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. Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for article text.

June 14, 2024

Security screeners at Toronto Pearson vote to strike adding to looming travel headaches this summer
Toronto Star
More than 2,000 screening officers at Toronto Pearson airport have voted overwhelmingly in favour of strike action, adding to a growing number of labour disputes in Canada’s travel industry which threatens to disrupt summer travel plans.

CBSA workers get roughly 15% raise over 4 years in tentative deal
Global News
The union representing Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) workers has released the details of its tentative agreement with the federal government that prevented a strike.

Soccer player unions launch legal action against FIFA over ‘endless’ games
Global News
The unions for professional European soccer players have started legal action against FIFA over the expanded men’s Club World Cup, saying playing more games violates players’ rights with no scope for rest between seasons, the global union said on Thursday.

Uber says new B.C. rules will increase costs, Eby says companies can ‘suck it up’
Globe and Mail
Uber says regulation changes for ride-share and delivery workers in British Columbia will drive up costs and reduce demands for local restaurants, but Premier David Eby says complaining companies can “suck it up.”

BC Labour Board agrees Cascadia Liquor illegally replaced workers during strike: Union
The BC Labour Board has determined that Cascadia Liquor illegally replaced workers while union members are on strike at three locations, according to SEIU Local 2.

Work continues on national heat standard for workers
Texas Farm Bureau
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is moving forward with its proposed national heat standard for both indoor and outdoor workers, including those on farms and ranches.

Most Gen Z Workers Want This One Thing From Their Employer. Are You Providing It?
More than 2.4 million college graduates are poised to enter the workforce this year, but many report feeling woefully unprepared. Here's what employers can do about it.

Starbucks’ Supreme Court Victory Is Win for CEOs Over Unions
CEOs may feel more empowered to fight claims of union busting following an overwhelming victory for Starbucks in a June 13 Supreme Court decision, and unions, dealt a severe blow by the ruling, may have to revisit how they organize.

'Mouse jigglers' pretending to work fired by bank
US banking giant Wells Fargo has sacked a number of employees following claims that staff were faking keyboard activity to fool the company into thinking they were working when they were not.

Norway’s Government Embroiled in Clash Over CEO Salaries
BNN Bloomberg
Norway’s government held onto its stance on limiting executive pay in state-owned companies after some key firms refused caps.

Pro-Palestinian encampment members say McGill’s latest offer is ‘laughable’
Globe and Mail
Members of a pro-Palestinian encampment who have been occupying part of McGill University’s downtown Montreal campus since April say the school’s latest offer falls far short of what’s needed to get them to leave.

1 in 3 Vancouver teachers considering quitting: unions
CTV News
Unions for teachers and other workers within the Vancouver school system are sounding the alarm about low morale.

New HEQCO report on microcredentials reveals they won’t be saving universities
University Affairs
Microcredentials have been one of the most buzzed about topics in higher education over the past several years. Quickly developed, ultra-short courses of study imparting a very specific skill or knowledge niche, microcredentials have rapidly proliferated far and wide. But there remains plenty of debate about whether they represent a radical new approach to higher education or are merely the latest pedagogical fad.

University of Minnesota approves highest tuition hike in a decade
Bring Me The News
In a divided vote among its Board of Regents, the University of Minnesota has approved its largest tuition hike in over a decade.

A Philadelphia arts school gave 7 days' notice it was closing. Now its students and faculty want answers.
NBC News
Students and staff members from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia are scrambling to figure out their next steps after the school’s abrupt closure last week and are calling on the university to answer questions about why it shut down so quickly.

UK board votes to dissolve university Senate, outlines role of new faculty body
The University of Kentucky Board of Trustees approved a plan to dissolve the university Senate, changing the faculty’s role in setting school policies.

University of Sydney orders students protesting in support of Gaza to leave after almost two months
The Guardian
The University of Sydney has ordered students protesting against Israel’s war in Gaza to leave a controversial encampment that has been on the campus since April.

June 13, 2024

Mental health claims filed by city employees on the rise
Winnipeg Free Press
Psychological claims among City of Winnipeg employees jumped higher last year, with some first responders among those struggling with mental-health concerns.

'Earth-shattering' report finds gaps in City of Winnipeg workforce reviews, accountability
The City of Winnipeg has released what one councillor called an "earth-shattering" report on workforce management that found the city lacks adequate processes for reviewing staff performance and measuring progress toward key goals.

