Most people are familiar with the old adage that defines true insanity as doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting a different result. Then why, in labour relations, do we continue using the same processes and methods that have not yielded positive results for us in the past? Well, some parties have learned this lesson and are trying new approaches in their search for win-win outcomes of negotiation.
Following the decision of the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) in Ontario (A.G.) v. Fraser (Fraser), there has, predictably, been widespread speculation as to its eventual effect on the labour relations landscape in Canada. A departure from other recent SCC case law, Fraser found that there was no constitutional guarantee for any specific form of labour relations or collective bargaining regime. Even if the decision was significant in shaping Canada’s constitutional framework for collective bargaining, any tangible effect on labour policy has yet specifically to materialize
I was a professional Fire Fighter in the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF), for many years before I got directly involved as a member of our Local's negotiating team. Although I was always interested in our Association's activities, and I regularly attended meetings, I never considered myself "involved-enough" to run for any committee or executive position for those first 15 years of my career.
In almost all organizations today, both public and private sector, managers are looking to deliver better results and greater productivity. And within these same organizations, the union is often seen as a barrier to management effectively achieving these goals. From the union's point of view, management views the collective agreement as an impediment to achieving results, leading to frequent violations of the collective agreement.
How can human resources professionals bargain and build meaningful relationships with the union during tough economic times? In her recent presentation at Queen’s IRC’s Labour Relations Foundations program, Ontario Nurses’ Association President Linda Haslam-Stroud provided sound advice for signing off on successful collective agreements. In the following excerpts from her talk, Linda shares her top …
For the foreseeable future Ontario, as well as most other provinces, will be faced with a shrinking school system, staffed by an aging and static teaching workforce. Responding to this challenge will be complicated by factors such as high retirement levels, more restrictive collective agreement language, and pension solvency issues.
Queen’s Industrial Relations Centre Director Carol Beatty sat down with CAW President Buzz Hargrove during his recent visit to campus and discussed developments in the automobile manufacturing sector and the role of his union in addressing major changes in the industry. You mentioned in your Don Wood Lecture here at Queen’s that negotiated agreements with …
This paper provides analysis into the workings of the collective agreement that governed the relationship between the National Hockey League and its Players’ Association. By examining the elements and processes of the collective agreement, the nature of negotiation, and the roles of agents, owners, general managers, and arbitrators, it shows how significant increases in player …
Court rulings differ with respect to the authority of arbitrators to require management to act fairly and reasonably in exercising discretion under a collective agreement. This paper looks at the legal framework and the controversy over this aspect of arbitration with collective labour agreements.
In this health care-related paper, learn the results of a survey of major hospitals across Canada. The research explores workforce management and culture; unionization and labour-management relations; workforce reduction behaviour; and organizational performance.
Learn how a strategic grievance procedure can improve labour management relations. This current issues paper explores the four key roles of a grievance procedure, secondary roles, and how solid procedure facilitates conflict management and dispute resolution.
The significant transformation of the Canadian economy and system of production in the past decade has not left the industrial relations system untouched. Managers and union leaders have become more and more aware of their interdependence and vulnerability, through their experience of plant closings, layoffs, loss of market share and technological obsolescence. Does the lower level of labour strife mean that parties are biding their time and expecting the good old days to return?
Current Human Rights legislation protects workers from discrimination on a number of grounds including religion. This paper looks at the history of legislation prohibiting discrimination and reviews current legislation to determine how freedom of religion is protected in the workplace. Precedents from discrimination cases are outlined to give an indication of how cases are currently being settled. Finally, the paper looks at cases concerning freedom of religion in the workplace over the past fifteen years to assess whether the legislation is in use and is effective.
This paper was written from the perspective of Don Taylor, who was able to work in every part of Canada with union people – both leaders and members – many of whom had been involved in the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO) from its beginnings in this country. He felt that there were too few written memoirs of the experiences of those whose deeds didn't conform to accepted heroic traditions or dramatic conventions, but who enjoyed the great priviledge of working for a good cause in pursuit of noble principles.
The purpose of this paper is to examine in more detail the nature and scope of two-tier wage systems in a Canadian context. The plan of the paper is as follows: first, it will examine the form which two-tier settlements have taken and provide some data on their prevalence. Second, it will examine possible legal implications of two-tier agreements, and in particular, whether a union which agrees to a lower wage rate for new hires risks violating its duty of fair representation. The final section assesses the long-term viability of two-tier wage systems.
This paper analyzes the methods by which settlements were arrived at in more than 1400 Ontario collective agreements during the years 1970-1973 and discusses some of the implications of these patterns. The analysis is based on information published jointly by the Federal and Ontario Departments of Labour, covering settlements involving more than 250 employees in industries other than construction.
The collective agreement is the basic corner-stone of collective bargaining in North America. From its beginning the problem of making the provisions of collective agreements binding on the parties who entered into them has been a major concern of unions, employers, employees and increasingly of public authorities.