EMPR 200 Current Events 2: Gender Pay Gap Is A Serious Issue, Canadian Women Agree. Men See It Differently.

Link: https://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2019/04/03/gender-pay-gap-poll-canada_a_23705572/?ncid=APPLENEWS00001

 

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For decades women have been advocating to be seen, treated and paid as equal to men. Gender discrimination has been made norm in our society because most of the lawmakers and people in high places are normally men. In Canada, there is a difference in opinion of what men and women think in regard to this ongoing issue. I agree that women are still underpaid, and they should be paid equally if their jobs are of comparable worth which requires similar levels of skill, effort, and responsibility and similar working conditions—that are held mainly by men.

According to Treiman et al. pg. 2, For many women, the slogan “equal pay for work of equal value” has replaced the slogan “equal pay for equal work,” which is embodied in the Equal Pay Act of 1963. More generally, the issue raised is that of pay equity in a labour market that is highly segregated by sex. While the opportunity to move out of segregated job categories may be welcome to many women, many others, who have invested considerable time in training for their jobs, demand wage adjustment in “women’s jobs” rather than opportunities to work in other jobs. This is a topic that makes sense, why should a woman spend the same time and effort to train for a job that her male counterpart is automatically paid higher than her? This is not equality and a breach to employment standards.

This issue sets the ground for discrimination based on sex. The laws that cover employment discrimination addresses the issue of equal pay for men and women doing equal work. The act describes equal work as that requiring equal skill, effort, and responsibility is performed under similar working conditions. Even though it is reported that women are getting less paid than men we have to explore some possible factors under which this may be allowed. Jobs which are performed under similar working conditions, except where such payment is made pursuant to (i) a seniority system (ii) a merit system (iii) a system which measures earnings by quantity or quality of production, or (iv) a differential based on any other factor other than sex. In these instances, it it fair for either sex to be paid higher given the above situations.

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Even though employment standards in Canada prohibits gender inequality, the table above still shows major gaps between men and women depending on their race. Possible solutions to address this issue would be a model adopted by the European Union (EU):

  1. Government inference which companies has to make data public
  2. Enforce paternity leaves so men can get more involved with their families and set grounds for equality
  3. Subsidize childcare, employers put in place a free part-time nursery
  4. Mentorship program where women can learn how to negotiate their salaries,
  5. Transparency in salary- let everyone know what their colleagues are earning
  6. Promoting female entrepreneurship by providing skills development and train to improve women market access and encourage their business to grow and become more stable.

Cited:

http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.470.9910&rep=rep1&type=pdf

https://www.ontario.ca/document/your-guide-employment-standards-act-0/equal-pay-equal-work#section-1

 

 

 

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Bus drivers’ union prepares for strike action on ‘bullying’ at Lothian Buses

EMPR 240

Weblog 4

Group B

Read more at: https://www.scotsman.com/news/bus-drivers-union-prepares-for-strike-action-on-bullying-at-lothian-buses-1-4890993

 

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This article focuses on bus drivers in Scotland who are planning a strike action. The primary issue in this current event is branded by union as “hostile” and “bullying” by management at Lothian buses. Management has “sacked” (fired) a bus driver and suspended 10 others because of a post on a Facebook closed group. This is said to be the latest example of a growing problem of bullying and harassment by management at the council-owned bus company. This issue is affecting bus drivers by making them fearful of losing their jobs. It can make life unbearable for employees in any industry and ultimately undermine an organisation’s potential for profit.

This issue can interfere with work performance which can cause mental and physical damage to the employees being harassed and their families. Looking at the bigger picture, bullying by management has a ripple effect since a strike action is in the making. The strike will affect the public, revenue for the council and the economy at large.  Bullying in the workplace is universally unacceptable.

 

According to UK law bullying is not against the law, but harassment is. Bullying and harassment is any type of behaviour that makes someone feel intimidated or offended. Harassment is unlawful under the Equality Act 2010. If the situation is not managed, then the perspective of other would be that the situation will  not go away-it gets worse and the costs to all stakeholders increase over time. Lothian management may be wrongfully abusing their power as a scare tactic so other employees will comply in fear of losing their jobs. In this current situation, I believe more information is needed in order for me to form a more solid basis for my analysis. Information as to what was the Facebook post was not provided. I understand that Facebook is a private place to meet and talk and it is not a part of work, therefore one would think that work should not get involved and fire an employee over unrelated work situation. Wrong! The answer to this is not black and white and as I stated earlier, more information is needed. Nevertheless, I will examine the situation in favour of and against the employee that was sacked and the others that were suspended. If the post clearly crosses a stated employer policy or other obvious line, such as being threatening or harassing toward other employees, behaving in a way that tarnishes the employer’s reputation, either by association or simply from the employee’s conduct or  Divulging confidential information ( this list is not exhausted) then these are some ways that an employer has viable grounds to fire or suspend employees. The employer should not fire an employee if the posts are protected in certain ways (concerted activity) or  when there are specific rules that must be followed before a termination.

