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?

Labour Day more than barbecues

Description: The roots of Labour Day lie in Canada’s 19th century industrialization.

Source: The Saskatoon StarPhoenix

Date: 09/05/2015

Link: http://www.thestarphoenix.com/life/origins+labour/11343665/story.html

A video from the McCord Museum:

Related links:

Questions for discussion:

  • What were Toronto printers striking for in 1872?
  • How did that dispute turn out?
  • What was the Trade Union Act?
  • What is the state of the Canadian union movement today?
  • What is your opinion of unions? Have you or a member of your family ever belonged to one?

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.

Supreme Court strikes down essential services law

Description: A Saskatchewan law that imposed a sweeping ban on public sector strikes is unconstitutional, the Supreme Court of Canada has ruled.

Source: CBC

Date: 01/30/2015

Link: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/saskatchewan/essential-services-law-deemed-unconstitutional-by-supreme-court-1.2937740

Related links:

Questions for discussion:

  • What does the term “essential services” mean?
  • Why did the court say the Saskatchewan law is unconstitutional?
  • What did the two dissenting justices say?
  • Whom do you agree with? Why?
  • What are the similarities between this decision and the court’s recent decision regarding the RCMP?

Quebec municipal workers hold one-day strike

Description: Municipal workers in Quebec walked off the job for one day to protest provincial government plans to restructure their pensions.

Source: CBC

Date: 11/26/2014

Link: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/quebec-municipal-workers-in-1-day-strike-to-protest-pension-reform-plan-1.2850168

Related links:

Questions for discussion

  • What is the Coalition syndicale pour la libre négociation?
  • What is Bill 3? How would it change Quebec public workers’ pensions?
  • Listen to the audio clip on the CBC site titled “are municipal workers ‘not in touch with reality.’ ” Why does the government think the workers are out of touch?
  • What is the union response?
  • What do you think? How important is public opinion in a dispute like this?

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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