.

Report, September 2008 (32 pages, PDF). Available for downloading by using your University of Toronto email account to register with the Conference Board’s e-Library. Paste the short title of the document All Signs Point to Yes in theSearch our e-Library box.


Ontario Human Rights Commission

The Commission released its annual report in late August. The theme of the report was the restructuring the Commission. As of June 30, 2008, the Human Rights Code Amendment Act, 2006, S.O. 2006, c. 30 took effect -- discrimination complaints are now filed with the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario.  The law firm of Cavalluzzo Hayes Shilton McIntyre & Cornish LLP has prepared a series of three guides that explain  the changes brought about by Bill 107, the new Tribunal ‘s rules, and the transference of existing complaints to the tribunal.

2007-2008 Annual Report, August 27, 2008 (64 pages, PDF)

Table of Contents (HTML)

Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario website

Cavalluzzo Hayes Shilton McIntyre & Cornish LLP - What’s New


Hewitt Associates Releases its 30th Annual Canada Salary Increase Survey

According to the 2008-2009 Canada Salary Increase Survey released by Hewitt Associates the average salary increase will be 3.6% this year, down from last year’s 3.8%.  Even in Alberta salary increases are expected to drop to 5% compared with the average increase of 6% last year.   The survey also looks at “hot jobs and hot locations”, as well as variable pay.

Press release and survey highlights, September 24, 2008

Globe and Mail, September 24, 2008, Market turmoil expected to take toll on pay increases,” by Tavia Grant.


Aligning Diversity and Business Goals

A Conference Board New York report titled, Leadership, Governance, and Accountability: A Pathway to a Diverse and Inclusive Organization, profiles organizations that have strategically aligned diversity and inclusion practices with general business goals.  The report uses companies' success stories, initiatives, scorecards, and tracking systems to create a tool that other organizations can use to build the diverse and inclusive organization necessary for enhancing business performance.

Report, September 2008, (28 pages, PDF)  Available for downloading by using your University of Toronto email account to register with the Conference Board’s e-Library.  Paste the short title of the document Leadership, Governance, and Accountability in the Search our e-Library box.


Executive Coaching

A Conference Board New York report titled, Promoted to Fail? How Executive Coaching Can Improve Performance in Newly Promoted Executives looks at how executives in one organization used coaching to prevent a manager from 'derailing' in a new position.

Report, September 2008, (6 pages, PDF).  Available for downloading by using your University of Toronto email account to register with the Conference Board’s e-Library. Paste the short title of the document Promoted to Fail in the Search our e-Library box.


Workplace and Employee Survey Compendium 2005

This issue, the third and final in the Workplace and Employee Survey Compendium series, is organized in four sections covering labour market dynamics, market environments, workplace performance, and compensation practices. This structure is based on the notion that workplaces act upon and respond to their micro- and macro-environments using a wide array of business strategies, such as compensation strategies and innovative work practices. These interactions between workers, workplaces and environments give rise to labour dynamics as workplaces strive to achieve a desirable level of performance and productivity.

Compendium, September 24, 2008(66 pages, PDF)

Access the earlier Workplace and Employee Survey Compendiums for 2001 and 1999

Globe and Mail, September 25, 2008, “Workplace snapshot” by Tavia Grant


Trends in Employment and Wages, 2002 to 2007

The September 2008 issue of Statistic Canada’s Perspectives on Labour and Income looks at employment trends in Canada. In 2007, the proportion of employed people in Canada was at its highest level in at least three decades, while the national unemployment rate sank to a 33-year low of 5.8%. However, manufacturing employment in Canada, as in the United States, has been on a downward trend. Between 2002 and 2007 employment rates increased the most in the highest-paying industries and occupations. On the other hand, some job losses were experienced by machine operators and assembly workers. Retail trade had been the largest creator of new jobs but was surpassed in 2007 by construction, and health care and social assistance.

Article, September 26, 2008 (11 pages, PDF)


International Comparisons of Manufacturing Productivity and Unit Labour Cost Trends, 2007

The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics has released data that compares the manufacturing productivity in 16 counties. Productivity increased in 14 of the 16 economies between 2006 -2007, with the United States increase of 4.1 per cent, the fourth largest. Canada’s productivity increase was 2.1 per cent, while Korea and Taiwan led in manufacturing productivity growth at 8.7 per cent. Jim Stanford comments on the BLS data at the Progressive Economic s Forum weblog.

Bureau of Labor Statistics release, September 26, 2008(16 pages, PDF)

Canada’s Manufacturing Crisis in International Perspective, September 27, 2008.


Green Jobs: Towards Decent Work in a Sustainable, Low-Carbon World

A report commissioned by the United Nations Environment Program titled Green Jobs: Towards Decent work in a Sustainable, Low-Carbon World, has found that changing patterns of employment and investment resulting from efforts to reduce climate change are generating new jobs.   However, the report also finds that the process of climate change will continue to have negative effects on workers and their families, especially those whose livelihoods depend on agriculture and tourism.

Report, September 24, 2008 (376 pages, PDF)

Report Overview (36 pages, PDF)

Press Release


Book of the Week

Trade Union Merger Strategies: Purpose, Process, and Performance, by Roger Undy. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008. 295 p. ISBN 978-0-19-954494-3

As trade union membership has declined, union mergers have been prominent features in strategies of union revitalization. This book analyzes British unions' mergers since 1978, the point at which British unions moved from growth into decline. It examines the factors shaping unions' merger searches, the consequent merger negotiations, and the merged unions' subsequent performance.

About the Author:

Roger Undy is an Emeritus Reader and Emeritus Fellow, respectively, of the Said Business School and Templeton College, University of Oxford.


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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 29, 2008