Governance

Publications (by Dionne Pohler)

Publications (by Dionne Pohler)

Balancing Interests in the Search for Occupational Legitimacy: The HR Professionalization Project in Canada

Governance HR Profession Public Policy

Is HR a legitimate profession? Struggles HR practitioners face in gaining legitimacy in Canada and beyond.

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Balancing Interests in the Search for Occupational Legitimacy: The HR Professionalization Project in Canada

Pohler, D., & Willness, C. (2014) Balancing Interests in the Search for Occupational Legitimacy: The HR Professionalization Project in Canada. Human Resource Management, 53(3): 467-488.

Related: Pohler, D. (2014) Ontario: Please Come Back to the CCHRA. The Canadian HR Reporter, July.

Abstract: Despite broad debates surrounding how the human resource management occupation can increase its legitimacy, researchers have yet to examine the collective steps HR practitioners are taking in this regard and the extent to which they have been successful. We conduct a case study of the HR professionalization project in Canada via multisource qualitative and quantitative data, which we analyze using a unique integration of the trait and control models from the sociology of professions, as well as isomorphism from institutional theory. Viewed through the lens of these frameworks, we find that HR practitioners are attempting to emulate traits that define traditional notions of professions, and are aspiring to transcendent values associated with balancing the sometimes conflicting interests of employers and employees. Objective data from external stakeholders and institutions show that these collective strategies have been somewhat successful in garnering greater legitimacy thus far, particularly when comparisons are made with the HR professional project in the United States. We highlight numerous implications for future research and practice surrounding the legitimacy of the HR profession.

Is HR a legitimate profession? Struggles HR practitioners face in gaining legitimacy in Canada and beyond.

/storage/files/1410-Ontario-Please-come-back-to-the-CCHRA.PDF
2018-01-15 19:25:28

Governance as a Determinant of Success and Failure: What Other Co-ops Can Learn from Co-op Atlantic

Governance Co-ops

Co-op Atlantic is not the first federation of retail co-operatives to fail. Others have failed in Québec, France, Germany, and elsewhere. Co-op Atlantic’s story is a recent example of a pattern from which others can learn. We believe it is important for other co-operatives to pay attention to lessons from Co-op Atlantic’s story — lessons that in our view ultimately come down to governance choices and behaviours.

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Governance as a Determinant of Success and Failure: What Other Co-ops Can Learn from Co-op Atlantic

Fairbairn, B., Fulton, M., & Pohler, D. (November 2015) Governance as a Determinant of Success and Failure: What Other Co-ops Can Learn from Co-op Atlantic. Centre for the Study of Co-operatives: University of Saskatchewan.

In 2012, Co-op Atlantic observed its eighty-fifth anniversary and was celebrated as the largest co-operative in Atlantic Canada. As a federation of local retail co-operatives, Co-op Atlantic’s role was to strengthen and support the member co-ops, in particular by providing wholesale goods and services to them in three core areas: food, petroleum products, and agricultural supplies. Its president told delegates present at the annual meeting that “Co-op Atlantic has shown its ability to transform itself, while remaining an essential link between communities of the Atlantic region.” Three years later, in May 2015, the co-op sold its grocery and gasoline business to rival Sobeys. And after filing for bankruptcy protection, Co-op Atlantic proceeded systematically to sell its remaining assets. In October 2015, the co-op sold its fuel business — Co-op Energy — to CST Canada, another private company. Finally, in November 2015, the co-op announced the sale of most of its remaining agricultural supply business to La Coopérative fédérée du Québec. Farmers and the surviving retail co-ops in the region now obtain products and services from these new suppliers. The dream of a united co-operative system span ning the chain from farmers to consumers has come to an end. Co-op Atlantic operated for eighty-eight years and helped sustain consumers, farmers, employees, and communities as co-operatives typically do. An enterprise that survives for more than three generations is not a flawed model. However, Co-op Atlantic’s demise represents a loss of future possibilities. Could it have been prevented? Can other co-ops prevent such a turn of events?

Co-op Atlantic is not the first federation of retail co-operatives to fail. Others have failed in Québec, France, Germany, and elsewhere. Co-op Atlantic’s story is a recent example of a pattern from which others can learn. We believe it is important for other co-operatives to pay attention to lessons from Co-op Atlantic’s story — lessons that in our view ultimately come down to governance choices and behaviours.

