November 9, 2005

“To Go or Not to Go: Mandatory Retirement in the 21st Century”

Bruce Laughton, Laughton & Co.
Don Jordan, Taylor Jordan

The issue of mandatory retirement at age 65 is emerging in many organizations. Twenty years ago, the Supreme Court of Canada reviewed the issue under the Human Rights Code of BC and declined to abolish the practice. Since then Ontario and the Federal Government have ended the restriction. Many organizations in BC are examining their policies.

To assist them in their decisions, the BCIRA will have a debate on this topic between two prominent advocates, followed by questions.

Bruce Laughton, of Laughton & Co. favours continuing mandatory retirement.

Don Jordan, of Taylor Jordan, argues for its abolition.

Please note the new location: Holiday Inn, Vancouver Centre, at 711 W. Broadway.
As usual, a no host bar will open at 5:00 p.m., and dinner service will begin at 6:30 p.m.

Our membership year begins in the Fall. Annual dues remain $35. Please join or renew your membership on the enclosed form.

June 1, 2005

“The Duty to Accommodate – Is It Possible to Collaborate?”

Catherine Kidd, Vancouver Coastal Health
Jude Morrison, B.C. Nurses’ Union
Trevor Phelps, Highland Valley Copper

The duty to accommodate employees with disabilities has been difficult for both labour and management. The concept was introduced by the Supreme Court and has evolved substantially in recent years. It applies to both employers and unions in an increasing number of situations. Our next program will focus on successful labour-management programmes to meet this obligation.

Hear from practitioners on the front lines who decided to adopt a problem-solving approach to the often-contentious issues involved in accommodating employees. Catherine Kidd, Regional Director for Employee and Workplace Safety at Vancouver Coastal Health and Jude Morrison, Labour Relations Officer with the BC Nurses’ Union will discuss how a difficult arbitration convinced them they needed a team approach. Trevor Phelps, Superintendent Safety and Public Affairs at Highland Valley Copper will share his stories about the system he and the Steelworkers local 7619 have been using successfully for 13 years at their mine near Kamloops

March 30, 2005

“Workplace Privacy and Arbitrators in the 21st Century. An Interactive Session for the Parties”

Privacy and surveillance are becoming a more significant workplace issue in Canada. Technology has made surveillance easier and less expensive to conduct. Legislation now protects some employee rights. So far, very few grievances have reached arbitration to shape the common law of the workplace.

The next meeting of the BCIRA will provide an opportunity for labour, management and arbitrators to discuss privacy issues and perhaps shape future policies. A new meeting format will be used.

All attendees will receive copies of three real life cases. Persons at each table will debate the cases, propose a solution acceptable to an arbitrator and present their solutions to the meeting. Three arbitrator members will then explain how they would rule on these cases. Unhappy parties will be able to express minority views.

President Ken Halliday will preside using a chair and a pistol with blanks (just kidding). To encourage discussion at tables, participants will be assigned a table to ensure a mix of labour and management.

This promises to be a lively session, and we expect a full attendance.