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News Releases

City of Vancouver now a certified Living Wage employer

Jurisdiction: - British Columbia

This is the City of Vancouver's June 8, 2017 news post on its website:

The City, Park Board, and Vancouver Police Department have taken steps to reduce inequality by becoming living wage employers, certified by the Living Wage for Families Campaign External website (LWFC), a Vancouver-based organization that has certified a range of employers.

Our living wage certification includes the City of Vancouver and Park Board staff and vendors.

The Vancouver Police Department submitted a separate application that was also approved at the same time.

The City of Vancouver joins several local governments in BC who have successfully implemented living wage policies:  read more »

CUPE Ontario calls Ontario's Changing Workplace Review Final Report “majorly disappointing”

Topics: - News Releases
Jurisdiction: - Ontario

This is CUPE Ontario's May 23, 2017 statement on Ontario's Changing Workplace Review:

TORONTO - ONTARIO - The long awaited Changing Workplaces Review Final Report proved a major disappointment today when after expecting major reform of Ontario's labour law to make the legal right to join a union a practical reality for workers outside of traditional workplaces, the final report contained nothing of the sort.

"Rewriting Ontario's Labour Relations Act and Employment Standards Act isn't something any government can do every year or two so when it does happen, it makes sense to expect significant change" CUPE Ontario president Fred Hahn said today.

"What happened to the major reforms that workers have been calling for with a virtually unanimous voice? What happened to card based certification, anti‑scab legislation, access to first contract arbitration and recognition of successor rights - they're nowhere to be found. What happened to paid sick days for all workers?"  read more »

G20 ministers meet on building more inclusive and diverse workforces

This is the federal government (Employment and Social Development Canada) May 10, 2017 News Release:

BAD NEUENAHR, GERMANYWhen more women and newcomers can be part of Canada's educated, skilled workforce, our middle class and our economy grow stronger.

Today, the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, discussed these key Canadian priorities at the G20 Labour and Employment Ministers Meeting, Towards an Inclusive Future - Shaping the World of Work, in Bad Neuenahr, Germany.  read more »

British Columbia government bans mandatory high heels in the workplace

Jurisdiction: - British Columbia

The British Columbia government announced today that it is following through on its commitment to ban mandatory high heels in the workplace.

This moves follows the introduction of a bill to the same effect by British Columbia Green Party Leader and MLA Andrew Weaver on March 7, 2017,  International Women's Day.

The full text of the news release is as follows:

B.C. bans mandatory high heels in the workplace

The B.C. government has followed through on its commitment to ban mandatory high heels in the workplace, announced Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Minister Responsible for Labour, Shirley Bond.

The requirement to wear high heels in some workplaces is a workplace health and safety issue. There is a risk of physical injury from slipping or falling, as well as possible damage to the feet, legs and back from prolonged wearing of high heels while at work.

The change was made by amending the existing footwear regulation (section 8.22) of the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation, under the Workers Compensation Act.  read more »

B.C. business leaders join forces on inclusive employment

Jurisdiction: - British Columbia
Sector: - All

The BC Government announced today that 11 new members were being added to the Presidents Group, a network of business leaders first appointed in 2013 to help increase employment opportunities for people with disabilities and create a more accessible consumer marketplace.  

Tamara Vrooman, president and CEO, Vancity (pictured) and Craig Richmond, president and CEO, Vancouver Airport Authority, are the co-chairs of the Presidents Group.

The BC government states that "The Presidents Group is part of the Accessibility 2024 leadership team. This team works with government and the disability community to implement Accessibility 2024, BC's 10-year action plan to become the most progressive province in Canada for people with disabilities."

The 11 new members are:  read more »

Mayor Gregor Robertson calls for City of Vancouver to be "living wage" employer

Jurisdiction: - British Columbia
Sector: - Local Government

The mayor of Vancouver, Gregor Robertson, issued the following news release today (June 29, 2015):

Mayor calls for Vancouver to become a Living Wage employer

"Saying it is important for the City of Vancouver to show leadership on reducing inequality, Mayor Gregor Robertson is bringing forward a motion to City Council this week calling on the City to become a living wage employer.

Noting that Vancouver will be joining a number of existing living wage employers, including Vancouver City Savings Credit Union, the City of New Westminster, SAP and the United Way, Robertson said the policy is a practical response to the fact that housing, transportation and living costs have been rising in the region while wages have stagnated.

The result is that more and more families are unable to make ends meet even if they have two jobs, exposing their children to poverty.  read more »

Yukon's public sector whistleblower legislation now in effect

Jurisdiction: - Yukon

The Government of Yukon issued the following news release on June 15, 2015:

Public Interest Disclosure and Wrongdoing Act now in force

WHITEHORSE-The Public Interest Disclosure of Wrongdoing Act went into effect today. It provides a process that employees can follow if they believe there has been a wrongdoing in their organization or if they believe they have been unfairly treated as a result of raising concerns about a wrongdoing.

The legislation covers Yukon public service organizations listed in the act and is intended to deal with significant and serious matters that an employee believes to be unlawful, dangerous to the public or injurious to the public interest.  read more »

Uber appealing California Labor Commission's ruling that driver was an employee, not contractor

Jurisdiction: - United States
Sector: - Transportation

Uber posted this statement on its blog today (June 17, 2015) in response to the California Labor Commission's ruling that a driver was an employee, not a contractor, and thus entitled to be reimbursed for driving related expenses:

"Reuters' original headline was not accurate. The California Labor Commission's ruling is non-binding and applies to a single driver. Indeed it is contrary to a previous ruling by the same commission, which concluded in 2012 that the driver 'performed services as an independent contractor, and not as a bona fide employee.' Five other states have also come to the same conclusion. It's important to remember that the number one reason drivers choose to use Uber is because they have complete flexibility and control. The majority of them can and do choose to earn their living from multiple sources, including other ride sharing companies. We have appealed this ruling."

Government employees in Canada paid 9.7% more than comparable employees in private-sector

The Fraser Institute issued this news release on June 4, 2015:

Government employees in Canada paid 9.7% more than comparable employees in private-sector

TORONTO-Government employees in Canada receive higher wages and likely more generous non-wage benefits than their private-sector counterparts, finds a new study released today by the Fraser Institute, an independent, non-partisan Canadian public policy think-tank.

"As governments across Canada struggle with persistent deficits and growing debt in the face of ongoing negotiations with public-sector unions, now is an opportune time to scrutinize the compensation of government employees nationwide," said Jason Clemens, executive vice-president of the Fraser Institute and co-author of Comparing Government and Private Sector Compensation in Canada.  read more »

BC Hydro and labour unions reach labour deal to build Site C dam in northeast BC

Topics: - News Releases
Jurisdiction: - British Columbia
Sector: - Utilities

BC Hydro issued this news release today (May 27, 2015):

The BC Building Trades and BC Hydro have secured an agreement on the importance of labour stability on the Site C Clean Energy Project, recognizing that stability is best achieved with a mix of labour representation that includes building trades unions.

The framework allows the project to operate as a managed open site that includes participation from union and non-union workers as well as independent and First Nations contractors.

"This agreement ensures workers from all labour groups can build Site C together and paves the way for the labour stability that I believe British Columbians want as we undertake building the largest hydroelectric project in a generation," said Jessica McDonald, President and CEO, BC Hydro. "It allows for a managed open site and also takes important steps to ensure the BC Building Trades unions will take part in the construction along with all other B.C. workers."  read more »