Mounties can bargain, Supreme Court says

Description: The Supreme Court of Canada has ruled 6-1 that RCMP members have the right to collective bargaining.

Source: The Globe and Mail

Date: 01/16/2015

Link: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/supreme-court-backs-mounties-right-to-collective-bargaining/article22486356/

Related links:

Questions for discussion:

  • Briefly stated, what did the court rule?
  • What are the likely results of this ruling?
  • What did the court say about freedom of association?
  • What happens now?
  • Based on what you know, do you agree with this ruling? Discuss.

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?

Senate passes flawed labour relations bill

Description: The Senate has passed a bill related to public-sector union certification, even though the bill contains mistakes.

Source: The Globe and Mail

Date: 12/16/2014

Link: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/senators-to-vote-on-conservatives-union-bill-despite-error-in-legislation/article22102064/

Related links:

Questions for discussion:

  • What would Bill C-525 do?
  • What do unions say about Bill C-525?
  • What do its supporters say?
  • What are the mistakes in the bill?
  • Why weren’t the errors corrected before the bill was passed into law?

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?

 

Canada Post seeks pension concessions

Description: The CEO of Canada Post says the corporation’s $17-billion pension plan is badly underfunded and workers will need to help make the plan sustainable.

Source: The Globe and Mail

Date: 12/16/2013

Link: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/canada-post-to-push-for-worker-concessions-on-pensions/article15987182/

Related links:

Questions for discussion:

  • Why does Canada Post say its pension plan needs fixing?
  • What remedies are suggested in this article?
  • How many jobs does Canada Post plan to eliminate?
  • Briefly summarize economist Armine Yalnizyan’s argument. (See related links.)
  • Do you think this argument makes sense? Why or why not?

Arbitrator upholds flu shot requirement

Description: An arbitrator has ruled that members of the B.C. Health Sciences Association must get a flu shot or wear masks during flu season.

Source: CBC

Date: 10/24/2013

Link: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/b-c-health-care-workers-must-wear-mask-or-have-flu-shot-1.2223888

Related links:

Questions for discussion:

  • Briefly summarize the events that led to this decision.
  • Why did the arbitrator conclude that the requirement to have a flu shot or wear a mask was a reasonable policy?
  • What effect will this have on health-care workers?
  • Do you agree with this decision? Discuss.
  • If you were a health-care worker, would you get the flu shot or wear a mask? Why?

 

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