Tuesday, October 30, 2007
“REFLECTIONS OF A THIRD PARTY – A DIALOGUE WITH VINCENT READY”
** A no holds barred dialogue between experienced arbitrators **
What are the three most significant changes (positive or negative) in BC labour relations over the last 10 years?
Looking ahead at BC labour relations and collective bargaining over the next 10 years, what advice do you have for:
•Private and public sector unions?
•Private and public sector employers?
•The provincial government?
Vincent Ready, an experienced labour arbitrator and mediator will share his views in a dialogue with David McPhillips, an experienced arbitrator and academic who will make sure all the tough questions are addressed.
If you have specific questions you would like addressed in the dialogue, please e-mail them to David at firstname.lastname@example.org prior to the meeting.
May 9, 2007
“CUSTOMER CONTACT CENTRES IN CANADA:THE CHALLENGES THEY PRESENT”
The integration of the customer contact (call) centres into management operations, which affect both private and public sector organizations nationally and/or outside of Canada, represents a significant trend in the new economy, especially in Canada. Many assume that customer contact centres are non-union; however, union density is significant in several industry sectors. Many of these are effectively competing with lower paid work forces. Labour organizations have to adapt when representing these workers in particular a new group of workers with special human resource management and training needs.
The next BCIRA meeting will examine challenges faced by unions in organizing these workers and provide a management perspective on unionized call centres through comparing with national and international experiences.
Chris Anderson, Regional Coordinator at BCGEU, will share his experience in organizing a large Surrey customer contact centre and the subsequent challenges in negotiating the first collective agreement. Bringing the management perspective will be Dave MacDonald, who represents employers at Fasken Martineau. Danielle van Jaarsveld, a member of the faculty at the Sauder School of Business, UBC, an expert on human resource practices in call centres in Canada and Europe, will compare the British Columbia experience with other jurisdictions. A question period will follow these presentations.
March 27, 2007
“FOREIGN WORKERS IN BC:
ARE THEY NECESSARY? HOW WILL THEY AFFECT BC WORKERS?”
Canada is a nation of immigrants. In the past half century, we have not normally imported many workers for temporary jobs in this country. Recently, this policy has changed. In the face of labour shortages, employers had obtained permission from the Federal Government to bring temporary foreign workers to fill jobs in agriculture and construction. In other Western provinces, jobs in the service and manufacturing sectors have been filled by foreign workers. Employers point to severe shortages in many occupations, while the labour movement asserts that this new supply of labour will undermine standards for Canadian workers. Many policy questions arise—enforcement of Employment Standards legislation, arrangements for travel and housing for temporary workers, their inclusion in
Canadian unions, etc.
The two leading figures in the public debate on this issue will present their views. Phil Hochstein, President of the Independent Contractors and Businesses Association, has strongly supported greater use of temporary foreign workers. Jim Sinclair, President of the BC Federation of Labour has emphasized the risks to the standards of Canadian workers posed by the new programs. The speakers will give their perspectives on these issues. A question period for members of the BCIRA will follow.