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I think that the Union took a step in the right direction by trying to resolve the issue with management and they have already confirmed to Acas that they are prepared to take part in conciliation sessions with Unite. Management is aware that one of their responsible is to prevent bullying and harassment – they’re liable for any harassment suffered by their employees. In this case it is ironic since management has a responsibility that they are not complying with. Many studies have found that bullying is in every workplace in different shapes and forms. A solution to prevent bullying in the workplace is to have a clear anti-bullying policy-non tolerant, establish an open-door policy that encourages employees to speak up in a safe, set up a framework that employees at any level can use to report bullying in terms of a chain of command, Set up a framework that employees at any level can use to report bullying in terms of a chain of command. Canada’s definition of bullying is extensive, characterizing the act as one of ‘intentional harm, repeated over time, in a relationship where an imbalance of power exists’. This can be applied to physical attacks, verbal harassment, and social exclusion while in the UK  workplace, bullying isn’t against the law, however harassment is. The UK has comprehensive harassment laws outlawing harassment against a person’s age, gender, disability, marriage, pregnancy, race, religion, or sexual orientation. In Canada, this would have been view as discrimination.  Other parts of the world have laws that prevent or curtails bullying. https://www.hcalawyers.com.au/blog/bullying-laws-around-the-world/#guide4

Citation:

https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=2ahUKEwjusrPYwpHhAhXJ34MKHT7sDKUQjRx6BAgBEAU&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.thebalancecareers.com%2Fhow-to-deal-with-a-bully-at-work-1917901&psig=AOvVaw1KRTVlZYu4yf0aoRg8p12C&ust=1553198825623094

https://hrdailyadvisor.blr.com/2018/09/12/can-you-fire-an-employee-over-social-media-posts/

https://www.gov.uk/workplace-bullying-and-harassment

https://www.business.com/articles/ways-to-stop-workplace-bullying/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

EMPR 240- Parental leave changes prompt questions of affordability, cost to businesses

 

IMG_0055_2Link: https://www.cbc.ca/news/business/parental-leave-ei-business-newborns-maternity-Canada-1.4395055

Extended parental leave will cost business regardless of the route taken. Having a child is a blessing but for most Canadians. To enjoy this blessing, new parents/employees must choose either to live below the poverty line or risk losing their jobs, if they are not unionized, or government regulated. Under changes that will come into effect on Dec. 3, parents of a newborn or a newly adopted child/children will have the choice to spread their employment insurance benefits over the normal 12-month period or an extended 18 months. The federal government estimates up to 20,000 parents may use the new extended parental leave guidelines. In reality, the Government knows that low income families cannot afford such an extended leave.

Under the new provisions, people who opt for the extended parental leave won’t see no extra money. They can choose 12 months of EI benefits at 55 per cent of their average weekly earnings or 18 months at 33 per cent, meaning there is no extra money in the system for those who choose the longer leave. There are very few families that can live off 33 per cent of their income.

The primary issues or concerns about this policy, for the purposes of Employment relations would be no protection for employees who opt to take the extended leave and added pressure on employers to fill labour shortage at their business. The time and work it will take to train a new person will be at the expense at the employer who is investing in a temporary staff, after which they are expected retrain the person that has been gone for a year and a half.

Personally, I have no problem with the latter since I believe that for instances like these or unforeseen circumstances employers should have contractual or on call workers. However, the first issue is troubling, why should the government give options to parents which can potentially cost them their job? This policy leaves room for inequities. If such a policy is being implemented the Employment Standard Act should be amended to reflect this change so that employees are protected if they choose to opt for the extended leave. It is important to spend time with young ones to foster development and growth. Another suggestion would be to have employees pay an insurance premium through their employer that will cover their leave period. Nevertheless, new parent should decide how they will finance their 18-month long leave at 33%. It is completely up to them and not the government or employers so long as the contractual amount (set out in employment contract, if any) has been paid by the employer and same for the government, in the latter case employment insurance. If families can’t live from the reduced amount, I suggest that the go back to work on an earlier notice like the families south of the border. This might sound harsh but so is reality: https://www.thecut.com/article/maternity-leave-usa.html.

