Labour options in the 21st century
- While with the Public Service Alliance, a firstwrite® partner assisted on a project on labour relations in Canada carried out by a leading Canadian think-tank. We provided substantive and editorial advice that was taken up in the final Report, “The Canadian Industrial Relations System,” issued in 2004.
With our extensive leadership experience in organized labour, firstwrite® continues our interest in the challenges faced by labour today, such as globalization, state intervention in labour-employer disputes, labour legislation, organizing in the retail and service sectors, deregulation, and public sector modernization. This includes changes in labour markets—the turn to voluntarism, for example, and the expansion of the contingent labour force—and their effects upon social welfare systems
Labour, culture and community involvement
- firstwrite® has carried out several recent contracts on behalf of a Nunavut-based public sector union. In 2005 and 2006, firstwrite® prepared reports for the union on labour relations and the Nunavut Public Service Act , the latter a pastiche of southern Acts containing a number of cultural assumptions that are out of place in the majority Inuit culture of Nunavut. firstwrite® proposed an entirely new public service labour relations regime that would be consistent with Inuit values ( Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit ).
We then designed and carried out a union Executive Retreat in the Fall of 2006, based upon an initial survey of Executive members, former members and alternates. This was a practical exercise in involving Nunavut communities in joint projects. Executive members learned specific planning and organizing skills to allow the union to play an active role in addressing the considerable cultural, social and economic challenges that Nunavut faces today.
Labour: structure, governance and politics
- firstwrite® assisted a major federal public service union in 2005 by drafting and re-writing By-Laws and Regulations, and examining existing By-Laws to help the National President determine their conformity (or non-conformity) with the union Constitution.
- firstwrite® has produced comprehensive leadership training manuals for Local executive members and for National Officers. We have designed and helped to facilitate union Executive Retreats to develop practical team project planning skills. For the leaders of tomorrow, we have assisted in the selection of labour scholarship essay themes for members of a large public service union and their children, and in grading the essays submitted.
- The governance of labour unions includes formal processes for discipline (when the union Constitution or By-Laws are violated) and for due process, including the right of appeal. A firstwrite® partner has chaired a number of union investigation committees, writing, submitting and defending final reports and recommendations before the appropriate leadership bodies after conducting the investigations. He has also served as a union-side representative on a number of tribunals hearing appeals against disciplinary measures.
- firstwrite® has researched, written and formatted electoral campaign literature, including issue fact sheets, for union political candidates, as well as for labour-friendly candidates in territorial and federal elections.
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