Global News lays off employees in Alberta, British Columbia and Ontario
More than two dozen people in Alberta, British Columbia and Ontario have been let go from their jobs at Global News this week, with its parent company placing blame on "the current economic and regulatory reality" for media organizations.

Gig workers in B.C. to be paid minimum of $20.88 an hour
British Columbia has become the first province in Canada to provide a minimum wage and other protections for people who work through gig-based apps like Uber, DoorDash, Skip the Dishes and Lyft, according to B.C.'s Ministry of Labour.

'A courageous stand': Calgary Cargill workers reach unanimous decision to strike
CTV News
The union that represents workers at a Cargill plant in Calgary says it has "made history" with a vote that could see them walk off the job in the coming weeks.

Canada’s plan to overhaul its temporary foreign worker program has employers concerned
Toronto Star
A majority of employers in the agriculture sector are opposed to a federal plan that would allow foreign workers to change employers within the same industry because they fear this would encourage “employee poaching,” says a new study.

Labor charges claim Disney retaliated against workers for wearing union buttons
Daily Pilot
Daniel Rodriguez fastened a union button on his custodial uniform during a recent shift at Disneyland in a display of solidarity with other co-workers fighting for a new contract.

US court nixes order barring Amazon from firing pro-union workers
A U.S. appeals court on Wednesday tossed out a judge's order that required to refrain from firing union supporters amid a nationwide organizing campaign at its warehouses.

Former SpaceX workers file suit alleging harassment, wrongful termination
Al Jazeera
Eight former SpaceX engineers have filed a lawsuit accusing the rocket company and its CEO Elon Musk of firing them for raising concerns about the treatment of female employees.

A staggering 90% of employees in the UK are ‘quiet quitting’ as they seek out other opportunities, Gallup report says
The U.K. has a serious problem.

Manitoba school board under review, province appoints oversight panel
Winnipeg Free Press
The Manitoba government has appointed a panel to oversee a school board that has been shaken by controversy and seen board trustees quit.

BC Teachers’ Federation declines to fund Holocaust education group, while funding pro-Palestinian group
Globe and Mail
The BC Teachers’ Federation has denied specialist recognition of a Holocaust education group, making it ineligible for the same funding for curriculum development that the union provides to some three dozen other associations, including one promoting pro-Palestinian resources.

Memorial students escalate protest for Palestine
The Independent
Students at Memorial University (MUNL) have escalated their protest in support of Palestine by occupying the lobby of the school’s Arts & Administration building in St. John’s.

Waitlist worry at University of Guelph: What the school has to say about rising enrollment
CTV News
The University of Guelph says they planned for growth in 2024 – and they achieved it.

Gaza campus protests: two human rights law experts write new principles for universities
The Conversation
Israel’s assault on Gaza, following Hamas’ attack in October 2023, has become the subject of international legal proceedings and mass protest. Over the past eight months, university students have set up encampments at dozens of universities in Europe and North America. In most cases, they are protesting their university’s financial ties to Israeli companies and universities.

University Presidents Should Study How Democracy Works
Scientific American
University presidents and administrators can learn a lot from the student demonstrations that closed out this academic year.

Hackers target university’s e-learning system in Hong Kong, putting data of 20,000 at risk
South China Morning Post
The personal data of more than 20,000 students, staff and past graduates of the Chinese University of Hong Kong’s School of Continuing and Professional Studies could be at risk after an e-learning system was hacked earlier this month.

June 12, 2024

Quebec to offer financial incentives to universities for programs where more labour is needed
The Gazette
Quebec will offer financial incentives to universities for registration of students and their graduation in sectors where the province is experiencing a labour shortage.

Queen’s University receives historic donation for cancer research
Global News
Queen’s University is celebrating its largest-ever private donation for cancer research, described as “transformational” for research capacity, cutting-edge facilities and new training opportunities.

Study probes racism reported by Black medical students at University of Saskatchewan
Global News
Medical researchers at the University of Saskatchewan’s college of medicine looked inward for their latest study — an attempt to capture the experiences of racism faced by Black medical school students.

Pro-Palestinian encampment protesters reject U of T's latest offer
Pro-Palestinian student protesters who speak for an encampment at the University of Toronto say they cannot accept the latest offer from the school to end their protest because it fails to meet their demands.