New research shows Canada’s parental leave program leaves out two-fifths of mothers, many of them low-income. A study of federal parental leave figures published found that about 41 per cent of mothers outside of Quebec don’t qualify for benefits because they don’t have enough insurable hours. Among women who earned less than $30,000, about 63 per cent did not qualify. Since this was identified to be the problem, I suggest that the provinces that are affected by this needs to raise minimum wage so that mothers in particular can receive the maximum benefits when they go on parental leave. More disposable income in the lower earning bracket will be spent back out in the economy which is a good thing. I also suggest that since 11% didn’t qualify in Quebec’s maternity and paternity leave program that other provinces follow their eligibility requirement which is $2,000 of earnings compared to 600 hours in Ontario.https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/parental-leave-study-1.3594439

Personally, I believe that raising minimum wage to combat this issue is more appealing economically that the $2000 earring because someone can start to work one month before giving birth and qualify and that would be at the expense at tax payers. If the minimum income is raised to $15 per hour each person would see an annual income of over $30, 000 which will make them qualified. The raise in pay can also encourage people to go back to work quicker because people will prefer to earn their full pay than living less than mediocre on a 66% cut.

Lastly, any route taken will cost businesses. They can either plan to give a raise to their employees or other incentives in order to encourage their employees to come back to work quickly or they can continue to invest in the hiring process that will cost even more. One thing is for sure, pro creation is a must and government should amend ESA to protect parents on leave. There are many different solutions, but one is not unique to all situations and economies.

CUPW strike- Canada Post

 

EMPR 200

URL: https://search-proquest-com.proxy.queensu.ca/canadiannewsmajor/docview/2116324917/2A51083662384D04PQ/1?accountid=6180

The union representing 50,000 employees at Canada Post panned the latest contract offers from the Crown corporation on Thursday, calling them “disappointing” and keeping alive the threat of a work stoppage as the busy holiday online shopping season approaches. Canada Post is a federal employer that should lead by example and offer their employees better benefits which will be beneficial to their employees (better work ethics and attitude) and to Canada Post ( larger profits) which will build better employment relations.

According to the Canadian Union for Postal Workers (CUPW), several different offers have been placed on the table for Rural and Suburban Mail Carriers (RSMC) which includes very minimal remedies to resolve the key issues the workers are faced with. At this point, the union believes that negotiation on a collective agreement is far-fetched. Presently, there is a strike and the possibilities of work stoppage has loomed over Canada Post (CP) since September 26, 2018, after postal workers voted in support of potential walkout to further support their contract demands. The threat of work stoppage has forced companies that depends on CP for parcel deliveries to make alternative plan for parcel delivery. However, it may be challenging to sustain such a plan if the strike becomes a full shutdown. CUPW has confirmed that they will remain at the bargaining table so long as there are progressive talks. It is important to know that CP is the biggest and most relied upon shipping company in Canada. As a result of the strike, utility companies have been urging clients to sign up online to receive e-bills and invoices. As the bargaining continues, CP, said that its global offer to RSMC include improvements to pay, benefits and job security but the CUPW said the proposals are limited in regard to RSMC. The union noted that the proposal needs much clarification as CP stated that all eligible employee will be assigned to vacant positions within a 75 km radius. In addition, CP has also rejected the request for hourly paid work for RSMC, instead offering a 1.5 percent pay increase which is unchanging from the previous proposal. Instead, the union is seeking 3.5 percent wage hike.

As a past RSMC, I have hoped and yearned for all that the current RSMCs are lobbying for without change. With that said, I do not agree with the position that Canada Post is taking by not increasing, pay, benefits and job security to RSMCs. I must add that I am currently a fulltime Letter Carrier (LC) at CP which is kind of an ‘upgrade’ to RSMC. Letter carriers and RSMC jobs are identical with few variances. A RSMC uses their own vehicle to deliver letters and packages to the rural areas while LCs use the company vehicle to carry out this same task. LCs has full benefits, job security and is paid hourly while RSMC is paid according to the route they are placed on (everyday might be a different route which is a challenge because it takes time to learn these routes. Therefore, RSMC can end up working for more than 8 hours which will be for free), they have mediocre benefits and no real job security (based on availability and work load). Another major difference is that, LCs are paid to put together and deliver fliers while RSMC are not paid for the same job. This might be a contradiction to the current law which is “equal pay for equal job” and if employment entity should know this, it should be CP since they were in a lawsuit from way back when they weren’t paying women that did the same work as men same pay. After a court ruling they had to back pay all women to make their pays equal to that of their counterparts https://www.cbc.ca/news/business/pay-equity-canada-post-union-rural-female-carriers-1.3743135. RSMC jobs are much harder when compared to LC because there is little to no allowance or tolerance when it comes to flier, letters or parcel delivery. I totally agree with the issue at hand- the strike, because health and safety should be the number one priority and without action (strike) there will be no change. CP is a monopoly in its own rights and the leading package delivery company in Canada. Their business is fully dependent on RSMC as well as LCs who are the field workers and get the job done.  They should be treated better since they help to maximize CP profits by being committed and delivering parcels on time which is what customers appreciated and will in return reuse the service and refer the service to friends and family. The strike poses other problems for CP, where other companies are trying to phase out the use of physical bills delivery by CP. Utility companies are urging clients to sign up for online bills, this is bad for business, because one, there is no other carrier that delivers mail in Canada and two, less revenue is being generated due to the stoppage of stamp purchases. Any changes in favour of the CUPW or RSMC will impact CP in a positive way. It will Grow their business more since the workers will be more contented with their job security, pay raise, better benefits and health and safety as priority. They will work harder to ensure the longevity of the business which will maximize profits for CP. In resolving this conflict in my proposal, the outcome will be a win-win situation.

