Archive for July, 2010

Will the $35 laptop change education in India?

India’s students will benefit from new technology.

Click for link


Politicians throw punches regarding Hiring Equity-Updated Aug.24

Anti-poverty group fights back

A letter commenting on recent federal politicians’ questioning of the merits of Employment Equity has been posted by a group which created a Colours Against Poverty Campaign (COPC). It states:

“Based on data available for the core public service in 2008-2009,   visible minorities were represented at 9.8%, a figure that was much lower than their workforce availability rate at 15.3%.

The fact that discrimination persists despite governments’ best efforts should motivate our political leaders to redouble their resolve to advance policies and programs to make our workplace truly inclusive.   That Minister’s Jason Kenney and Stockwell Day are now asking for a review of the Public Service Employment Act suggests either a lack of understanding of the purpose or the mechanics of the Employment Equity Act, or an attempt to divert attention away from the Government’s failure to deliver on its obligation to eradicate discrimination in employment.”

Good for COPC for taking a stand against the short-cited comments of the federal Conservative politicians.

Commentary can be read at:

Policy Called Into Question


I’m not at all sure why politicians and media are all of the sudden discussing the merits of “affirmative action”, the controversial American term instead of our own Canadian Employment Equity. Nonetheless, often when workers  feel insecure about their jobs due to a limping economy, the issue appears amidst political talk.

Click here to read what they are saying


Youth workers’ safety

Remember that summer or coop students working at organizations may not be as familiar with health and safety procedures and equipment as other workers. This is the time of the season to reinforce rules that have already been taught, and remind workers not following them that discipline can follow.

What can employers do ?

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Avoid Heat Stress

Getting into the act-Legislation in process

Bill 11

First reading carried March 23, 2010

The Bill amends the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997 to provide that a worker who sustains mental stress arising out of and in the course of his or her employment is entitled to benefits under the insurance plan. The Bill also specifies that post traumatic stress disorder is a type of mental stress.

To see the bill click:

Bill 11

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Preparing for the NKE ?

July 21, 2010 1 comment

The HRPA is providing the last of three free webinars on getting ready for the October 2010 sitting of the NKE.

This webinar, entitled ‘How to succeed on the NKE’ will look at strategies to maximize one’s chances of success on the NKE in October. Topics to be discussed include what is important to know about the NKE, studying strategies, and test-taking strategies. Also reviewed are the various resources available to test-takers.

The audience will be free to ask questions.

Date and Time:
July 28, 2010
12:00 pm – 1:15 pm

Claude Balthazard, CHRP – Director HR Excellence and Registrar

To Register, go to:

NKE Webinar

Days Off Question #3

July 14, 2010 4 comments

Que #3  Do you think European vacation entitlements will be reduced to accommodate the global marketplace?

Orvar Lofgren, a professor of anthropology at Lund University in Sweden, says “The classic five-week vacation is not as holy as it used to be.” In the past Swedish workers often vacationed at the same time in early July. However this is starting to change to meet the needs of the industrialized world. Karl Olof Stenqvist, deputy director-general of the Association of Swedish Engineering Industries, says “With modern just-in-time production systems, you can’t just close a factory for a month.” (

The European Commission of Employment, Social Affairs, and Equal Opportunities studies policies relating to business and labour trends. The term being used for changing employment in Europe is Flexicurity. The main principle is that Flexicurity plans should integrate four components:

  • Flexible and reliable contractual arrangements from the perspective of the employer and the employee, of ”insiders” and ”outsiders”
  • Comprehensive lifelong learning strategies to ensure the continual adaptability and employability of workers
  • Effective active labour market policies that help people cope with rapid change, reduce unemployment spells and ease transitions to new jobs
  • Modern social security systems that provide adequate income support, encourage employment and facilitate labour market mobility

European Commission — Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities.

I believe the concept means that all Europeans – employees, employers, and citizens are going to have to recognize that change is emerging in most European practices. The aim is to maintain social benefits and some job security; however individuals must take responsibility for keeping their skills up-to-date. Flexicurity means that employees need to be flexible and adaptable – to changes regarding their jobs and benefits, if they want to maintain values that are important to them, “ The involvement of social partners in the design and implementation of flexicurity policies through social dialogue and collective bargaining is of crucial importance.” (European Commission).


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