Official title: Collective bargaining update November 2016
This issue provides an overview of majorFootnote 1 collective bargaining negotiations in the month of November 2016 (section A), innovative clauses in collective agreements (section B), and a literature scan (section C).
A. November overview
Key negotiation activities
In November, ongoing negotiations included the following:
- Swissport Canada Handling Inc. and the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers: The collective agreement covering all (855) groomers, ground handlers and mechanics employed at the Vancouver International Airport expired on September 1, 2015. On November 21, 2016, the union members rejected the tentative agreement reached between the parties on November 10, 2016, and voted in favour of strike action. With the assistance of mediators from the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, on November 26, 2016, the parties reached a final agreement, with the exception of the wages for the ground handling group which proceeded to binding arbitration on November 29, 2016. The new collective agreement came into effect on November 30, 2016, when the arbitration award was issued.
- Bell Canada and Unifor: The collective agreement covering approximately 4,000 craft and services employees expired on November 30, 2016. Negotiations commenced in September, and since November 28, 2016, two conciliation officers from the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service have been assisting with the negotiations. The parties will acquire the legal right to strike or lockout on February 18, 2017. However, no strike or lockout can be declared until the Canadian Industrial Relations Board has ruled on an application filed by the employer on December 6, 2016 regarding the maintenance of activities in the event of a work stoppage. The main issues are job security, seniority rights and wages.
Click here for an updated monthly list of Key negotiations.
- In November, eight major collective agreements were reached, four in the public sector (covering 5,920 employees) and four in the private sector (covering 19,870 employees). Six of the agreements were reached through direct bargaining, and two through mediation.
- One agreement was concluded in the federal private jurisdiction, between Telus and the Telecommunications Workers Union (covering 10,800 employees).
- In the provincial jurisdiction, four agreements were reached in Ontario (covering 9,810 employees), and one agreement in each of Manitoba (covering 1,200 employees), Alberta (covering 680 employees) and Nunavut (covering 13,120 employees) (Chart 1).
- A large portion of employees (42%) that were covered by agreements that settled in November were in the information and culture (10,800 employees) industry, followed by manufacturing (7,670 employees), public administration (4,040 employees), education, health, and social services (EHSS) (1,880 employees) and wholesale and retail trade (1,400 employees).
|Jurisdiction||Number of agreements|
|Public sector||Private sector|
|Industry||Number of agreements|
|Public sector||Private sector|
|Wholesale and retail trade||1|
|Information and culture||1|
- The average annual base-rate wage adjustment (over the duration of their contracts) received by the 25,790 employees settling in November was 1.1% (Chart 2). This average wage increase was lower than the average increase received in the previous round of negotiations between the same bargaining parties (1.5%).
- The one agreement concluded in the federal private jurisdiction, between Telus and the Telecommunications Workers Union (covering 10,800 employees), contained an average wage increase of 1.0%. The agreements settled in the provincial jurisdiction had a slightly higher average wage increase of 1.1%.
- The average wage adjustment in the public sector (1.0%) was slightly lower than the average in the private sector (1.1%).
- Among all jurisdictions, Nunavut recorded the highest average wage adjustment (1.5%) in a single collective agreement covering 3,300 employees.
- By industry, the wholesale and retail trade received the highest average wage gain (1.6%), and EHSS recorded a wage freeze (0.0%) (Chart 2).
|Jurisdiction||Wage adjustments (percentage)|
|All jurisdictions (8)||1.1%|
|Industry||Wage adjustments (percentage)|
|Information and culture (1)||1.0%|
|All industries (8)||1.1%|
|Public administration (2)||1.5%|
|Wholesale and retail trade (1)||1.6%|
Click here for more information on Wage settlements
Duration of collective agreements
- The agreements that were settled in November had an average duration of 56 months (Chart 3). This was higher than the average duration in the prior round of negotiations between the same bargaining parties (53 months).
- The average duration recorded in private-sector agreements was longer (61months) than that in the public sector (39 months).
- The agreement reached in the federal jurisdiction, between Telus and the Telecommunications Workers Union, had the longest duration (72 months).
- The shortest contract duration among the agreements concluded in November was 12 months.
|All jurisdictions (8)||56|
|Wholesale and retail trade (1)||48|
|Public administration (2)||50|
|All industries (8)||56|
|Information and culture (1)||72|
Major work stoppagesFootnote2
- Four major work stoppages were reported in November, involving a total of 20,714 employees, and resulting in 47,800 person days not worked (PDNW). All work stoppages were recorded in the provincial jurisdiction; three occurred in Quebec, and one in Manitoba.
Click here for more information on Work stoppages in Canada.
B. 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:
- Greater Toronto Airports Authority and Unifor. The company agrees to allow employees one minute of silence at 14:00 on December 6th of each year in observation of the women killed in the Montreal Massacre.
C. Literature scan
The following studies related to labour and industrial relations were recently published:
- The Mowat Centre’s report Working without a net provides an overview of changes in income inequality and non-standard employment in Canada. It discusses how technological change could have disruptive impacts on jobs in the future. It then discusses various elements of the social safety net, such as child care, employment standards, and affordable housing, and “how well each is holding up.” The report concludes with some policy recommendations.
- Statistics Canada’s study Balancing Family and Work: Transition to Self-employment Among New Mothers is an analysis on the transition for new mothers in Canada from wage employment to self-employment. The study shows that becoming a new mother increases the probability of making a transition from wage employment to self-employment. The results of the study also suggest that the ability to choose working hours, and not necessarily to reduce the total hours spent on work, may be the main reason for choosing self-employment. One of the key results shows that a substantial number of new mothers who are switching from wage employment to self-employment are also changing their occupation to an occupation that allows for a greater flexibility without incurring a wage disadvantage.
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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