Self-employed hurt Canada’s productivity
— Self-employed Canadians earned less per worker than other Canadians, bringing down national productivity by 2.9 per cent in the 1990s, Statistics Canada reports. The effect of lower incomes was more significant because self-employment accounted for the majority of job growth from 1988 to 1998. In the United States on the other hand, self-employed Americans out-earned their fellow citizens, bringing up national productivity by 4.1 per cent. When Canadian and U.S. self-employed workers are removed from the equation, labour productivity is roughly equal, StatsCan states.
Employers on board for transit discounts
— After a successful one-year pilot, the Toronto Transit Commission is extending a bulk transit pass discount program for another two years. Employers, associations and unions can buy passes for 12 per cent off and pass the savings on to employees and members.
Immigrant workers falling behind
— Immigrants are taking twice as long to integrate fully into the Canadian labour force than they did 20 years ago, the Canadian Labour and Business Centre reports. It now takes newcomers 10 years to reach the employment levels of native-born Canadians, a statistic that contrasts sharply with immigration policies stressing the need for skilled labour to avert shortages.
It’s the end of being pushed around, N.S unions say
— With a number of public-sector union contracts to be renegotiated in the next months, Nova Scotia’s new minority government may face a season of labour unrest, says Joan Jessome, head of the Nova Scotia Government and General Employees Union. Half of the union’s 21,400 members will be without contracts at the end of October, another 5,600 will expire in March and two locals representing discontented health-workers will also being looking for deals. With the Conservative government reduced to a minority in the recent election, labour leaders believe the government won’t be able to push around unions. “A huge labour fight could actually topple a government,” Jessome said.
Half of managers work after ‘retirement’
— A study of Bell Canada employees who took early retirement found 56 per cent of managerial-level employees started their own businesses or found other full- or part-time work. Researchers at the University of Toronto and San Diego State University looked at 1,800 Bell employees who took early retirement. About 20 per cent of blue collar and clerical staff worked after retiring.
Long-term care faces biggest nursing shortage
— Almost one in every five long-term care nurses is expected to leave the profession by 2006, a study by the Canadian Institute for Health Information states. This compares to 12 per cent of hospital nurses and 10 per cent of community-sector nurses who are likely to retire or die.
Abortion on the bargaining list
— The United Auto Workers is raising employer health plan coverage for abortions in contract talks with American automakers. While contraception is increasingly being included in health plans, statistics on union demands for abortion coverage are lacking, the
Strip club recruits on-campus
— An Ontario strip club owner is offering free tuition to the University of Windsor as a bonus for new strippers. A debate is shaping up in the student association about the appropriateness of running the recruitment ads in the school paper. The tuition payment requires strippers to maintain a B average.