Labour and education in the news

Below are recent news stories on labour and education related issues.  Click the headline to be taken to the article. Some may require a subscription.

October 15, 2019

The Radical Guidebook Embraced by Google Workers and Uber Drivers
The New York Times
Just before 20,000 Google employees left their desks last fall to protest the company’s handling of sexual harassment, a debate broke out among the hundreds of workers involved in formulating a list of demands.

EPC defies logic with minimum-wage question
Winnipeg Free Press
Just when Winnipeg city council is making progress on getting its labour costs under control, along comes one of the dumbest ideas we’ve heard from the city’s executive policy committee in a long time: a $15 hourly minimum wage for all civic employees.

Want to bust your Alberta union? Your government will give you one hour's free legal advice!
Credit where credit is due, the Kenney government's new Employee Labour Relations Support Program does answer questions from union members who write in and ask them.

Unions holding rally at Amazon site in Schodack
Times Union
Local labor unions have organized a rally on Tuesday from 10 a.m. to noon to protest the use of out-of-state and non-union contractors at the Amazon warehouse construction site on Route 9 in Schodack.

Wages, pensions, plant investments still issues in GM strike
With the strike by factory workers against General Motors in its 29th day, there are signs that negotiators may be moving toward an agreement.

UAW increases strike pay for GM workers as negotiations continue
ABC News
The United Auto Workers executive board voted to increase the strike pay to $275 per week for General Motors workers as the strike against the Detroit automaker enters its fifth week with no clear end in sight.

How To Pull Off a Quickie Strike
Labor Notes
A few years ago I was working for Princeton University Campus Dining as a member of Service Employees (SEIU) Local 175, a small, tough local that represents most of the blue-collar staff at Princeton and no one else.

The ugly reality of unions under social democracy
Organizing Work
With Bernie Sanders again having a believable shot at sitting in the White House and Jeremy Corbyn presiding over a more active and mobilized Labour Party than has been seen in decades, actually existing reformism is something everyone in the English-speaking world is, and should be, talking about. It’s also worth talking about the high and low points of reformism in as honest and clear-eyed a manner as possible from the perspective of revolutionary unionism. Not for cheap points-scoring, but because we shouldn’t attach ourselves to a movement simply because it seems to have a lot of momentum. We need to actually discuss what we can expect and how we should react to these situations, and for that we should look to relevant history.

UNBC applies for mediator as talks with faculty association fail
CKPG Today
Update: UNBC’s Faculty Association says a mediator has been appointed in this case though a date for mediated talks has not yet been set.

The MacKinnon report suggested it: But what is performance-based funding for schools and universities?
The Edmonton Journal
When a blue-ribbon panel was tasked with studying how Alberta could balance its budget within three years, it recommended a performance-based education funding approach that has rarely been used in Canada.

Committee Releases Guidelines for Sexual Violence Prevention on Campuses
Nova Scotia Labour and Advanced Education
Students deserve to feel safe on university and college campuses in the province. That is why work is advancing to support a change in the culture and strong survivor-centric sexual violence policies.

Chicago Teachers Strike: CTU, CPS to resume negotiations as potential strike draws closer
Members of the Chicago Teachers Union and city officials will be back at the table as the threat of strike draws one day closer.

October 11, 2019

Unions and Edmonton business leaders meet to find common ground, save tax dollars
Global News
The City of Edmonton has too many middle managers. That’s one message the head of a city hall union is bringing to a series of round-table meetings organized by Councillor Mike Nickel Thursday and Friday.

Metro Vancouver bus drivers vote 99% in favour of strike mandate
Employees of Coast Mountain Bus Company voted overwhelmingly in favour of a strike mandate on Thursday night, with 99 per cent supporting the motion.

Workers at Quebec's provincial parks are going on a 4-day strike over Thanksgiving weekend
CTV News
Some 1200 employees of SEPAQ, who work at Quebec's 23 provincial parks, will walk off the job Friday morning and stay out through Thanksgiving weekend.

