Friday, January 17, 2014


[IWS] CANADA: Perry Work Report 17 January 2014

[The following is courtesy of the Centre for Industrial Relations and Human Resources, University of Toronto].


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January 17, 2014

work&labour  news&research -- follow us on the CIRHR Library Tumblr and on the CIRHR Twitter

·  Six Reasons to Hire an MIRHR Student this Summer

·  Alberta Public Sector Unions Challenging New Labour Legislation and Pension Reform

·  Worker Glut? Take a Look at the Labour Force Participation of Younger & Older Workers in Canada

·  Minimum Wage Wars

·  Older Workers -- Should They Stay or Should They Go?

·  Canadian Law Blog Awards

·  Oh Mother... You Can't Have it ALL

·  Too Many or Too Few Doctors? What's Really Behind Canada's Unemployed Specialists

·  TTC Toronto Transit Commission: Organizational Change

·  A MOOC from Cornell University -- American Capitalism: A History

·  "The Making of Global Capitalism" Awarded the Deutscher Memorial Prize

·  Grade Change: Tracking Online Education in the United States, 2013

·  Skilled Immigrants in the Global Economy

·  Behind the Brands

·  Book of the Week

Six Reasons to Hire an MIRHR Student this Summer

1.     Gain access to the top talent in Industrial Relations and Human Resources -- MIRHR students are carefully selected, highly motivated, and will bring a positive attitude towards working and learning into your organization.

2.     Get help with your special projects or other short-term requirements.

3.     Evaluate potential new employees -- our graduates are highly sought after and many employers return annually to recruit new graduates. Gain a competitive advantage: recruit once, hire twice.

4.     Energize your human resources or labour relations teams by hiring a student who will bring energy, enthusiasm, and a fresh perspective.

5.     Promote your organization as one that is committed to developing Industrial Relations and Human Resources professionals.

6.     By hiring one of our students, your organization may be eligible to receive a maximum refundable tax credit of $3,000. Please visit the Co-operative Education Tax Credit information website for further information.

We invite you to contact Rania Youssouf in the Management Co-op office.  She will be able to assist you with the entire recruiting process and can answer any questions you may have about the 2014 summer work term or its participants.  Rania can be reached by telephone at (416) 208â€"2657 or via email at

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Alberta Public Sector Unions Challenging New Labour Legislation and Pension Reform

"Two big Alberta public sector unions are moving ahead with challenges to new provincial labour legislation."

"The United Nurses of Alberta filed a statement of claim Wednesday saying Bill 45, which bans strikes by some unions, violates freedoms guaranteed under the Charter of Rights."

"The union, which represents almost 30,000 registered nurses and other health staff, has asked the Court of Queen's Bench to throw out parts of the legislation, which received royal assent last month, but has not yet been proclaimed."

"'The blanket ban on strikes by large swaths of public employees in the code violate the following fundamental freedoms guaranteed by the charter... freedom of expression, freedom of association, the right to liberty and security of the person,' the union said in a release Wednesday."

"The Alberta Union of Provincial Employees also filed a court challenge to Bill 45 Wednesday."

"Meanwhile, AUPE was heading to the labour relations board to challenge the Public Service Salary Restraint Act, known as Bill 46, which would impose a contract on 22,000 government workers."

CBC News, January 8, 2014: "Alberta public sector unions challenge new labour laws"

Edmonton Journal, January 10, 2014: "Province pursued legislated agreement with AUPE as early as April 2013, labour board hears, " by Mariam Ibrahim

Bill 45: Public Sector Services Continuation Act
Bill 46: Public Service Salary Restraint Act

Edmonton Sun, January 14, 2014: "Study shows Alberta pension plans are healthy says union leaders," by Matt Dykstra

The Huffington Post, January 15, 2014: "Alberta Public-Sector Pensions: Provincial Government Wants Changes"

Global News, January 14, 2014: "Pension changes will lead to gutting: unions," by Dean Bennett [video]

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Worker Glut? Take a Look at the Labour Force Participation of Younger & Older Workers in Canada

"Currently, youth labour market participation sits at 63.4 per cent, a full three percentage points below its pre-recession high. If youth labour force participation returns to that pre-recession pace over the next couple of years, it will boost the unemployment rate by about three-quarters of a percentage point, all else being equal."

