Workplace Bulletin - November 2014
Official Title: Workplace Bulletin, Collective bargaining monthly update, November 2014
Publication date: January 9, 2015
Key negotiation activities
A number of majorFootnote 1 negotiations were underway in November. The most notable ones were between:
- Winnipeg Regional Health Authority (WRHA) and the Manitoba Government & General Employees’ Union (MGEU):Negotiations were underway between the parties over a number of concessions that include working in weekend and night shifts. WRHA is demanding that all employees be subject to working outside business hours. Over 1,500 WRHA employees have been without a contract since March 31, 2014. Negotiations between the parties are expected to continue in the new year.
- Canadian Pacific Railway and Teamsters Canada: Negotiations between the parties began on September 13, 2014. A notice of dispute was sent to the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service on November 19. The disputes are centred around managing health, and mental issues of employees at the workplace. Approximately, 62% of 6,100 employees, mostly locomotive engineers or conductors, will see their collective agreement expiring in December 2014.
- Canada Safeway Limited and UFCW-Canada: The contract covering 7,700 employees of Canada Safeway Limited expired on March 22, 2014. Negotiations are currently underway between the parties, and over 20 non-monetary items were discussed in the last round of bargaining that took place in November 2014. The next round of bargaining will take place in January 2015.
- Seven major collective bargaining agreements were concluded in November, covering a total of 8,040 employees. Five of these agreements were settled through direct bargaining, and the remaining two through arbitration.
- All these agreements were reached in the public sector.
- There were no settlements in the federal jurisdiction.
- Three settlements were in British Columbia, two in Ontario, while Quebec and New Brunswick each had one settlement.
- Almost 70% of the employees who settled an agreement in November were in the education, health, and social services industry.
- Major collective bargaining agreements in November recorded base-rateFootnote 2 wage adjustments averaging 1.5%Footnote 3 annually over the duration of the contracts, a decrease from 1.7% in October.
- The average wage adjustment (1.5%) was lower than the one (2.3%) recorded in the previous round of negotiations between the same parties.
- It was also lower than the inflation rate (2.0%)Footnote 4 that prevailed in November, the third consecutive month in which the average increase in wages was lower than the inflation rate. If the inflation rate remains around the Bank of Canada’s target of 2.0%, the employees who ratified their agreements in last three months would find their real wage declining annually over the lifetime of their contracts.
- The average wage adjustment in the public sector was 1.5%. There were no wage settlements in the private sector.
- For the first time since August 2010, Ontario registered the highest wage gain (2.5%) through two agreements – both of which are with the Ottawa Police Services Board. In contrast, New Brunswick recorded the lowest wage gain (1.0%) in a single agreement with the New Brunswick Association of Nursing Home Inc.
- By industry, public administration had the highest average wage gain (2.5%), coming from two settlements that took place between the Ottawa Police Services Board and the Ottawa Police Association. Education, health, and social services had the lowest (1.1%).
- Major negotiations settled in November had an average duration of 47.4 months, which is about 10 months longer than the average duration (37.9 months) the same parties had previously negotiated.
- Transportation had the longest duration (60 months) in a single agreement between Societé de transport de Laval and its 550 CUPE-employees in Quebec. In contrast, two agreements covering 1,890 employees of the Ottawa Police Services Board, registered the shortest duration (24 months) in Ontario.
- No major working condition of interest was noticed by the Labour Program in November.
Major work stoppages
- Five majorFootnote 5 work stoppages, involving 9,585 employees, resulted in 9,220 person-days-not-worked (PDNW) in November. Four of these work stoppages were in the public sector, involving 8,935 employees. The only work stoppage in the private sector involved 650 employees of Tembec Inc. in Temiscaming, Quebec.
- Since the beginning of this year, 11 major work stoppages have been recorded in the public sector, and four in the private sector. These 15 work stoppages, involving 59,884 employees, have resulted in 1,237,340 PDNW, which is higher than the 883,850 PDNW in 14 work stoppages over the same period last year.
- So far this year, most work stoppages (eight) were in the education, health, and social services industry. During the same period last year, a majority of work stoppages (nine) were in the construction industry.
- The Caledon Institute of Social Policy published a report analyzing the incomes of different households living on social assistance. Titled Welfare in Canada 2013, the report shows the adequacy of welfare incomes relative to the after-tax average incomes of the Canadians. It finds that welfare incomes for many Canadian families fall well below the designated baseline for all household types across all jurisdictions, with the exception of those on Alberta’s AISH program and the Saskatchewan’s SAID program.
- The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives released a study on the gender pay gap in Canada. The study, titled Narrowing the Gap: The Difference That Public Sector Wages Make, compares the wages of full-time public and private sector employees in Canadian workplaces. It finds that women, aboriginal workers, and visible minority workers experience less wage discrimination in the public sector due to the presence of a more equitable system of pay than in the private sector. Claiming the gender pay gap to be significant in the private sector, the study concludes that such gap results from higher levels of discrimination.
- The oil boom during 2000-2012 had a “Dutch Disease” effect on the Canadian economy, finds a research report published by the Centre for the Study of Living Standards. Titled The Impact of Oil Boom on Labour Productivity Performance, 2000-2012, the research evaluates the impact of the oil and gas industry on labour productivity growth in Canada since 2000. The report discusses how the growth of oil and gas sectors in Alberta, and Newfoundland and Labrador drove the aggregate productivity performance in these two provinces, but negatively affected productivity in other jurisdictions.
For more information, please contact the Workplace Information and Research Division or call us at 1-877-259-8828.
This bulletin is based on October 2014 data/information, which was collected as of November 14, 2014.
- Footnote 1
All data reported in this bulletin relates to major collective agreements covering 500 or more employees across Canada.
- Footnote 2
The base wage rate is the lowest paid classification used for qualified employees in the bargaining unit.
- Footnote 3
The wage adjustment averages are employee-weighted.
- Footnote 4
Statistics Canada, The Daily.
- Footnote 5
Major work stoppages involve 500 employees or more.
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