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?


BC government fined $2 million in teachers dispute

Description: A B.C. Supreme Court justice has ruled that the B.C. government did not act in good faith in its dealings with the B.C. Teachers’ Federation and has fined the government $2 million.

Source: The Globe and Mail

Date: 01/27/2014

Link: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/british-columbia/bc-teachers-win-legal-fight-to-bargain-class-sizes/article16525448/

Related links:

Questions for discussion:

  • Why did the judge fine the government $2 million?
  • Why did the judge find the government’s legislation was unconstitutional?
  • Why did the judge conclude the government had not bargained in good faith?
  • What has been the government’s response?
  • What are some of the impacts of this decision?


Superstore workers hold ‘fairness day’

Description: The United Food and Commercial Workers union has taken out full-page newspaper ads addressed to Loblaw Executive Chairman Galen Weston Jr. on the eve of possible strikes in Alberta and Saskatchewan.

Source: CBC

Date: 09/28/2013

Link: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/edmonton/alberta-superstore-workers-poised-to-strike-1.1872134

Related links:

Questions for discussion:

  • Summarize the arguments made in the open letter.
  • Why do you think the union bought these ads?
  • Why do you think the union chose to personalize this dispute?
  • Do you think the ads will be effective? Explain.
  • Read the comments at the bottom of the CBC story. Which arguments do you find the most persuasive?


Foreign service workers, federal government reach tentative agreement

Description: The federal Treasury Board and the Professional Association of Foreign Service Officers have reached a tentative agreement following a long-running strike.

Source: CBC

Date: 09/27/2013

Link: http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/striking-diplomats-make-pay-gains-in-tentative-deal-1.1869907

Related links:

Questions for discussion:

  • What was the union seeking in this dispute?
  • What, according to the CBC story, are the key features of this tentative agreement?
  • What did the Public Service Labour Relations Board rule on Sept. 13?
  • Consult your text. What does it mean to bargain in good faith?
  • Do you think this ruling affected the outcome of these negotiations? Discuss.

PSAC rejects Canada Post’s final offer

Description: The Public Service Alliance of Canada has refused a final offer from Canada Post, saying it would create a two-tiered workplace that would “pit worker against worker.”

Source: Canadian Labour Reporter

Date: 09/19/2013

Link: http://www.labour-reporter.com/articleview/18869-psac-will-not-accept-canada-posts-final-offer

Related links:

Questions for discussion:

  • Why did PSAC reject this final offer?
  • Briefly describe the main features of the offer.
  • What is a two-tiered workplace?
  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of such a contract from the employer’s and union’s points of view?
  • Consult the Related Links above. What do you think will happen next in this dispute?

Tribunal considers bad faith bargaining claim

Description: The Public Service Labour Relations Board is considering a complaint from the Professional Association of Foreign Service Officers that the federal government’s Treasury Board bargained in bad faith in a dispute involving foreign affairs officers.

Source: The Toronto Star

Date: 08/21/2013

Link: http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2013/08/21/foreign_service_strike_likely_to_drag_on_as_labour_tribunal_reserves_decision.html

Related links:

Questions for discussion:

  • Consult your text: what does it mean to bargain in good faith?
  • What is the union arguing here?
  • What is the Treasury Board’s response?
  • What are the possible outcomes of this hearing?
  • Briefly summarize the issues in this dispute. Which party do you think has the most persuasive case? Why?


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