Industrial Relations Outlook 2017

The Conference Board of Canada, 74 pages, December 16, 2016
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What lies ahead for industrial relations in 2017? What issues will unions and management prioritize? Find out what the experts anticipate, and how the economic climate will affect negotiations.

Document Highlights

The Conference Board’s annual Industrial Relations Outlook takes the pulse of industrial relations in Canada. Experts from both union and management are brought together in a roundtable discussion to weigh in on what they think the year ahead will bring.

The Outlook identifies key bargaining issues, and notes where there is consensus and where there are differences among parties. It also provides detailed information on compensation practices and the economic climate in which negotiations will take place—based on leading Conference Board research.

Beyond wages, unions and management will be discussing pensions (both defined benefit and defined contribution), precarious and part-time work, health and safety (including mental health), and potential labour shortages. Unions will also be focusing on building their membership, and will be reaching out to youth, in particular. For management, surviving—and thriving—in a competitive environment is vital.

Current conditions have made for a challenging bargaining environment, and the year ahead promises to be an interesting one.

Table of Contents


Chapter 1 The State of the Unions

  • Changes in the Labour Landscape
  • Changes in Workforce and Union Membership
  • Engaging Youth in the Union Movement

Chapter 2 The Economic Outlook

  • The U.S. Outlook
  • The Canadian Outlook
  • Implications for Labour Relations

Chapter 3 The Compensation Outlook

  • Non-Unionized Employees
  • Unionized Employees
  • Short-term Incentive Pay for Unionized Employees

Chapter 4 The Bargaining Outlook

  • Negotiation Issues
  • Union-Management Climate
  • Work Stoppages

Chapter 5 Roundtable

  • The Outlook for 2017
  • Public Sector Bargaining
  • Private Sector Bargaining
  • Conclusions

Appendix A Bibliography

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