Workplace Bulletin – June 2017

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On this page

  1. A. June overview
  2. B. Second quarter overview
  3. C. Innovative clauses in collective agreements
  4. D. Literature scan
  5. Contact

Alternate formats

This issue presents an overview of majorFootnote 1 collective bargaining negotiations in the month of June (section A), the second quarter of 2017 (section B), innovative clauses in collective agreements (section C) and a literature scan (section D).

A. June overview

Key negotiation activities

In June, ongoing negotiations included the following:

  • Public-sector negotiations in the Province of Manitoba: The Partnership to Defend Public Services, comprised of 25 labour organizations and led by the Manitoba Federation of Labour, represents over 110,000 employees including roughly 11,000 nurses. On June 4, 2017, the Partnership filed an injunction against the proposed Public Services Sustainability Act. The proposed legislation imposes a four-year wage settlement on all public-sector workers, freezing wages for two years, followed by increases of 0.75 per cent and 1 per cent in the third and fourth year respectively.
  • Construction negotiations in the Province of Quebec: The Alliance syndicale, on behalf of five labour organizations representing 175,000 construction workers in Quebec, filed a motion with the Superior Court of Quebec on June 28, 2017 challenging the special law that ended the strike in construction on May 30, 2017.

Updated monthly list of Key negotiations.

Settlements reached

  • The four major agreements concluded in June were in the public sector (covering 38.430 employees). Three of these agreements were reached through bargaining and one through conciliation.
  • All four agreements reached were in provincial jurisdictions, two agreements in Manitoba (covering 6,500 employees), and one each in Quebec (covering 930 employees) and Ontario (covering 31,000 employee) (Chart 1).
  • Almost all employees (98%) who settled in June were in the public administration (37,500 employees). The remainder (2%) were in education, health and social services (EHSS) (930 employees).
Chart 1 (a) By jurisdiction: Collective bargaining settlements, June 2017
Show data table
Chart 1 (a) By jurisdiction: Collective bargaining settlements, June 2017
Jurisdiction Number of agreements
Public sector Private sector
Alberta 1 0
Ontario 1 0
Manitoba 2 0

Chart 1 (b) By industry: Collective bargaining settlements, June 2017
Show data table
Chart 1 (b) By industry: Collective bargaining settlements, June 2017
Industry Number of agreements
Public sector Private sector
EHSS 1 0
Public administration 3 0

The texts of collective agreements can be accessed through the Negotech. The listing of Ratified settlements is also available online on the Collective bargaining information page

Settlement outcomes

Wages

  • The average annual base-rateFootnote2 wage adjustment (over the duration of the contract) received by the 38,430 public-sector employees that settled in June was 1.8% (Chart 2).
  • By industry, the highest average wage adjustment (2.5 %) was in public administration and was negotiated between the City of Winnipeg and the Winnipeg Police Association, in Manitoba. The lowest average wage adjustment (1.0%) was negotiated between the Management Negotiating Committee for the Cree School Board and Fédération des syndicats de l'enseignement in Quebec.
Chart 2 (a) By jurisdiction: Average wage adjustments, June 2017
Show data table
Chart 2 (a) By jurisdiction: Average wage adjustments, June 2017
Jurisdiction Wage adjustments (percentage)
Quebec (1) 1.0%
Manitoba (2) 1.5%
All jurisdictions (4) 1.8%
Ontario (1) 1.9%

Note: The number of settled agreements per category is found in parentheses


Chart 2 (b) By industry: Average wage adjustments, June 2017
Show data table
Chart 2 (b) By industry: Average wage adjustments, June 2017
Industry Wage adjustments (percentage)
EHSS (1) 1.0%
All industries (4) 1.8%
Public administration (3) 1.8%

Note: The number of settled agreements per category is found in parentheses

More information on Wage settlements.

Duration of collective agreements

  • The average duration of the agreements settled in June was 49 months, higher than the average duration negotiated previously between the same bargaining parties (36 months) (Chart 3).
  • The agreement concluded in Ontario between the Government of Ontario and Ontario Public Service Employees Union had the shortest duration (48 months).
  • The longest contract duration among the agreements concluded in June was 60 months.
Chart 3 (a) By jurisdiction: Average duration of agreements, June 2017
Show data table
Chart 3 (a) By jurisdiction: Average duration of agreements, June 2017
Jurisdiction Months
Manitoba (2) 53
All jurisdictions (4) 49
Quebec (1) 60
Ontario (1) 48

Note: The number of settled agreements per category is found in parentheses


Chart 3 (b) By industry: Average duration of agreements, June 2017
Show data table
Chart 3 (b) By industry: Average duration of agreements, June 2017
Industry Months
EHSS (1) 60
All industries (4) 49
Public administration (3) 49

Note: The number of settled agreements per category is found in parenthesis

Major work stoppagesFootnote 3

  • Two major work stoppages occurred in June, involving 2,000 employees and resulting in 15,600 person days not worked (PDNW).

More information on Work stoppages in Canada.