Unemployment rate down after Canada adds 54,000 jobs in September
The Globe and Mail
The national statistics office says Canada’s unemployment rate nudged down to 5.5 per cent in September as the economy added 54,000 net new jobs, driven by gains in full-time work.

GM CEO calls meeting with union, as strike drags on
On the 24th day of the strike against General Motors, company CEO Mary Barra called United Auto Workers union President Gary Jones and Vice President Terry Dittes for a face-to-face meeting — their first since the strike began, according to three sources familiar with the meeting.

Kamloops university silently raises $41M
Thompson Rivers University wants to raise $50 million by December 2020 — the largest fundraising campaign in the school's history.

University’s attempt to teach students about consent backfires as they complain of being 'triggered'
The Telegraph
A university’s attempt to teach students about consent has backfired as students complain that being made to watch a play titled Can’t Touch This left them feeling “triggered”.

Elite universities are too obsessed with tradition to tackle racism effectively
The Guardian
As we begin a new academic year, the struggle to decolonise higher education in the UK continues – especially after the issue of racism in UK universities returned to the fore over the summer.

Zero-tolerance anti-bullying policies not working, say experts
The Globe and Mail
The shocking death of a 14-year-old Ontario boy who was stabbed outside his high school raises questions about the effectiveness of the anti-bullying campaigns that have gained prominence in Canada in recent years, those with expertise in the matter said Thursday.

October 10, 2019

Ontario wants to pool public sector benefits, potentially saving millions
The Star
The Ontario government is looking to save $115 million a year by pooling the benefits of the broader public sector by 2021.

Accusations of illegal tactics as Crown strike continues
The Crown strike isn’t even a week old yet and it appears that bad feelings are beginning to grow.

British Columbia worst province in Canada for gender gap, with women making almost 20% less than men
Ottawa Citizen
Women in B.C. are earning on average almost 20 per cent less an hour than men, the largest gender pay gap in Canada.

Canada's Gender Wage Gap Narrows To $4.13 An Hour
Huffington Post
Women in their core working years earned on average 13.3 per cent less per hour than men in 2018, marking a 5.5 percentage point improvement over the past 20 years, according to a new report by Statistics Canada.

Hotel worker strike continues at Vancouver hotels
City News 1130
The BC Federation of Labour is calling for a boycott of four luxury Vancouver hotels.

Delta pilots received record overtime while MAX crisis hit rivals -unions
Financial Post
Delta Air Lines pilots are receiving record overtime, straining the airline’s labor costs, partly as it adds more flights to take advantage of a gap in demand left by the grounding of the Boeing 737 MAX at rival carriers, union officials told Reuters.

Gig Workers Are Forming the World’s First Food Delivery App Unions
There is a case to be made that workers on food delivery platforms have it the worst when it comes to precarious pay and dangerous working conditions in the gig economy. Apps including Uber Eats, Deliveroo, DoorDash, and Foodora are notorious for pocketing tips, refusing to compensate workers for injuries, and systematically refusing to recognize workers as employees as a way of circumventing the costs of benefits.

‘Walk-in’ protests over education ‘cuts’ to occur at public schools across Ontario, groups say
Global News
CUPE and various parent groups say parents, students, education workers and teachers are set to hold ‘walk-in’ protests at public schools across Ontario on Thursday.

Low wages. Shrinking benefits. Regina’s education support workers deserve better
Regina Leader-Post
The work done by education support workers is key to the success of Regina’s students and often their low wages don’t reflect the importance of this work.

Province will stick to plan to cap teachers' wage increases at one per cent: finance minister
CTV News
Ontario will stick to its plan to cap public sector wage increases as it enters key contract talks with teachers, the province's finance minister said Wednesday.

‘The Gig Academy’
Inside Higher Ed
You’ve heard of the gig economy, but what about the Gig Academy? Labor scholar Adrianna Kezar says it has to be resisted in her new book.

Croatian teachers go on strike over wages
The Washington Post
Teachers and other employees in Croatia’s schools have launched a strike demanding higher wages.