Ontario elementary teachers put rotating strikes on hold

Description: The Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario will be meeting again with the provincial government, pulling back from a threat of job action starting in October.

Source: The Toronto Star

Date: 09/29/2015

Link: http://www.thestar.com/yourtoronto/education/2015/09/29/elementary-teachers-union-government-to-resume-bargaining.html

Related links:

Questions for discussion:

  • Consult your text: what is a mediator? At what stage in the collective bargaining process does a mediator become involved?
  • Again, consult your text: what is an unfair labour practice?
  • What is the basis of the elementary school teachers’ unfair labour practice complaint?
  • Why did talks stall in mid-September?
  • What are rotating strikes? In what circumstances would a union prefer rotating strikes to a total walkout?

Ontario government, high school teachers reach tentative agreement

Description: Ontario high school teachers have a new tentative agreement with the provincial government, while public elementary school teachers plan to increase job action.

Source: The National Post

Date: 08/20/2015

Link: http://news.nationalpost.com/news/canada/ontario-secondary-school-teachers-federation-reaches-tentative-contract-deal-with-province

Related links:

Questions for discussion:

  • According to the Toronto Star story, what pay raise did the Ontario secondary school teachers receive in this tentative agreement?
  • What else did they receive?
  • How long have Ontario teachers been without contracts?
  • The story says this deal does not guarantee labour peace in Ontario schools this fall. Why?
  • How do these talks differ from previous negotiations with Ontario teachers?

CP Rail strike ends

Description: A brief strike at Canadian Pacific Railway has ended after federal Labour Minister Kellie Leitch vowed to bring in back-to-work legislation.

Source: The Globe and Mail

Date: 02/16/2015

Link: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/ottawa-introduces-bill-to-end-cp-rail-strike/article23012104/

Related links:

Questions for discussion:

  • Consult your text: why does this dispute fall within federal jurisdiction?
  • Why is Prof. Hebdon critical of federal intervention?
  • Which side does he say benefits most from the threat of intervention?
  • What is the government’s response?
  • Which side do you agree with? Discuss.

Federal professional employees prepare for strike

Description: Members of the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada are training for a possible strike, which would be the group’s first in almost 25 years.

Source: The Ottawa Citizen

Date: 02/13/2015

Link: http://www.canada.com/News/canada/Professionals+picket+line+Federal+union+training+just+case/10812773/story.html

Related links:

Questions for discussion:

  • Whom does PIPSC represent?
  • Why is PIPSC preparing for a strike?
  • What changed under Bill C-4?
  • Why do you think the government made this change?
  • Do you think the new rules are fair? Explain.

Saskatchewan could use notwithstanding clause, premier says

Description: Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall says his government could use the Constitution’s notwithstanding clause to pass essential services legislation.

Source: The Globe and Mail

Date: 02/04/2015

Link: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/sasktchewan-could-use-opt-out-clause-in-labour-ruling-premier-wall-says/article22797444/

Related links:

Questions for discussion:

  • Review the related links above. Why did the Supreme Court strike down the Saskatchewan law?
  • What is the notwithstanding clause?
  • Why is the notwithstanding clause controversial?
  • How often has it been used?
  • Do you feel it would be appropriate to use it in this case? Discuss.

Mounties can bargain, Supreme Court says

Description: The Supreme Court of Canada has ruled 6-1 that RCMP members have the right to collective bargaining.

Source: The Globe and Mail

Date: 01/16/2015

Link: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/supreme-court-backs-mounties-right-to-collective-bargaining/article22486356/

Related links:

Questions for discussion:

  • Briefly stated, what did the court rule?
  • What are the likely results of this ruling?
  • What did the court say about freedom of association?
  • What happens now?
  • Based on what you know, do you agree with this ruling? Discuss.

Air Canada, Unifor talks begin

Description: Unifor is looking to make up for past concessions as collective bargaining begins with Air Canada.

Source: The Globe and Mail

Date: 01/04/2015

Link: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/after-banner-fiscal-results-air-canada-set-to-begin-talks-with-unifor/article22284006/

Related links:

Questions for discussion:

  • What is Unifor looking for in the new collective agreement?
  • What happened to Air Canada in 2003?
  • What does the union say it has given up since then?
  • What do you think about the union’s arguments?
  • What arguments do you think Air Canada will make in response to Unifor’s position?

Ontario can’t afford public sector increases, Wynne says

Description: Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne says the province doesn’t have the money for public sector wage and benefit increases.

Source: The Ottawa Sun

Date: 12/27/2014

Link: http://www.ottawasun.com/2014/12/27/wynne-to-unions-no-money-for-wage-hikes

Related links:

Questions for discussion:

  • The Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario has taken a strike vote. Consult your text: What is the significance of this move?
  • Does a strike vote mean a union is likely to take job action? Discuss.
  • Follow the Related Links above. What is the OPSEU’s response to Wynne’s statement?
  • Whom do you think the public would support on this issue?
  • If you were the leader of the OPSEU or the Teachers’ Federation, what would be your strategy dealing with the government?

Air Canada pilots ratify 10-year agreement

Description: Air Canada pilots have ratified a 10-year collective agreement that the airline describes as a “landmark” deal.

Source: Canadian Press – Canadian Labour Reporter

Date: 10/31/2014

Link: http://www.labour-reporter.com/articleview/22657-air-canada-pilots-vote-84-per-cent-in-favour-of-a-10-year-contract

Related links:

Questions for discussion:

  • Ten-year collective agreements are rare. What advantages might there be for such agreements?
  • What disadvantages can you think of?
  • What does the company say it gained from the agreement?
  • What does the union say it gained from the agreement?
  • The agreement replaces one imposed by an arbitrator that was set to expire in 2016. Consult your text: How does arbitration work? Why might the two parties want to negotiate a new agreement?

Pensions key issue in Saskatoon transit lockout

Description: The Saskatchewan Labour Relations Board has halted the City of Saskatoon’s plans to change its transit workers’ pension plan.

Source: Global News

Date: 09/26/2014

Link: http://globalnews.ca/news/1585324/labour-board-to-rule-on-legality-of-saskatoon-transit-lockout/

Related links:

Questions for discussion:

  • What did the union ask the board to do?
  • What is the city’s reason for locking the union out?
  • What is the city’s reason for changing the pension plan?
  • What does the union say about the state of the pension plan?
  • Summarize the offers from the two sides.

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