Labour Relations Outlook 2022—Part 2: Perspectives for the Bargaining Table

The Conference Board of Canada, 19 pages, February 15, 2022
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As unions and employers navigate what the future of work will look like, wages are still expected to be the top priority at the bargaining table in 2022.

Document Highlights

While many of 2022’s key bargaining issues will remain consistent with past years, both employers and unions are focusing more closely on how new workplace practices adopted during the pandemic might become part of the future of work.

Wages, labour shortages, equity, diversity, and inclusion initiatives, and automation’s potential to displace workers are all still very much on the minds of both unions and employers and will form a major part of any bargaining discussions that take place this year. However, joining them on the list of top-of-mind issues are flexible working practices, mental health supports, vaccine mandates, paid sick leave, and the use of virtual technology tools, including for arbitration.

No matter the issues being discussed, ongoing and clear communication between unions, employers, and employees is critical to successful outcomes for all parties.

Table of Contents

Key Findings
Labour Shortages Are Top of Mind for Employers and Unions
Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Efforts Are Essential to Strengthening Labour Supply
Flexible Work Is in Demand
Health and Safety Are a Continued Priority
The Use of Virtual Workplace Tools Will Continue
Concerns Surround Automation and Displaced Workers
Wages Are a Top Bargaining Priority
Final Thoughts
Appendix A—Interview Participants
Appendix B—Methodology Appendix C—Bibliography

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