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?

 

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?

 

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