/storage/files/Co-op Atlantic final.pdf
2018-01-15 18:51:13

Multinationals' Compliance with Employment Law: An Empirical Assessment Using Administrative Data from Ontario, 2004-2015

Governance Employment Relations Law Public Policy Unions

Do multinational companies comply with the law in a developed country like Canada? Our key findings based on data from Ontario suggest that unions predict compliance across all foreign MNCs, and there are systematic country-of-origin effects on MNC compliance in non-unionized workplaces.

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Multinationals' Compliance with Employment Law: An Empirical Assessment Using Administrative Data from Ontario, 2004-2015

Pohler, D., & Riddell, C. (accepted) Multinationals' compliance with employment law: An empirical assessment using administrative data from Ontario, 2004-2015. Industrial and Labor Relations Review.

Our study contributes new evidence to the literature on MNC behaviors by exploring three related questions: (1) Do MNCs comply with local employment laws in a developed country? (2) To the extent that compliance varies across MNCs, what factors are important in shaping compliance? (3) Is there a “foreignness” effect for MNCs operating in developed countries, and does this effect vary according to country-of-origin and/or union status? To investigate these questions, we compiled unique firm-level administrative data on MNC compliance with regulatory and quasi-regulatory employment practices during mass layoffs in Ontario, Canada. Adopting a research design that uses the behavior of Canadian MNCs as the comparison group, our key findings suggest that unions are a very robust predictor of compliance across all foreign MNCs, and that there are systematic country-of-origin effects on MNC compliance in non-unionized workplaces.

Do multinational companies comply with the law in a developed country like Canada? Our key findings based on data from Ontario suggest that unions predict compliance across all foreign MNCs, and there are systematic country-of-origin effects on MNC compliance in non-unionized workplaces.

2018-01-15 17:27:43

Credit Unions in Canada: Design Principles for Greater Co-operation

Governance Co-ops

The Canadian credit union system is facing unprecedented challenges, and credit union leaders are struggling with how to structure their governance arrangements, not only within their own organizations but also at the system level. This report highlights the efficiency-autonomy trade-off that is present in co-operation among credit unions.

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Credit Unions in Canada: Design Principles for Greater Co-operation

Fulton, M., Fairbairn, B., & Pohler, D. (September 2017) Credit Unions in Canada: Design Principles for Greater Co-operation. Centre for the Study of Co-operatives: University of Saskatchewan. Blog summary here.

In attempting to create new national organizations, Canadian credit unions face a trade-off between efficiency and autonomy. The consolidation of the credit union system is ultimately a problem of governance. Unless a governance structure is found that fosters shared norms and values in addition to economic benefits, it is unlikely that credit unions as a system will be able to overcome free-riding behaviour, foster trust and legitimacy, and adapt and respond to a rapidly changing and uncertain environment. All these challenges must be met if the credit union system is to achieve the efficiencies required to operate in Canada’s highly competitive financial industry. This paper identifies six design principles that can contribute to the good governance of a new national organization. These principles have proven valuable in achieving co-operation in a range of other settings, two examples of which are also discussed in the report.

 

The Canadian credit union system is facing unprecedented challenges, and credit union leaders are struggling with how to structure their governance arrangements, not only within their own organizations but also at the system level. This report highlights the efficiency-autonomy trade-off that is present in co-operation among credit unions.

/storage/files/Credit Unions and Co-operation FINAL.pdf
2017-10-17 02:21:34

Federated Co-operatives Limited: Change Management

Governance Employment Relations Co-ops

Federated Co-operatives Limited struggles with implementing massive organizational changes in talent management, technology, and branding.

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Federated Co-operatives Limited: Change Management

Pohler, D. (2016) Federated Co-operatives Limited: Change Management. Ivey Publishing.

In 2013, after almost three years of making organizational changes, the chief executive officer of Federated Co-Operatives Limited (FCL) wondered if he was pushing his unique company through a transformation too quickly or if he was not pushing hard enough to modernize the company. FCL was a co-operative, a remnant of a farmers’ purchasing association that had grown to become one of the 50 largest companies in Canada. However, the company’s financial success and democratic governance structure had lulled FCL into a situation characterized by outdated processes and systems. Information technology, branding, leadership, and talent management processes needed to be transformed, and a culture change was necessary to move forward. But some employees were resisting, possibly as a result of burnout due to the magnitude of change or the co-operative governance structure that complicated the process of change. The chief executive officer needed to address his employees at a questions and answers session about the progress of the transformation. What should he tell them?

Federated Co-operatives Limited struggles with implementing massive organizational changes in talent management, technology, and branding.