"The more interesting trend is the structural one driving older workers. To be sure, labour force participation starts to drop sharply in older age groups. Prime-age workers between 25 and 54 boast a steady labour force participation rate of 86.6 per cent. The boomers age 55 to 59 are not far behind at 73.9 per cent, while those age 60 to 64 are 53.5 per cent engaged in the labour force. The Rubicon is crossed at 65 years, where the participation rate drops to just 13.4 per cent."

"The most important thing to note about this pattern of labour participation is how much it has actually climbed as baby boomers entered those age categories. For workers over 65, labour force participation has surged from 5.6 per cent in 1995 to 13.4 per cent today. The 55-59 and 60-64 age groups have boosted labour force participation by 14 and 20 percentage points, respectively."

The Globe and Mail, January 13, 2014: "Forget labour shortages -- could Canada be headed for a worker glut?" by Sheryl King

The Globe and Mail, January 11, 2014: "Ottawa urged to ease fiscal restraint after dismal job report," by Bill Curry

The Globe and Mail, January 10, 2014: "Canada's year in unemployment, in six charts," by Tavia Grant

CBC News, January 10, 2014: "Canada loses nearly 46,000 jobs in December"

The Globe and Mail, January 09, 2014: "In Canadian employment numbers, a million is not enough," by Miles Corak

Statistics Canada, January 10, 2014: "Labour Force Survey: Detailed information for December 2013"

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Minimum Wage Wars

CBC's The Current's special entitled Project Money: Minimum Wage Wars has "dug deep into the debate over increasing the minimum wage. Advocates say it would lift workers out of poverty and stimulate the economy. Those opposed say it would drag down workers, businesses and our economy."

Click here to listen to the episodes and read more about each segment.

So, "would raising the minimum wage help or hurt the economy? Or would lower taxes for minimum wage earners be more effective? It's controversial and it's how you crunch the numbers."

Rafael Gomez, a Labour economist and professor of employment relations at the University of Toronto, was in their Toronto studio to discuss the issue.

CBC's The Current, January 16, 2014: "Checking-In: Minimum Wage Wars," by Shannon  Higgins and Gord Westmacott.

The debate continues...

"In its latest report, The Fraser Institute concludes that "laws mandating what are called 'living wages' -- generally defined as the minimum earnings that allow full-time workers to meet the basic needs of their families and reach past low-income-tax thresholds -- do little to help the most vulnerable workers."

The National Post, January 13, 2014: "'Living wages' are killing jobs, report argues, saying mandated pay is linked to low-end labour destruction," by Jessica Barrett

The Fraser Institute, January 14, 2014: "The Economic Effects of Living Wage Laws," by Charles Lammam (44 pages, PDF)

Frances Coppola from Forbes writes: "Personally I would rather people had a real choice between work and leisure.  I would like to see the end of sanctions for refusing jobs, the elimination of workfare schemes, and the provision of a basic income replacing both in-work and out-of-work benefits. But while such a liberal solution remains politically unacceptable, a minimum wage set at subsistence level will be essential for fiscal sustainability."

Forbes, January 13, 2014: "Why We Need A Minimum Wage," by Frances Coppola

In addition, "[s]even recipients of the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences were among 75 economists endorsing an increase in the minimum wage for U.S. workers. In a letter released [January 14, 2014], the group called for the hourly minimum wage to reach $10.10 by 2016 from its current $7.25, and then be indexed for inflation thereafter. They said 'the weight' of economic research shows higher pay doesn't lead to fewer jobs."

