Archive for March, 2011

New Canadian Resumes

March 28, 2011 Leave a comment

I always appreciate the quality and advice in Canadian Immigrant magazine however I believe this tip for resumes is particularly good.  A candidate should get their education credentials assessed by an evaluation service such as World Education Services ( Then the resume can be written as:

Bachelor of Economics, University of Delhi – assessed as equivalent to a Canadian Bachelor of Economics degree (WES, 2011)


What happened in 18 months ?

March 21, 2011 Leave a comment

In fall 2009 our federal government said it was determined to decrease the time it took Canadian immigrants to prove their credentials once they arrived here.  The goal was to enable foreign trained professionals to establish the acceptability of their education within 1 year. At the time, Minister Diane Finley, the Federal Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development and Co-Chair of the Forum of Labour Market Ministers said “Attracting and retaining the best international talent to address existing and future labour market challenges is critical to Canada’s long-term economic success. Ensuring that foreign credentials and qualifications are assessed and recognized in a timely manner will enable newcomers to maximize their talents.” As a result Canada would take advantage of the numerous benefits of skilled professionals occupying correct jobs; higher incomes resulting in greater economic stimulus and higher taxes paid, professionally trained workers with the right skills and experience meeting citizens’ needs, and higher morale in the Canadians workforce.

Currently, however, the same federal government plans to cut funding to many service agencies that assist newcomers with essential steps including establishing residences, finances, and professional accreditation. “The cuts in Ontario alone…could prove fatal for a number of agencies that help settle immigrants”says Kibrom Debru, Executive director of the Eritrean Canadian Community Centre. He is in charge of one of the many Ontario-based immigrant agencies which received news that federal government cuts total would total $44-million.

Is it me, or is the logic missing in this lack of strategy ?


Federal cuts threaten immigrant agencies

Today’s Workers not Retiring

March 15, 2011 Leave a comment

Current employees whether they are 55 or 70, tend to keep working. Since they are generally healthy and well-connected, this age group prefers to stay busy. A worldwide Barclay survey found that “40% of wealthy individuals who have retired have opted to work part-time….individuals want to remain active and engaged yet desire more freedom as well as more time for their families and avocations”.

Those of you who have heard my thoughts on this matter know that I am concerned about the next generation of workers (GenXers, GenYers, and the Millenials, all aged 20-45) and their ability to enter and move through the workforce with sufficient quality opportunities. Hopefully older workers who continue to stay employed, will hire younger workers, pass on their knowledge, and keep their money circulating in the economy.

Every generation owes the upcoming one something to hope for.


Managing the Millenials

March 15, 2011 Leave a comment

No one can generalize a whole group of employees with one brush stroke. That said, some general character traits managers might want to considered when managing people “around 26-35” are:

Treatment as special



Somewhat conventional


The article in HRPA’s February ’11 magazine offers more advice.


Categories: Uncategorized

TTC as an Essential Service

During the summer 2010 Toronto mayoral campaign, Rob Ford stated he would request the Ontario government review the status of the TTC because “When the TTC isn’t running, the city grinds to a halt and commuters and businesses suffer. TTC service is essential and it must be designated this way in order to prevent costly strikes.”

There are advantages and disadvantages for taking this route to restricting the right for the TTC workers to strike. In this post I will examine some of the terms and issues. 


  • Before the late 1800’s unions including those for railway workers, carpenters, painters, and meatpackers had little influence
  • From the 1950’s to 1980’s larger unions in the manufacturing sector such as the Canadian Autoworkers (CAW) in Canada and the United states gained power due the role of the automotive sector in the economy, large union dues, and the fact that 30% of the workforce became unionized
  • There are advantages to labour being unionized such as prevention of wildcat strikes (those not authorized by the current collective agreement) which lead to disrupted production and violence.

Some experts suggest that unions have been “largely responsible for stabilizing the economy and stimulating its growth…more working people could afford houses, better food, clothing, cars and other consumer goods. Increasing demand for these things created more jobs and even more economic growth.” Facts About Unions Part of Henry Ford’s reasoning for paying workers an unheard of $5 a day in 1903 was that the wage helped the workers to be able to afford the cars they were making. Biography online

What is an essential service? It’s defined as a service, facility or activity of the Government of Canada that is or will be, at any time, necessary for the safety or security of the public or a segment of the public. Treasury Board Secretariat As such, Canadian police, firefighters, and hospital employees don’t have the right to standard strikes as stated in their collective agreements and their disputes must be settled through binding arbitration. Essential service: what it is and isn\’t.

At face value, proponents explain that designation of the TTC as an essential service will ensure reliable service to businesses and smooth running of the city. However in the past 87 years, the TTC has only been on strike 75 days total. This may mean that the request is more likely about a desired image of Toronto as pro-business, pro-TTC rider and unaffected by unions. In a 2008 study, the C.D. Howe Institute estimated banning TTC strikes actually would add a $23-million salary premium since generally arbitrators set higher wages than voluntary negotiations.CD Howe Report


  • Rob Ford, Ontario government Liberals and Progressive Conservatives, and TTC management state that TTC strikes cost too much money, “It is estimated that a TTC strike costs our economy $50 million a day. That’s a significant cost to our economy” says TTC chair Karen Stintz.
  • However the statements that an essential service TTC will cost less and have fewer disruptions are misleading. Unions in essential services can still strike. In “Most sectors considered essential, some workers can still go on strike while the employees whose positions are determined to be vital by their employer must continue to work.” Some employees may strike, but not all. Essential service: what it is and isn\’t. That explains why locations such as New York in 2005 and Quebec in 1982 still experienced transit strikes although they had been designated essential services.
  • Arguments from TTC union leader Bob Kinnear relate to solidarity, “This legislation is about taking on the unions, and it’s unfortunate that the mayor of this city is too much of a coward to be up front about the fact that that’s what he’s trying to do.”Liberals seek to make the TTC an Essential service
  • Further explanations from CBC News “Unions worry about the implications of legislation and say that potentially undermines their bargaining power and takes away the right to strike. Critics of essential services legislation complain that a continuation of services lessens public pressure on the employer to end the work stoppage, resulting in longer strikes.” CBC News background on strikes
  • Finally Councillor Shelley Carroll (Don Valley East) says “We can’t afford to operate the existing [TTC] system on day-to-day basis. We’re just playing short-term political games.”National Post-Trojan horse

I suspect Councillor Carroll is right. As is often the case in union/management conflicts played out in the media, we can be sure that all parties will lose something including the TTC losing riders and the riders losing patience.

What would you like to add to this knowledge? In HR, we often have to implement policies, including union collective agreements, whether or not we have conflicting political and personal views. How would you feel about speaking for against either side regarding making the TTC an essential service?

Feel free to comment.

Categories: Uncategorized