Lastly, I believe that even CP is a federal entity, the federal government should not respond to union strikes during mediate disputes because there are different implications that can arise. I understand why they the Liberal government would introduce back-to-work legislation. It is because they are trying to safe guard and protect the economy but at the same time they are disregarding and down playing the rights of workers by forcing them to work under unfavourable conditions. https://toronto.ctvnews.ca/trudeau-government-introduces-back-to-work-legislation-to-end-canada-post-strike-1.4187960

 

 

Introduction

I am Camillio Senior. I am a second year student at the Queens University where i am proudly pursuing my Undergraduate degree in Global development. I hope to achieve an Employment relation and Law Diploma or Certificate on the way, hence, why I am taking this course. My most favourite person in this world is my daughter, Zurie (see Pic below).

My Dream Job would be to work as a foreign diplomat for the Canadian government in an overseas embassy or consulate or serve Canada in anyway possible which requires me to use my education credentials. This would be ideal because I love to travel so I can get first-hand experience of different cultures and the dynamics that surrounds them. I am very interested in immigration and how it shapes political affairs and the country at large.

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St Barthelemy

This place was beautiful, relaxing and expensive! This French Island is the epitome of beauty and carefree. Everyone wonders around like they have no care in the world. As far as beauty goes, it is embodied in the picture below, by the way, the girls are local and we didn’t know them, that can explain what I will get into. The locals mingle with tourist on the beaches and in other social areas as if they are on vacation. The atmosphere is relaxing  and everyone seems friendly based on my experience which is contrary to the stereotype that french people are rude. That was the case in the least on the paradise. Nothing is cheap in St. Barts especially if you are from a country whose currency is lower than the Euro dollars. I must say, the experience is well worth it. Don’t be discourage because I have mentioned about how expensive it is there. Just go, its worth it.fullsizeoutput_d3ec

Reflection and update

Since i have written the last blog post about Canada post strikeout, my perspective on the position i took is still adamant. I totally agree with my opinion because it is logically sound and makes sense based on facts of the negotiation of the union and employees. The employees wants job security, increased pay and better benefits. My original position is reinforced by a number of factors that shows that the bargaining power of employees versus employers are unequal and as a result, negotiations are meticulously carried out in order to achieve a desirable outcome for each party. In the end, Canada post do depend on employees to get their work done and in return yield revenue. Fast forward to current news, according to global news, https://www.google.ca/amp/s/globalnews.ca/news/4676357/canada-post-rotating-strikes-edmonton-kelowna-union-reject-offer/amp/, Canada post strike have hit different parts of the country in a rotation style. The union is standing firmly behind its workers and as such, requires a 2.9% yearly pay increase which Canada post reject with a counter offer of 2% and a signing bonus of $1000. With this gesture by CP, it is visible that they can do better on the offer, holding out on the offer proposed by the union is bad for business and their brand. The impact of this strike is causing enormous backlogs which is 5 times greater than the normal seasonal backlog which is about to create chaos for businesses and clients/customers alike that depends on the services of CP. By following up to date news, a back to work legislation is set to be in place and this could see CP violating international law obligations, since the ILO’s Convention 87 has long been interpreted to forbid bans on strikes by all but the military and “essential services” defined narrowly as those jobs without which personal health and safety would be threatened.( http://lawofwork.ca/?p=3431). CP should not resort to employing replacement workers as this is problematic and intensifies the situation. Today CP has proposed a ‘cooling-off period” https://www.google.ca/amp/s/www.cbc.ca/amp/1.4911153, I think this is a strategy to get the workers to clear the Christmas backlog again they are manipulating the situation with legal connotations. When this period ends, then the lockouts and strike will take effect again without a foreseeable solution.

In reflecting, I am firm in the belief that CP should accept the negotiation from the union on behalf of the workers since it will amount in a win-win situation for both parties. CP is oblivious to the fact of the matter. They depend on their employees to get their work done, build their brand and maximize profits. When the employees are happy and secure then the output of their duties can yield higher profit in the sense that they do more on time deliver which people will appreciate and use the services more. Better considerations should be given to employees where warranted.