Bloomberg, January 14, 2014: "Seven Nobel Laureates Endorse Higher U.S. Minimum Wage," by Lorraine Woellert

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Older Workers -- Should They Stay or Should They Go?

"It's an assertion that has been accepted as fact by droves of the unemployed: Older people remaining on the job later in life are stealing jobs from young people."

"One problem, many economists say: It isn't supported by a wisp of fact."

The Vancouver Sun, January 6, 2014: "Old workers don't take youth's jobs: experts," by Matt Sedensky

"Canadian labour force researcher Rosemary Venne says career patterns have changed dramatically since the post-Second World War era and the birth of the baby boom generation.

Venne, who has written papers on demographic effects on the labour force and careers with Canadian economist and demographer David Foot, says young people of today are taking "longer to launch into adulthood," but it's not simply a numbers game of pitting one generation against another."

CBC News, January 10, 2014: "Baby boomers not to blame for youth unemployment"

Center for Retirement Research at Boston College, October 12, 2012: "Are Aging Baby Boomers Squeezing Young Workers Out of Jobs?," by Alicia H. Munnell and April Yanyuan Wu (8 pages, PDF)

The Pew Charitable Trusts, September 12, 2012: "When Baby Boomers Delay Retirement, Do Younger Workers Suffer?" (4 pages, PDF)

"With mandatory retirement for most workers gone, coupled with a demographic bulge and low returns on fixed-income investments, more older workers are putting off retirement and staying in the work force than ever before. And employment lawyers say they are seeing an increasing number of age-discrimination cases as a result."

The Globe and Mail, January 13, 2014: "The rise of the older worker -- and age-discrimination lawsuits," by Jeff Gray

AlterNet, December 22, 2013: "50 Is the New 65: Older Americans Are Getting Booted from Their Jobs -- and Denied New Opportunities," by Lynn Stuart Parramore

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Canadian Law Blog Awards

"As always, nominations for the Clawbies were submitted from lawyers and law bloggers across Canada by blog post, tweet, or email ballot. That list was supplemented by selections from our three judges: Steve Matthews, Jordan Furlong, and Simon Fodden. Put it all together, and we're pleased to announce our picks for the best of the best: The 2013 Clawbies for the top Canadian law blogs..."

2013 Clawbies -- Canadian Law Blog Awards

 Gotta Love These American Law Blogs...

ABA Journal editors picked their favorite 100 law blogs of 2013 and then opened up the polls for some friendly competition. After some 4,000 readers weighed in, the winners and proud owners of bragging rights in each category are:... [read more here]

And now for Labour and Employment Law we have... The Employer Handbook!

"Professor Michael Lynk (UWO, Faculty of Law) has been a regular contributor to Law of Work blog over the years, and his occasional Top 5 Most Important Cases lists are always highly read... In what I hope now will be an annual event, here is Professor Lynk's Top 5 Most Important Labour & Employment Law Cases from 2013."


Law of Work, January 2014: "Guest Blog: Professor Michael Lynk's Top 5 Labour & Employment Law Cases from 2013"

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Oh Mother... You Can't Have it ALL

"The Motherload on Doc Zone is an excellent summary and survey of the current situation in Canada and the United States. Essentially, it says women can't have it all -- motherhood and a career -- and remain sane, healthy people. It then asks why this situation has come about. And it asks whether it is women's expectations or the social system that makes it so difficult for working mothers."

The Globe and Mail, January 9, 2014: "Oh mother, what a mess -- work and raising kids the focus of The Motherload doc," by John Doyle

CBC Doc Zone, January 9, 2014: "The Motherload: thoroughly modern motherhood", September 2, 2013: "My day as a working mum... in GIFs"

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Too Many or Too Few Doctors? What's Really Behind Canada's Unemployed Specialists

"The Royal College has released the results of a comprehensive, national workforce study that focuses on the growing number of newly certified specialist physicians who have trouble finding work in their specialties."
"The two-year national study consisted of 50 in-depth interviews with national specialty societies, physicians, hospital leaders, residents and health system experts, among others, and an online survey of every newly certified specialist physicians in 2011 and 2012."

Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons, October 2013: "The Royal College report on physician unemployment and underemployment"

·         Read a high-level summary of key findings

·         Read the full report

·         Interview guide

·         Employment survey - New certificants

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TTC Toronto Transit Commission: Organizational Change

Organizational Change in action:

"In addition to all these game-changers comes something more intangible but arguably, the most important project of all; we are committed to changing the underlying culture of the TTC. For too long, staff have complained of being treated like a number by their managers, of being considered guilty unless proven innocent. Discipline -- even the word sounds antiquated -- has been liberally, yet ineffectively applied. Worst of all, the efforts of the overwhelming good have often gone unacknowledged while the errant few have remained unchallenged. In tackling management culture first, we are looking to transform morale and, ultimately, people performance at the TTC so that this becomes the place everyone aspires to work and where customers feel universally valued. I am asking everyone at the TTC to up their game and such change has to be personified at the top, hence my personal attendance at a grueling but rewarding series of town halls."

"There is a massive prize at stake here. The result will be a rejuvenated TTC that delivers our vision and that actively cherishes, develops and supports excellent staff."

CBC News, January 10, 2014: "TTC boss Andy Byford calls for city hall 'visionaries'"

Toronto Transit Commission Five-Year Corporate Plan 2013 - 2017 (44 pages, PDF)

The Grid, June 2013: "The Night Shift: An ode to the Vomit Comet," by Paul Aguirre-Livingston [includes videos]

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A MOOC from Cornell University -- American Capitalism: A History

"Perhaps no story is as essential to get right as the history of capitalism. Nearly all of our theories about promoting progress come from how we interpret the economic changes of the last 500 years. This past decade's crises continue to remind us just how much capitalism changes, even as its basic features -- wage labor, financial markets, private property, entrepreneurs -- endure. While capitalism has a global history, the United States plays a special role in that story. This course will help you to understand how the United States became the world's leading economic power, revealing essential lessons about what has been and what will be possible in capitalism's on-going revolution."

"Upon completion of this course students will be able to:

·         Describe the development of American capitalism as a historical process that emerged from political choices, business cultures, entrepreneurial decisions, and technological transformations.

·         Recognize and criticize the policy programs derived from different analyses of capitalism.

·         Describe how government policies contribute to market success and failure.

·         Exercise reading, writing, and analytical skills vital to historical interpretation.

·         Display a critical sense of how capitalism is not a static economic system but changes over time."

edEX, class starts March 17, 2014: "American Capitalism: A History"

YouTube, November 7, 2013: "American Capitalism: A History" [video]

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"The Making of Global Capitalism" Awarded the Deutscher Memorial Prize

"The Making of Global Capitalism, Leo Panitch and Sam Gindin's landmark account of the role of the United States in the development of the global economic system, has won the prestigious Deutscher Memorial Prize for 2013."

"Two books from Verso received nominations this year; as well as The Making of Global Capitalism, Vivek Chibber's Postcolonial Theory and the Specter of Capital was in the running for the prize. Chibber's book has been raising fierce debate within the field of postcolonial studies field since its publication earlier this year." Blog, November 14, 2013: "The Making of Global Capitalism awarded the Deutscher Memorial Prize," by Huw Lemmey

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Grade Change: Tracking Online Education in the United States, 2013

"The Babson Survey Research Group has charted the growth of online education annually for more than a decade with support from the Sloan Consortium and other partners. The latest survey, conducted last year, asked chief academic officers at 2,831 colleges and universities about online education."

"The findings, released in a report on Wednesday, reveal a growing skepticism among academic leaders about the promise of MOOCs. The report also suggests that conventional, tuition-based online education is still growing, although not as swiftly as in past years."

