Workplace Bulletin

Official title: Collective bargaining update June 2016

This issue presents an overview of majorFootnote 1 collective bargaining negotiations in the month of June (section A), in the second quarter of 2016 (section B) and a literature scan (section C).

A. June overview

Key negotiation activities

In June, ongoing negotiations included the following:

  • Université du Québec à Montréal and Fédération nationale des enseignantes et des enseignants du Québec: The parties are negotiating the renewal of the collective agreement expired since March 31, 2015, covering approximately 2,310 employees. Negotiations have been ongoing, with the parties meeting frequently, including in June. The main issues are working conditions and benefits. Further negotiation sessions are scheduled weekly for September and October.
  • Regional Health Authorities of Manitoba and Manitoba Government and General Employees' Union (MGEU): The collective agreement covering approximately 2,000 technical professional and medical services employees expired on March 31, 2014. After a long stretch of negotiations, including the assistance of a conciliator since January 2016, a final offer was put forward by the employer in March, with employee groups voting on it through to May. The offer was ratified by all member groups except the Technical/Professional employees of the Interlake-Eastern region and the Diagnostic Services employees in the province. A strike vote by the Interlake-Eastern employees was held in July, and a vote by the Diagnostic Services group is to be held on August 8, 2016. The main issues are wages and benefits.

An updated monthly list of Key negotiations is available under the Resources tab on the Labour Program website.

Settlements reached

  • In June, all thirty-one major collective agreements reached were in the public sector (covering 277,570 employees). Ten of these agreements were reached through direct bargaining. The remaining 21 agreements were reached through direct bargaining after a work stoppage; all were associated with a round of coordinated bargaining in the Quebec public sector.
  • All agreements concluded in June were in the provincial jurisdictions. Compared to other provinces, Quebec had the highest number of settlements reached (25), representing 93% of employees who settled during the month (Chart 1).
  • Almost all employees (99%) settling in June were in the education, health and social services (EHSS) industry (274,310 employees), the remaining 3,260 employees were in public administration.
Chart 1(a) By jurisdiction: Collective bargaining settlements, June 2016

Text description
Chart 1(a) By jurisdiction: Collective bargaining settlements, June 2016
Jurisdiction Number of Agreements
Public sector Private sector
Federal 0 0
Quebec 25  
Ontario 1  
Alberta 5  
Chart 1 (b) By industry: Collective bargaining settlements, June 2016

Text description
Chart 1 (b) By industry: Collective bargaining settlements, June 2016
Industry Number of Agreements
Public sector Private sector
EHSS 29  
Public administration 2  

The texts of collective agreements can be accessed through the Negotech, while the list of Ratified settlements can be accessed under the Resources tab on the Labour Program website.

Settlement outcomes

Wages

  • The average annual base-rateFootnote 2 wage adjustment (over the duration of the contract) received by the 277,570 employees settling in June was 1.1%. This average was slightly lower than the average adjustment received in the previous round of negotiations between the same bargaining parties (1.2%) (Chart 2).
  • Alberta had the highest wage adjustment (1.4%), negotiated between the University of Alberta and University of Alberta Non-Academic Staff Association. By contrast, a wage freeze was also recorded in Alberta, between Calgary Board of Education and the Calgary Board of Education Staff Association.
  • By industry, public administration recorded a higher average wage gain (1.6%) than EHSS (1.1%).
Chart 2 (a) By jurisdiction: Wage adjustments, June 2016Footnote 3

Text description
Chart 2 (a) By jurisdiction: Wage adjustments, June 2016Footnote 3
Jurisdiction Wage adjustments (percentage)
All jurisdictions (31) 1.1%
Quebec (25) 1.0%
Ontario (1) 0.9%
Alberta (5) 1.4%
Chart 2 (b) By industry: Wage adjustments, June 2016Footnote 3

Text description
Chart 2 (b) By industry: Wage adjustments, June 2016Footnote 3
Industry Wage adjustments (percentage)
EHSS (29) 1.1%
All industries (31) 1.1%
Public administration (2) 1.6%

More information on Wage settlements can be accessed under the Resources tab on the Labour Program website.

Duration of collective agreements

  • The average duration of agreements settled in June was 57 months, more than double the average duration (27 months) reached in the previous round of negotiations between the same bargaining parties (Chart 3).
  • The agreements concluded in Quebec had the longest average duration (60 months), and the agreements reached in Alberta, the shortest average duration (20 months).
Chart 3 (a) By jurisdiction: Average duration of agreements, June 2016Footnote 3

Text description
Chart 3 (a) By jurisdiction: Average duration of agreements, June 2016Footnote 3
Jurisdiction Months
Alberta (5) 20
Ontario (1) 36
All jurisdictions (31) 57
Quebec (25) 60
Chart 3 (b) By industry: Average duration of agreements, June 2016Footnote 3

Text description
Chart 3 (b) By industry: Average duration of agreements, June 2016Footnote 3
Industry Months
EHSS (29) 57
All industries (31) 57
Public administration (2) 36

Major work stoppagesFootnote 4

  • No major work stoppage was reported in June, although June data for Quebec and Ontario was not available at the time of publication.