Dalhousie University halts Saint John cardiac training after students allege harassment
Dalhousie University has pulled all medical students and post-graduate trainees from any cardiac training at the Saint John Regional Hospital and New Brunswick Heart Centre after some complained about alleged harassment and the learning environment, CBC News has learned.

Student suing Université Sainte-Anne alleges school failed her after sexual assaults
A student at Université Sainte-Anne is suing the school for failing to protect her from physical and emotional harm following a series of alleged sexual assaults on campus.

McGill offers to explore divestment, grant partial amnesty to pro-Palestinian protesters
Globe and Mail
McGill University is offering amnesty to pro-Palestinian protesters encamped on its downtown campus if they leave by the end of the week. The university said it will also explore divesting investments in arms makers who protesters say are aiding Israel’s war efforts in Gaza.

Opposition to stampeding Bill C-70 through Parliament grows
Canadian Dimension
The International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group, the Canadian Association of University Teachers, the National Council of Canadian Muslims, and the BC Gurdwaras Council are among 14 groups voicing opposition to an attempt to stampede Bill C-70, the Countering Foreign Interference Act, through both houses of Parliament by the end of June.

Public can see Chicago Teachers Union tactics at open bargaining session
Illinois Policy
Chicago Public Schools and the Chicago Teachers Union will open their contract bargaining sessions to the public for the first time on June 14. Concerned Chicagoans can attend in-person and make their voices heard.

Tentative deal reached for Canada's border workers, averting possible job action
A tentative agreement has been reached for over 9,000 workers at Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), averting potential job action later this week.

N.B. Xerox employee who claimed he was paid less because he's Black vindicated by commission
Four years after filing a complaint that he was paid less than his co-workers at Xerox because he's Black, Normand Hector says he feels validated.

French private health workers prepare for unlimited strike in pay row
The Connexion
Up to 260,000 private healthcare workers are set to go on strike from next Tuesday (June 18) in a row over pay rises and claims that pledges by the government and private hospital federation have been discarded.

June 11, 2024

More than 9,000 Canada Border Services Agency workers set new strike deadline for Friday, June 14 at 12:01 a.m. ET
More than 9,000 members of the Public Service Alliance of Canada and the Customs and Immigration Union (CIU) will begin job action across the country starting June 14 at 12:01 a.m. ET if an agreement is not reached at the table with Canada Border Services Agency and Treasury Board.

Union of Safety and Justice Employees holds rally to scrap the three-day in-person mandate
The Union of Safety and Justice Employees (USJE), alongside members of the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) – as well as allies – will be holding a rally in front of Treasury Board building in Ottawa with a strong message to "Scrap the Mandate."

UAW president faces probe over alleged retaliation against other union leaders
Globe and Mail
United Auto Workers President Shawn Fain is under investigation by an independent federal monitor over allegations of retaliation against other union leaders, according to a court filing on Monday.

2-year-long labour dispute has been 'hardest 2 years of my life,' Hamilton commercial actor says
For over two years, a labour dispute has kept thousands of unionized commercial actors in Canada from working under a longstanding agreement with major advertisers.

Threat of Canadian rail strike looms again after bid for conciliation fails
The LoadStar
Last week’s meetings between the Teamsters union (TCRC) and Canadian National Railway (CN) were abandoned less than halfway through, as the parties refuse to see eye-to-eye. 

Union sounds alarm on Enbridge's planned layoffs
Canadian HR Reporter
One union will be launching a national campaign to stop methane leaks and ensure utilities are providing safe and modern gas infrastructure for Canadians.

Canadian universities say foreign influence registry could harm research partnerships
Canada's leading research universities warn that a proposed foreign influence transparency registry could have an unintended "chilling effect" on international partnerships, meaning Canada misses out on cutting-edge opportunities.

Laurentian University staff in first contract talks since insolvency
Trying to put behind them the feeling of what a union official describes as being “betrayed” during the last set of negotiations in 2020, one of Laurentian University’s unions is currently engaged in collective bargaining with the university.

McGill University issues updated offer to McGill members of the encampment, calls for return to good-faith discussions
McGill University
Despite the walkout by encampment representatives from discussions, McGill remains steadfast in its commitment to an open and transparent dialogue conducted in good faith. Yesterday, the University extended an updated offer to members of its community in the encampment, going beyond previous proposals.