2017-01-24 21:55:03
Other Publications

Other Publications

The Relationship Between Community Capitals and Quality of Life in Rural and Aboriginal Western Canadian Communities: Improving Policymaking Using a Place-Conscious Approach

Inequality Governance Development

This study uses secondary survey data collected as part of the Co-operative Innovation Project to examine whether there is a relationship between community capitals and reported quality of life in rural western Canada as well as whether the relationships between quality of life and community capitals may differ across Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal communities in the study region.

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The Relationship Between Community Capitals and Quality of Life in Rural and Aboriginal Western Canadian Communities: Improving Policymaking Using a Place-Conscious Approach

Policymakers around the world now recognize that quality of life is an important indicator of what actually matters to communities. Also referred to as well-being, satisfaction, or happiness, quality of life is a complex, multidimensional construct pertaining to one’s place of residence, physical environment, social characteristics, experiences, and access to services within one’s local environment. Given the close relationship between local conditions and quality of life, using community capitals, or latent measures of the current state of communities’ various resources and capacities, to measure quality of life may provide policymakers with a more useful quality of life measure. This study uses secondary survey data to examine whether there is a relationship between community capitals and reported quality of life in rural western Canada. To explore quality of life as a product of the communities in which community capital stocks are created and experienced, this thesis will also examine whether and how the relationships between quality of life and community capitals may differ across Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal communities in the study region. The results may help policymakers understand how different types of communities conceptualize themselves, as well as how they may pursue place-conscious policies that build upon current community capitals to maintain or improve quality of life in these communities in the future.

This study uses secondary survey data collected as part of the Co-operative Innovation Project to examine whether there is a relationship between community capitals and reported quality of life in rural western Canada as well as whether the relationships between quality of life and community capitals may differ across Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal communities in the study region.

/storage/files/Gouchie.pdf
2017-10-17 02:18:46

The Role of Governance in Balancing Conflicting Institutional Logics in a Canadian Credit Union.

Governance Co-ops Public Policy

Using data collected through semi-structured interviews with top management and board members, this study provides insight into senior leaders’ perceptions of and responses to competing pressures in a credit union.

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The Role of Governance in Balancing Conflicting Institutional Logics in a Canadian Credit Union.

Credit unions are traditionally small, community-embedded and co-operatively-owned financial services organizations that developed to correct various market failures. Recent changes to regulatory policy in the financial services industry in Canada, coupled with advances in technology and urbanization of the population, have led to numerous mergers and consolidations among credit unions, particularly in Western Canada. This has the potential to undermine some of the historic benefits of CUs when compared to other financial services organizations, as it may require credit unions to begin to operate more like banks. The thesis provides a detailed examination of how senior leaders in one large Western Canadian credit union are handling these issues, and explores what the broader implications might be for policy and governance of credit unions in Canada.

Using data collected through semi-structured interviews with top management and board members, this study provides insight into senior leaders’ perceptions of and responses to competing pressures in a credit union.

/storage/files/Johnson.pdf
2017-10-17 02:17:14

Ontario Changing Workplaces Review

Governance Employment Relations Law Public Policy Unions

Find the commissioned research reports and the final government report for the Government of Ontario's recent review of its employment and labour law.

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Ontario Changing Workplaces Review

Government of Ontario: Ontario Changing Workplaces Review.

“A simultaneous review of both Acts is unprecedented in Ontario. The review process requires us to examine academic and inter-jurisdictional research, and solicit feedback from the general public and stakeholders. Since the launch of the review, a substantial amount of work has been completed. We undertook pre-consultation meetings with stakeholders and academics, released the review’s “Guide to Consultations” paper to commence public consultation, commissioned multiple academic research projects to aid in the review process, and met with interested stakeholders. We have held 12 public consultation sessions across the province. We have spoken at eight conferences and meetings to a large cross-section of employers, unions and worker advocates in order to inform them of the issues that are before us and to encourage their participation in the review process. In total, we heard over 200 presentations and received over 300 written submissions from employers, unions, employee advocacy groups, and other interested parties. We have completed our review of these submissions and an overview will be included in our public Interim Report that will outline many of the issues and options for change that we have been asked to consider.” (Changing Workplaces Review Advisors)

Find the commissioned research reports and the final government report for the Government of Ontario's recent review of its employment and labour law.

2017-01-26 03:17:24

Designing a Basic Income Guarantee for Canada

Inequality Governance Income and Wealth Development

Designing a basic income guarantee in Canada: Details on Ontario's Pilot Project and costing plan for a basic income in Canada.

