May 17, 2006

“US Labour Divided: Why it Happened and
What does it Mean in the US and Canada?”

The most important change in the structure of the North American labour movement in 50 years occurred earlier this year when seven major unions, six of them internationals, including the Teamsters, the United Food and Commercial Workers, and the Carpenters, left the AFL-CIO to form Change to Win. Other unions may follow them.

The goal of Change to Win is to reverse the decline in the numbers and influence of organized labour in the United States by emphasizing the organization of unrepresented workers. Because most of the CTW unions are active in Canada, this split in the labour movement is likely to have repercussions here. So far, the effects of this change in Canada are not clear.

Dr. Elaine Bernard of the Harvard Labor and Worklife program formerly directed the Labour Programs at Simon Fraser and was a union research officer. During her time in Vancouver, she was an active member of the BCIRA.

March 8, 2006

“Key Issues in Collective Bargaining in B.C.: 2006”

This year will be especially active for bargaining in B.C. In addition to several hundred public sector agreements under revision, a large umber of private sector negotiations will occur. What will be the key issues in bargaining this year? Wages, job security, pensions, contracting out?

To answer these questions, two of the most experienced mediators in the province will give their perspectives.

Mark Brown is the Chair of the Mediation Services Division of the B.C. Labour Relations Board. Earlier in his career, he was a senior management negotiator in the B.C. public sector.

Bill Lewis is the Regional Director of Mediation for the Mountain Region of the Federation Mediation and Conciliation Service. Previously he was a representative for the Teamsters in Vancouver.