NSCAD student union to consider fall tuition strike if disclosure and divestment calls not met
The Coast
The student movement for Palestinian liberation continues in Halifax, despite recent police crackdowns at other Canadian university encampments like York University in Ontario and McGill University in Quebec.

California public university academics end pro-Palestinian strike under court order
Thousands of University of California academic workers who went on strike at six campuses protesting administrators' response to pro-Palestinian protests returned to the job on Monday under court order, but their union vowed more protests to come.

‘Extremely disturbing’: Concerns over academic freedom at NYU Abu Dhabi surface following policies restricting attire at graduation
Washington Square News
New regulations at NYU Abu Dhabi’s commencement ceremony barred graduates from decorating their caps and gowns with scarves or symbols and carrying posters or “flag-like attire,” with one Ph.D. student allegedly detained for a week and deported after pulling out a keffiyeh at the event, multiple sources told WSN. The regulations reflected escalating concerns over academic freedom at the campus, which students and faculty described in “very distressing accounts” to NYU’s chapter of the American Association of University Professors.

Turkish student arrested for using AI to cheat in university exam
Turkish authorities have arrested a student for cheating during a university entrance exam by using a makeshift device linked to artificial intelligence software to answer questions.

June 10, 2024

ACC rebrands as Assiniboine College
Brandon Sun
A western Manitoba college will remain community-minded — even when that word is dropped from its well-known moniker.

Canadian universities flag foreign influence registry’s potential ‘chilling effect’ on global partnerships
Globe and Mail
Canada’s leading research universities warn that a proposed foreign influence transparency registry could have an unintended “chilling effect” on international partnerships, meaning Canada misses out on cutting-edge opportunities.

Police arrest 15, use tear gas on crowd as pro-Palestinian activists occupy McGill University building
Montreal police used tear gas to disperse a crowd of protesters and arrested 15 people on Thursday evening after masked demonstrators occupied the third floor of McGill University's James Administration Building.

Why was York U encampment cleared after a day, as U of T protesters languish into day 35?
Toronto Star
Police broke up a protest encampment on York University campus Thursday, a day after it was set up, highlighting a more aggressive approach to protesters from York administration relative to the University of Toronto.

Saskatchewan teachers start work to rule, June 10
My Lloydminster Now
From Monday, June 10, the Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation, STF will begin work-to-rule job action in the latest twist of the contract negotiations with the province.

International Students are Coming to Canada Dreaming of a Better Life. Many Are Leaving Disillusioned and In Debt.
Press Progress
Jiratchaya Piamkulvanich remembers visiting her sister last summer and witnessing her live a calm, thriving life in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

Judge Orders UC Academic Workers' Union To Pause Strike
A state judge has ordered graduate student workers at the University of California to temporarily stop their strike at six campuses across the system, delivering a win to UC regents in their legal effort to force strikers back to work.

More nurses wading into float pool to ease shortage
Winnipeg Free Press
Manitoba’s nurse float pool that aims to draw them away from private agencies and back to the public system with more flexibility and work-life balance is having some success.

Manitoba Hydro workers vote to authorize strike
CTV News
Meter readers and inspectors for Manitoba Hydro could be on the picket line next month.

Health-care aides say overwhelming work conditions at Winnipeg care home putting residents at risk
Some longtime health-care aides are speaking out about what they describe as overwhelming work conditions at Holy Family Home, pointing to repeated instances of understaffing they said put residents and employees at risk of physical and mental harm.

Average hourly wages now almost $35 in Canada: just-released data
CTV News
Finding work has become increasingly challenging for Canadian jobseekers as a weakening economy and high interest rates push business owners to rein in hiring.

Three in four Canadians support work-in-office rules for federal public servants: poll
Globe and Mail
Most Canadians support a requirement to have federal public servants work a minimum of three days a week in their office, according to a new poll.

TTC and union reach last-minute deal averting Toronto transit strike
Globe and Mail
Toronto commuters were spared a transit shutdown after the TTC and its main union reached a last-minute tentative agreement, heading off a Friday strike that would have disrupted travel for millions of people.

U.S. hiring and wage growth picked up last month in sign of sustained economic health
CTV News
America’s employers added a strong 272,000 jobs in May, accelerating from April and a sign that companies are still confident enough in the economy to keep hiring despite persistently high interest rates.