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.

BC teachers back at work

Description: After a long and bitter dispute, the B.C. government and the B.C. Teachers’ Federation have reached a six-year contract with the help of mediator Vince Ready.

Source: The Vancouver Sun

Date: 09/20/2014

Link: http://www.vancouversun.com/business/Vaughn+Palmer+Remarkably+clean+ending+bitter+dispute/10219679/story.html

Related links:


Questions for discussion:

  • What did the BCTF give up to get this agreement?
  • What did the government give up to get this agreement?
  • Why does Vancouver Sun columnist Vaughn Palmer describe the settlement as a “remarkably clean ending to bitter dispute”?
  • What were the key issues in this dispute?
  • Palmer says: “when parties don’t trust each other, it takes time to recognize which proposals are non-starters and move into each other’s zone of settlement.” Why don’t these parties trust each other?

Mediator walks out of B.C. school talks

Description: Veteran mediator Vince Ready says it’s unrealistic to expect the two sides in the B.C. schools dispute to come to an agreement by the scheduled start of classes. He had been engaged in exploratory talks with the parties in the hopes of entering mediation.

Source: CBC

Date: 08/30/2014

Link: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/b-c-teachers-strike-vince-ready-walks-out-of-talks-1.2751718

Related links:

Questions for discussion:

  • Why did Vince Ready quit the talks?
  • Consult your textbook. What is mediation? What does a mediator do?
  • The Vancouver School Board is asking that the dispute be put to binding arbitration. What is binding arbitration? How does it differ from mediation?
  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of both approaches?
  • See the Related links above. In January, the B.C. Supreme Court found the B.C. government had bargained in bad faith with the teachers. What does the term bad faith mean in a collective bargaining context?


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