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?

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.

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?


Decentralized I.R. jurisdictions create ‘complex landscape’

April 14, 2013 by  
Filed under Chapter 1 - Introduction

Description: Daphne Taras, dean of the Edwards School of Business at the University of Saskatchewan, says Canada has “the most decentralized labour relations in the world.”

Source: The Globe and Mail Report on Business

Date: 04/11/2013

Link: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/economy/canada-competes/daphne-taras-labour-codes-are-behind-the-times/article11046376/?cmpid=rss1

Related links:

Questions for discussion:

  • Do you think the headline on this Globe and Mail article accurately reflects Dr. Taras’s comments? Discuss.
  • What does Dr. Taras say about labour codes and flexibility?
  • What does the Chamber of Commerce report say about labour codes and flexibility? What do you think they are getting at?
  • Consult your text and describe briefly the history of industrial relations jurisdiction in Canada.
  • What determines whether a union-employer relationship falls under federal or provincial jurisdiction?


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?

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?

Alberta LRB allows NHL lockout to continue

Description: The Alberta Labour Relations Board has rejected an NHL Players’ Association application to have the NHL lockout ruled unlawful.

Source: Toronto Star

Date: 10/10/2012


Related links:

Questions for discussion:

  • Summarize the NHLPA’s argument.
  • What did the Alberta LRB decide?
  • What was their reasoning?
  • What do you think would have happened if the LRB had found in favour of the players’ association?
  • Do you agree with this ruling?

B.C. teachers ask labour board to fire mediator

Description: The B.C. Teachers’ Federation has asked the B.C. Labour Relations Board to overturn the appointment of a mediator in their dispute with the provincial government.

Source: The Victoria Times Colonist

Date: 04/05/2012

Link: http://www.timescolonist.com/business/BCTF+wants+labour+board+quash+appointment+Charles+Jago+mediator/6417231/story.html

Related links:

Questions for discussion:

  • Summarize the BCTF’s argument in favour of overturning the mediator’s appointment.
  • What is the government’s response?
  • What is Dr. Jago’s response?
  • Who do you think has the strongest case?
  • Review your text’s section on labour boards. Given what you know, do you think the B.C. LRB has the power to overturn the appointment? Explain.

Toronto paramedics ask to be declared essential service

Description: About 250 — some reports said 350 — Toronto paramedics held a rally asking that they be declared an essential service.

Source: CBC

Date: 01/24/2012

Link: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/story/2012/01/24/toronto-paramedics-protest-essential-service.html

Related links:

Questions for discussion:

  • In industrial relations terms, what is an essential service?
  • Who would make the final decision on whether Toronto paramedics are an essential service?
  • Describe the process by which an application for an essential service designation would be made in this case.
  • What reason is the city giving for not making an immediate decision?
  • What effect would an essential service declaration have on the paramedics?
  • Why do you think they are asking to be declared an essential service?
  • What is binding interest arbitration? Why do you think the paramedics favour it?

Zellers workers want to keep contract

Description: Unionized workers at a B.C. Zellers want American retail giant Target to honour their collective agreement when it takes over their store next year.

Source: The Vancouver Sun

Date: 12/02/2011

Link: http://www.vancouversun.com/business/Zellers+staff+want+union+agreement+honoured/5800974/story.html

Related links:

Questions for discussion:

  • Why does the union believe the contract should be honoured?
  • What is Target’s argument against honouring the contract?
  • The Globe story says Target’s “low-cost operating model … relies on competitive compensation and flexibility in scheduling shifts and assigning tasks.” What terms do you think the union would use to describe that model?
  • Review the section in your text on successorship. What principles will the B.C. Labour Relations Board use to decide this case?
  • Based on what you know, do you think the collective agreement should continue to apply?
  • Why or why not?

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