B. Second quarter overview

  • Forty-two major settlements, covering a total of 206,960 employees, were concluded during the second quarter of 2017. The average annual base-rate wage adjustment for all these agreements was 1.4%, a slight decrease when compared to the first quarter of 2017 (1.5%).
  • Thirty two collective agreements were concluded through direct bargaining. Of the remaining ten agreements, six were settled through conciliation, three through mediation, and one through a work stoppage.
  • The majority (95%) of the collective agreements settled were in the public sector (covering 196,540 employees), with an average wage increase of 1.4%. The same average increase was recorded in the previous two quarters.
  • The agreements settled in the private sector had an average wage increase of 2.6%, an increase from the previous quarter (2.1%) (Chart 4).
Chart 4 By jurisdiction: Average wage adjustments, June 2017
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Chart 4 By jurisdiction: Average wage adjustments, June 2017
- Public sector Private sector
2016Q3 1.3 1.3
2016Q4 1.4 1.2
2017Q1 1.4 2.1
2017Q2 1.4 2.6

Note: The number of settled agreements per category is found in parentheses


Chart 5 By jurisdiction: Average wage adjustments, June 2017
Show data table
Chart 5 By jurisdiction: Average wage adjustments, June 2017
- Public sector Private sector
2016Q3 1.3 1.3
2016Q4 1.3 1.4
2017Q1 1.5 1.4
2017Q2 1.5 1.4

Note: The number of settled agreements per category is found in parentheses

  • In the federal jurisdiction, ten agreements (covering 114,120 employees) were settled for an average wage increase of 1.5%. The average wage increase for the thirty-two agreements (covering 92,840 employees) settled in the provincial jurisdiction was slightly lower at 1.4% (Chart 5).
  • Among all provincial jurisdictions, British Columbia had the highest wage adjustment (2.8%), while Alberta recorded the lowest (0.4%) (Chart 6).
  • By industry, the highest average wage increase (2.6%) was in the wholesale and retail trade, covering 1,700 employees.
  • Among all industries, the largest share of employees who settled were in public administration (69%, 143,580 employees), with an average wage increase of 1.5% (Chart 6).
Chart 6 (a) By jurisdiction: Average wage adjustments in the 2nd Quarter, June 2017
Show data table
Chart 6 (a) By jurisdiction: Average wage adjustments in the 2nd Quarter, June 2017
Jurisdiction sector Wage adjustments (percentage)
Alberta (17) 0.004
New Brunswick (1) 0.01
All jurisdictions (42) 0.014
Federal jurisdiction (10) 0.015
Manitoba (3) 0.015
Quebec (5) 0.017
Ontario (5) 0.02
British Columbia (1) 0.028

Note: The number of settled agreements per category is found in parentheses


Chart 6 (b) By jurisdiction: Average wage adjustments in the 2nd Quarter, June 2017
Show data table
Chart 6 (b) By jurisdiction: Average wage adjustments in the 2nd Quarter, June 2017
Industry Wage adjustments (percentage)
EHSS (20) 0.009
All industries (42) 0.014
Public administration (11) 0.015
Transportation (7) 0.020
Construction (2) 0.023
Primary industries (1) 0.024
Wholesale and retail trade (1) 0.026

Note: The number of settled agreements per category is found in parentheses

Major work stoppagesFootnote3

  • In the second quarter, six work stoppages were reported, involving 155,701 workers and resulting in 417,960 PDNW. All six stoppages occurred in the provincial jurisdiction, with five in Quebec and one in British Columbia.

More information on Work stoppages in Canada.

C. Innovative clauses in collective agreements

New clauses in collective agreements allow employers and unions to adapt to changing economic, working and social environments. The following clause was reported:

  • The National Steel Car Limited and the United Steel, Paper and Forestry, Rubber, Manufacturing, Energy, Allied Industrial and Steel Workers International Union – Biometric Attendance System: “It is agreed and accepted by the Union, that the Company will install a biometric time and attendance management system. The Company confirms that the biometric time and attendance management system installed will not store images, particularly fingerprints, of any employee and that the stored information cannot be reverse engineered to recreate an image used to identify the employee. The biometric template is not a fingerprint used in law enforcement.”

D. Literature scan

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

  • The C.D. Howe Institute has recently released two reports regarding the labour market outcomes for new Canadians. In Education Quality and Immigrants’ Success in the Canadian Labour Market, the author argues that education level is an imperfect measure of one’s skills. They suggest a new approach to the immigration point system could involve linking the level of education to the quality of education in an individual’s source country. In The Power of Words: Improving Immigrants’ Literacy Skills, the author presents evidence that immigrant language skills are one of the major barriers for gainful employment in Canada. The report argues that greater weight should be placed on literacy competencies to ensure immigrants have a smoother transition into the Canadian labour market.
  • Demanding a Fair Share: Protecting Workers’ Rights in the On-Demand Service Economy, paper published by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives discusses potential changes to Ontario’s Labour Relations Act (Bill 148) to better protect ” independent contractors” in the gig economy which uses online platforms to provide on-demand services, from the worst aspects of precarious employment. The author suggests extending the definition of employee to cover dependent contractors and making it easier for casual workers to unionize as two ways to better protect on-demand workers.
  • Two reports on the costs and benefits of immigration were released recently by IZA World of Labour. The first, titled Why does unemployment differ for immigrants?, explores why high levels of unemployment are observed for immigrants and discusses the variation of outcomes both across and within countries. The second, titled Superdiversity, social cohesion, and economic benefits, discusses the economic benefits that can be experienced at the cross-section of cultures, but also touches upon the risk of anxieties and hostilities towards diversity.

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).

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