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?


Tentative agreement in UNB strike

Description: The University of New Brunswick and the university’s faculty association have reached a tentative agreement, while faculty at Mount Allison University remain on strike.

Source: Global News

Date: 01/30/2014

Link: http://globalnews.ca/news/1118652/unb-faculty-union-have-agreement-in-place-to-end-strike/

Related links:

Questions for discussion:

  • What are the issues in these disputes?
  • See the CTV story: What is the position of the New Brunswick Student Alliance?
  • What would be the impact on you if your professors went on strike?
  • The Mount Allison faculty association says this dispute is about academic freedom. Based on what you know, do you agree?
  • Why or why not?

Supreme Court says union can tape on picket line

Description: The Supreme Court of Canada has ruled an Alberta law that prohibits unions from videotaping people crossing a picket line violates free speech provisions of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Source: The Globe and Mail

Date: 11/15/2013

Link: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/supreme-court-gives-alberta-union-a-win-in-picket-line-privacy-case/article15456686/

Related links:

Questions for discussion:

  • Why did the court strike down the part of the law that prohibited videotaping on the picket line?
  • What did the court say about the balance between free speech and privacy rights?
  • What did the court say about picketing?
  • Do you agree with this decision? Why or why not?
  • What other implications do you think this decision might have?

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.

US fast-food workers strike for higher minimum wage

Description: Despite protests by fast-food workers around the U.S., Congress appears to have little interest in increasing the minimum wage.

Source: CNN

Date: 08/30/2013

Link: http://www.cnn.com/2013/07/29/politics/minimum-wage-congress-obama/index.html?iref=allsearch

Related links:

Questions for discussion:

  • Give a brief description of the reasons U.S. fast-food workers are walking off their jobs.
  • What is the minimum wage where you live?
  • Review the CNN story and the related links. What are the arguments for and against raising the minimum wage?
  • Which arguments do you find the most persuasive?
  • Have you worked in the fast-food industry? Do you think you were paid enough? Discuss.

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?


Ottawa-area school board becoming impatient

Description: The Upper Canada District School Board says it’s worried about the length of time the Ontario Labour Relations Board is taking to decide on an application for a cease-and-desist order.

Source: The Ottawa Citizen

Date: 02/22/2013

Link: http://www.ottawacitizen.com/business/School+board+still+waiting+labour+board+decision/8005020/story.html

Related links:

Questions for discussion:

  • What actions does the school board want the OLRB to halt?
  • What did the school board argue before the OLRB?
  • Review the related links above. What was the teachers’ argument?
  • Do you think the teachers’ activities fit the definition of a strike? Why or why not?
  • Why do you think it has taken so long to reach a decision?

Classes to resume at St. Francis Xavier

Description: The St. F.X. Association of University Teachers has voted 96 per cent in favour of a new collective agreement with St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish, N.S.

Source: The Halifax Chronicle Herald

Date: 02/16/2013

Link: http://thechronicleherald.ca/novascotia/703539-st-fx-faculty-union-oks-deal

Related links:

Questions for discussion:

  • What are the key features of the new collective agreement?
  • Why does the union head argue that the “strike was worth it?”
  • Do you agree with him?
  • What is happening in the other labour dispute mentioned in this story?
  • What happens if NSGEU Local 88 rejects the university’s offer?

Faculty association strikes at St. Francis Xavier

Description: Striking faculty met for informal talks with the administration of St. Francis Xavier University, in Antigonish, N.S.

Source: CBC

Date: 02/01/2013

Link: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/story/2013/02/01/ns-st-fx-rally-strike.html

Related links:

Questions for discussion:

  • Browse the related links above: What salary increase is the university proposing?
  • What increase is the faculty association proposing?
  • What are the other issues in this dispute?
  • How are students responding to the strike?
  • What would you do if you were a student at St. FX?

LRB declares teachers’ protest unlawful

Description: The Ontario Labour Relations Board has declared a planned one-day walkout by elementary school teachers illegal.

Source: CTV

Date: 01/11/2013

Link: http://kitchener.ctvnews.ca/etfo-osstf-cancel-planned-walkouts-1.1109787

Related links:

Questions for discussion:

  • Who brought the application to the Ontario LRB?
  • What did the Elementary Teachers’ Federation intend to do?
  • Summarize the arguments made by the two sides.
  • What reasons did the board give for its decision?
  • Prof. David Doorey asks: “Do you think the definition of ‘strikes’ should include a protest against a government’s public policies?” What do you think? Why?

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