DOCUMENT OVERLOAD HURTS PRODUCTIVITY
— The ineffective management of paper and electronic documents is costing Canadian companies billions of dollars a year in lost productivity among executives, managers and key employers, according to Peter Richardson, professor of strategic management at Queen’s university. A survey of executives revealed they spend an average of 56 per cent of their time dealing with paper and electronic documents, and 40 per cent of that is spent on document administration. This time delivers little or no value to the organization and reduces the time spent on strategy, business development and interaction with customers and employees.
MINIMUM WAGE HIKE IN QUEBEC
— The Quebec government is raising the minimum wage by 20 cents in October and another 10 cents next February. The government said the move is intended to fight poverty and help stimulate the economy by increasing the purchasing power of 200,000 working Quebecers. At $7.30 Quebec will have the second highest minimum wage in the country, behind only British Columbia’s minimum of $8 per hour.
SO MUCH FOR SOLIDARITY
— About 900 General Motors workers have signed a petition asking the CAW not to negotiate limits to work time. The union is going into talks later this summer with the Big Three automakers and has traditionally maintained that rather than asking employees to work overtime or give up vacation time, laid off employees should be called back. These issues have taken on a greater significance since more than 4,000 members are currently on layoff. But the union members who oppose this say it should be their choice to work if they want to. “People want their union to help workers on layoff, but not at the expense of themselves,” one opponent told the
WOMEN FAIR POORLY IN NOVA SCOTIA BUREAUCRACY
— A recent study of pay in the Nova Scotia civil service suggests men are making gains while women are getting paid less. According to the
2001 Employee Demographic Report
, 71 per cent of the 1,000 employees making $55,000 or more are men, up from 69 per cent in 2000. Meanwhile, 85 per cent of employees making $30,000 or less are women — also an increase. “There is a growing gap between the numbers of women in low pay and the lack of women going into the managerial level,” said NDP MLA Maureen MacDonald. But Michael Baker, the minister responsible for the Public Service Commission, said the province is making strides to improving the situation for women working for the province.
MED STUDENTS DON’T REFLECT DEMOGRAPHICS
— Canadian medical schools are filled with well-to-do students from higher-income urban neighbourhoods, and some experts are worried these demographics are worsening physician shortages in some areas. Minority-group representation is also uneven, a study in the Canadian Medical Association Journal reports. Other studies show that having grown up in a rural area is the number one factor in a physician’s decision to locate in an under-served rural region; and coming from an economically disadvantaged background is linked to working with low-income patients.
HOW BADLY DO YOU WANT TO WORK FOR US?
— Pilots who want to work for a new Canadian startup airline will have to pay as much as US $30,000 for training before they can fly for the company, according to a report in the
. JestGo, which is set to launch later this summer, will fly MD-83 jets which haven’t been used in civil aviation in Canada before. Consequently many of the hundreds of pilots looking for work since Canada 3000 collapsed aren’t qualified to fly the planes.