With governments everywhere reducing or removing restrictions, it appears that we’re heading back to bargaining in person. At a real table instead of a virtual one. But even if we’re planning in-person negotiations in the near future, we’re not returning to “normal” – that’s still a ways off. We will need to transition, effectively, from a flat screen to sitting across from each other, in three dimensions, for the first time in a few years. Here are some ideas and considerations to help with that transition.
The 2015 Don Wood Lecture was delivered by Peter Edwards, Vice-President Human Resources and Labour Relations at Canadian Pacific. In the lecture, Peter spoke about the future of work, including the changes that are taking place in organizations as new technology emerges, how these changes affect workers and how the HR and labour relations processes, like collective bargaining, need to evolve.
We have entered a challenging and difficult time for collective bargaining for both employers and unions. Shortly following the great recession in 2008, both management and unions reached deals relatively quickly, everyone recognizing the dramatic economic issues the parties faced at the time. From 2008 well into 2012, there was little change. Employers tried to deal with the reality of the recession, and unions waited for the anticipated rebound, assuming it would resemble almost all recessions of the past.
Clark MacFarlane has over twenty years of experience in the health care sector, and is currently the executive director of the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) – Cochrane-Timiskaming Branch, in northern Ontario. CMHA branches provide direct service to people who are experiencing mental illness, and to their families. They are in the process of implementing a new service delivery model, which shifts from traditional treatment methods to a recovery approach.
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.
The word “strategic” gets thrown around pretty loosely these days – it’s one of those business buzz words meant to instill confidence that we’ve thought this through and it’s all under control: trust us, we’ve got a strategic plan! But there’s more to it than just calling something “strategic”. The term “strategic” implies there is a thoughtful, organized strategy guiding your efforts; that a particular issue has been viewed in the broader context and your decision to proceed is based on the impacts that decision will have across the organization
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 a case that pitted B.C. health unions against contentious labour legislation, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled last fall that collective bargaining is protected by the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The decision significantly changes the lives of many Canadian labour law practitioners and policy-makers, says Kevin Banks, assistant professor in Queen’s University Faculty …
Build trust, be yourself, prepare for tradeoffs – and watch the junk food. Ford Canada’s Vice President of Human Resources Stacey Allerton Firth shares these and other secrets for successful interest-based bargaining. In this article, Stacey draws on her experiences as a long-time senior HR executive and as lead negotiator for the 2005 Canadian Auto …
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 …
In this interview Professor Voos discusses trends in the world of work; what unions offer workers today; IR in Canada and the United States; the health of collective bargaining systems; and future issues and challenges in industrial relations.
Three approaches to negotiation are examined in this essay – competitive, collaborative and contextual – by looking at Bell Canada and the Communications, Energy and Paper Workers’ Union of Canada to see how their approaches changed depending on the context.
The author examines when interest-based bargaining works and when it doesn't; traditional and new approaches; how to implement interest-based bargaining; and provides a case study of mutual-gains bargaining in action in an Ontario gold mining company.
Labour relations has always played a leadership role in Canada. Businesses and unions represent vital interests in our communities. Their interactions have set many of the important ground rules by which we live. This is because work and work opportunities are central to us all. It is upon businesses or jobs that we build our lives. The content of labour law is therefore very telling about a society and its direction.
Where once Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) referred to an alternative to the courts, ADR in the field of labour relations is increasingly being referred to as an alternative to arbitration. The objectives of ADR and the newly emerging Internal Dispute Resolution (IDR) are to settle disputes prior to having to go to binding arbitration over which the parties have little control. ADR and IDR are recognized as giving the parties greater direct voice in fashioning remedies and more timely settlements.
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?
This study examines the case of Northern Telecom & the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers (CEP) Union of Canada. The authors look at the North York Plant's 1993 and 1995 negotiations, and examine what can be learned from these negotiations.
This paper was presented at the Annual Conference of the Canadian Industrial Relations Association, Carleton University, Ottawa on June 3-5, 1993. The paper is based on a larger study of the role of unions and collective bargaining in human resource innovations undertaken by the author as a part of a research project on Human Resource Management in Canada under the auspices of Industrial Relations Centre, Queen's University.
As a labour lawyer and a professor of labour law, George Adams mediated many disputes over the years. As a new member of the Ontario Court of Justice, he shared his views on the negotiation process with respect to the competitive challenges facing the workplace. He in presented this paper in May 1992 at the Annual Spring Industrial Relations Seminar.
Canada's industrial relations system faces a rapidly changing external environment in this last decade of the 20th century. Significant and far-reaching changes in our economic, political and legal environment are already being felt and even more changes appear to be on the horizon. The question squarely facing Canada's industrial relations community is the extent to which these important changes will reshape our existing industrial relations order.
The purpose of this paper is to examine the bargaining agenda of selected major Canadian unions on women's issues and the effectiveness of their efforts towards incorporating these issues into their collective agreements. The first section highlights the union agenda and the common provisions the unions have been pursuing at the collective bargaining table. The second section analyzes the frequency of the collective agreement clauses on women's issues overall and of selected unions.
The purpose of this paper is to examine the jurisprudence surrounding unionization attempts in the Canadian chartered banks (supplemented by decisions of the Ontario Labour Relations Board dealing with trust companies and credit unions) and to analyze the efficacy of legislation in dealing with the intransigence of the banking counter-campaign in order to identify possible areas for resolution of the barriers to collective representation for bank and other service sector workers. Prior to examination of the jurisprudence, the paper focuses on the nature of employment in the banking sector in order to provide a contextual framework for analysis of the efficacy of labour board decisions.
Unions continue to face difficulties in obtaining first agreements, due largely to the conduct of employers. Previously, bad faith bargaining complaints have been raised against such employers, but the detection criteria and remedial response used by the Board have been inadequate in dealing with first contract situations. As a result, in 1986 Ontario adopted first contract arbitration to more effectively address first agreement cases.
The papers in this volume reflect these diverse and contradictory trends and patterns in Canadian industrial relations in the 1980s in the face of what some observers believe is "a fundamentally altered economic and public policy environment." The purpose of these papers was to assess the state of industrial relations in the 1980s and to determine whether recent developments signal a fundamental change in Canadian industrial relations, as some commentators have argued.