Grievance could take years to settle

Description: It could take years to settle a grievance filed by the Mine, Mill and Smelter workers union over bonuses the union says are owed to its members by Xstrata Nickel in Sudbury, Ont.

Source: The Sudbury Star

Date: 04/15/2011

Link: http://www.thesudburystar.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=3076880

Questions for discussion:

  • What type of grievance is this?
  • What steps would this grievance have gone through to get to this point?
  • Why do you think it takes so long to settle such grievances?
  • How does this compare to cases in the court system?
  • What alternatives are there to this process?

B.C. court rules teachers’ bargaining law unconstitutional

Description: The B.C. Supreme Court has ruled that the B.C. government violated teachers’ Charter rights in 2002 when it passed a law that removed clauses that included limits on class size from the B.C. Teachers’ Federation’s collective agreement.

Source: The  Vancouver Sun

Date: 04/14/2011

Link: http://www.vancouversun.com/business/Teachers+regain+right+bargain+class+size/4613527/story.html

Questions for discussion:

  • Which Charter rights did the court find the law violated?
  • What effect do you think this ruling will have on the current collective bargaining negotiations between the Teachers’ Federation and public sector employers?
  • How do you think this ruling will affect other public sector workers in Canada?
  • In her decision, Supreme Court Judge Susan Griffin says: “The whole point of the Charter protection of collective bargaining is to allow employees the freedom to associate so as to collectively influence their working conditions, through strength of numbers which equalizes an employee’s bargaining power with the employer.” Why do you think the “strength of numbers” might be required to balance an employer’s bargaining power?
  • Think of an employment relationship you are personally familiar with. Is there a balance between the employer’s and employees’ powers?