Chronicle of Higher Education, January 15, 2014: "Doubts About MOOCs Continue to Rise, Survey Finds," by Steve Kolowich

The Sloan Consortium, January 15, 2014: "2013 Survey of Online Learning Report -- Grade Change: Tracking Online Education in the United States, 2013"

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Skilled Immigrants in the Global Economy

"Skilled migration is an important resource for governments seeking to build their country's human-capital base and make the most of global trade and investment opportunities. In many cases, however, migrant professionals face barriers transferring their skills and experiences across borders -- with professional regulation one such barrier."

"Mutual recognition agreements that set out clear rules for licensing practitioners who move between signatory countries represents one solution. But reaching agreement on mutual recognition is no easy feat. Overall, as this report explores, the challenge for policymakers is to determine how governments can get more out of MRAs than they have done to date."

Migration Policy Institute, December 2013: "Skilled Immigrants in the Global Economy: Prospects for International Cooperation on Recognition of Foreign Qualifications," by Madeleine Sumption, Demetrios G. Papademetriou, and Sarah Flamm (25 pages, PDF)

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Behind the Brands

"While the food system is complex and its problems multi-faceted, we know that the world's largest food and beverage companies have enormous influence. Their policies drive how food is produced, the way resources are used and the extent to which the benefits trickle down to the marginalised millions at the bottom of their supply chains."

"Oxfam's Behind the Brands campaign aims to provide people who buy and enjoy these products with the information they need to hold the Big 10 to account for what happens in their supply chains. In putting together a scorecard based entirely on publicly available information on company policies, we posed the question 'what are they doing to clean up their supply chains?'"

Oxfam Canada -- Behind the Brands

Oxfam Canada, February 26, 2013: "Behind the Brands: food justice and the 'Big 10' food and beverage companies" (52 pages, PDF)

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Book of the Week

Unmaking the Public University: the Forty-Year Assault on the Middle Class, by Christopher Newfield. Cambridge, Mass. : Harvard University Press, 2008. 395 p. ISBN 9780674060364 (pbk.)

From the publisher: "An essential American dream -- equal access to higher education -- was becoming a reality with the GI Bill and civil rights movements after World War II. But this vital American promise has been broken. Christopher Newfield argues that the financial and political crises of public universities are not the result of economic downturns or of ultimately valuable restructuring, but of a conservative campaign to end public education's democratizing influence on American society. Unmaking the Public University is the story of how conservatives have maligned and restructured public universities, deceiving the public to serve their own ends. It is a deep and revealing analysis that is long overdue. Newfield carefully describes how this campaign operated, using extensive research into public university archives. He launches the story with the expansive vision of an equitable and creative America that emerged from the post-war boom in college access, and traces the gradual emergence of the anti-egalitarian 'corporate university,' practices that ranged from racial policies to research budgeting. Newfield shows that the culture wars have actually been an economic war that a conservative coalition in business, government, and academia have waged on that economically necessary but often independent group, the college-educated middle class."

Visit the Recent Books at the CIRHR Library blog.

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This information is provided to subscribers, alumni of the Centre for Industrial Relations & Human Resources (CIRHR), friends, interested faculty and students from across the country and around the globe. The Perry Work Report, formerly the Weekly Work Report 2002 – 2006, is a weekly e-publication of the CIRHR Library, University of Toronto.

The content is intended to keep researchers, companies, workers, and governments aware of the latest information related to IR/HR disciplines for the purposes of research, understanding and debate.

The content does not reflect the opinions or positions of the University of Toronto, CIRHR, or that of the editors, and should not be construed as such. The service provides links to the primary documents and research behind the news stories of the day.

This publication is protected by Canadian copyright laws and may not be copied, posted or forwarded electronically without permission. All individual subscriptions, and complimentary copies for students and alumni are not to be redistributed - organizational subscription information is available at: Perry Work Report. The Perry Work Report was named in honour of Elizabeth Perry, editor 2002 to 2006.

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