More information on Wage settlements can be accessed under the Resources tab on the Labour Program website.

B. Second Quarter overview

  • Fifty-eight major settlements, covering a total of 382,040 employees, were concluded during the second quarter of 2016. The average annual base-rate wage adjustment for these agreements was 1.1%, a slight decrease when compared to the first quarter of 2016 (1.4%).
  • Almost half of the agreements (27) were settled through direct bargaining. Out of the remaining thirty-one agreements, twenty-one were settled through bargaining after a work stoppage, four through mediation, three through conciliation, and the last three through arbitration.
  • The majority of agreements (45) were settled in the public sector, with an average wage increase of 1.1%, a small decrease when compared to 1.4% in the previous quarter.
  • The agreements settled in the private sector had an average wage increase of 1.3%, a slight increase from the previous quarter (1.2%) (Chart 4).
Chart 4: Wage adjustments by quarter and sector

Text description
Chart 4: Wage adjustments by quarter and sector
  Public Private
2015Q3 0.8 1.5
2015Q4 0.6 2.1
2016Q1 1.4 1.2
2016Q2 1.1 1.3
Chart 5: Wage adjustments by quarter and jurisdiction

Text description
Chart 5: Wage adjustments by quarter and jurisdiction
  Federal Provincial
2015Q3 2.0 1.0
2015Q4 2.5 0.7
2015Q1 1.6 1.4
2016Q2 1.7 1.1
  • The average wage adjustment in the private sector (1.3%) was slightly higher than in the public sector (1.1%).
  • In the federal jurisdiction, four agreements (covering 5,930 employees) were settled, for an average wage increase of 1.7%. This is higher than the average wage increase for the fifty-four agreements settled in the provincial jurisdiction (1.1%), which covered 376,110 employees (Chart 5).
  • Among all provincial jurisdictions, Prince Edward Island had the highest wage adjustment (2.7%). The lowest wage adjustment (0.7%) was recorded in Saskatchewan (Chart 6).
  • By industry, the highest average wage increase (2.2%) negotiated was in the manufacturing industry, covering 1,250 employees.
  • The largest proportion of employees settling was in Quebec (68%, 261,060 employees).
  • Among all industries, EHSS had the largest share of employees (87.5%, 334,210 employees).
Chart 6 (a) By jurisdiction: Wage adjustments in the 2nd Quarter, 2016Footnote 3

Text description
Chart 6 (a) By jurisdiction: Wage adjustments in the 2nd Quarter, 2016Footnote 3
Jurisdiction Wage adjustments (percentage)
Saskatchewan (1) 0.7%
Alberta (9) 1.1%
Quebec (27) 1.1%
All jurisdictions (58) 1.1%
British Columbia (6) 1.2%
Ontario (10) 1.5%
Federal jurisdiction (4) 1.7%
Prince Edward Island (1) 2.7%
Chart 6 (b) By industry: Wage adjustments in the 2nd Quarter, 2016Footnote 3

Text description
Chart 6 (b) By industry: Wage adjustments in the 2nd Quarter, 2016 Footnote 3
Industry Wage adjustments (percentage)
Primary industries (3) 0.0%
EHSS (36) 1.1%
All industries (58) 1.1%
Finance and professional services (1) 1.3%
Construction (4) 1.5%
Public administration (6) 1.5%
Information and culture (3) 1.5%
Wholesale and retail trade (1) 2.0%
Transportation (3) 2.1%
Manufacturing (1) 2.2%

C. Literature scan

The following studies related to labour and industrial relations were recently published:

  • A report from the Brookfield Institute for Innovation + Entrepreneurship The Talented Mr. Robot: The impact of automation on Canada's workforce examines how technology will impact occupations in Canada. The report claims that "nearly 42 percent of the Canadian labour force is at a high risk of being affected by automation in the next decade or two." The study replicates, for Canada, the methodology of a previous study done for the US.
  • A Conference Board of Canada report Aligning Skills Development with Labour Market Need examines some of the reasons why skill shortages persist in Canada and what employers, educators, and policy makers could do to address this issue. It considers, among other topics, labour market information systems, how the education system prepares students for the workforce, and employer recruitment strategies. The report makes a number of recommendations to reduce skill shortages.

Contact

For previous issues of the Workplace Bulletin or for more information, please contact the Workplace Information and Research Division or call 1-877-259-8828. Please use the above link to send us a copy of your collective agreement or memorandum of understanding or other documentation if you have a business unit that is either federally registered (with 100 or more employees) or provincially registered (with 500 or more employees).

Footnotes

Note: This bulletin is based on June 2016 data/information, which was collected up to June 16, 2016. Work stoppage data was collected up to June 20, 2016.

Footnote 1

All data reported in this bulletin relates to major collective agreements covering 500 or more employees across Canada.

Return to footnote 1 referrer

Footnote 2

The base-rate wage is the lowest paid classification used for qualified employees in the bargaining unit.

Return to footnote 2 referrer

Footnote 3

The number of settled agreements per category is found in parenthesis.

Return to footnote 3 referrer

Footnote 4

Major work stoppages involve 500 employees or more. Quebec data for month of June was not reported.

Return to footnote 4 referrer