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Designing a Basic Income Guarantee for Canada

Basic Income Guarantee in Canada: Ontario's Pilot Project

Proposed Costing Plan: Boadway, R., Cuff, K., & Koebel, K. (2016) Designing a Basic Income Guarantee for Canada. Queen's Economic Department Working Paper No. 1371.

Abstract for Boadway et al. (2016): We propose a mechanism for implementing a two-stage harmonized Basic Income Guarantee with federal and provincial components. In Stage One, the federal government replaces its refundable and nonrefundable tax credits with an income-tested basic income delivered through the income tax system. The reform is revenue-neutral. In Stage Two, each province decides whether to implement a provincial basic income guarantee that is harmonized with the federal one but allows province-specific basic income levels. The provincial basic income replaces provincial refundable and nonrefundable tax credits as well as welfare and disability transfers, and is also revenue-neutral. All social services and contributory social insurance programs remain intact. An illustrative calculation using Statistical Canada’s SPSD/M model shows the financial feasibility of a national BIG of $20,000 per adult adjusted for family size with a benefit reduction rate of 30%.

Designing a basic income guarantee in Canada: Details on Ontario's Pilot Project and costing plan for a basic income in Canada.

2017-01-26 03:08:00
Blogs

Blog posts (by Dionne Pohler)

No policy of the newly elected provincial government in Ontario has sparked more controversy than the proposed cancellation of the basic income pilot. We propose a way forward.

The basic income pilot in Ontario was unlikely to tell us anything we don't already know. Basic income supporters should change their focus from re-instating the pilot to developing and promoting options for a phased implementation. The most important thing to focus on in the short-term is that participants are treated ethically as the project winds down.

Should the Human Resources Professionals Association in Ontario have left the national HR association? Find this opinion article here.

The Filene Research Institute and the Canadian Credit Union Association commissioned me to write a report examining the characteristics of the well-governed credit union and exploring the values and risks associated with co-operative governance models. I summarize some of the key insights in a blog posted at Contemplating Co-ops.

Canada’s credit unions need to find a way to work together to survive, which can only happen if they are able to build the trust and legitimacy necessary to redesign how they interact with each other and make decisions at the system level. Credit unions that think they can make it on their own do so not only at their own peril, but at the peril of the system as a whole. Find this blog post at Contemplating Co-ops.

Articles

Articles

In this op ed, Kevin Milligan argues that "nothing has contributed more than natural resources to buttressing the Canadian middle class against the rapidly changing global economy of the 21st century."

Resource jobs are sustaining Canada's middle class. Period.

In this op ed, Kevin Milligan argues that "nothing has contributed more than natural resources to buttressing the Canadian middle class against the rapidly changing global economy of the 21st century."

2018-04-17
www.theglobeandmail.com 2018-04-17 20:42:39
Inequality Governance Income and Wealth Development Resource jobs are sustaining Canada's middle class. Period. 2018-04-17 20:42:39
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"This is the fundamental weakness of the minimum wage: you can force business to pay their employees more, but you can’t force them to hire them."

Why a guaranteed minimum income is a better option than raising the minimum wage

"This is the fundamental weakness of the minimum wage: you can force business to pay their employees more, but you can’t force them to hire them."

2018-02-16
nationalpost.com 2018-01-15 20:15:06
Inequality Governance Employment Relations Development Income and Wealth Law Why a guaranteed minimum income is a better option than raising the minimum wage 2018-01-15 20:15:06
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"The election of Justin Trudeau's Liberal government was supposed to signal a new 'nation-to-nation relationship.' But until the country recognizes the right to self-determination and acknowledges the sovereignty of Indigenous nations, argues Alicia Elliott, the future will be the same as the past. Alicia Elliott is a Tuscarora writer from Six Nations, currently living in Brantford, Ontario."

A memo to Canada: Indigenous people are not your incompetent children

"The election of Justin Trudeau's Liberal government was supposed to signal a new 'nation-to-nation relationship.' But until the country recognizes the right to self-determination and acknowledges the sovereignty of Indigenous nations, argues Alicia Elliott, the future will be the same as the past. Alicia Elliott is a Tuscarora writer from Six Nations, currently living in Brantford, Ontario."

2018-02-16
www.theglobeandmail.com 2018-01-15 20:12:38
Inequality Governance Development Discrimination A memo to Canada: Indigenous people are not your incompetent children 2018-01-15 20:12:38
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"For decades, income distribution was ignored by a policy consensus that favoured free markets. Research on income inequality is challenging that view."

A new narrative on income inequality and growth

"For decades, income distribution was ignored by a policy consensus that favoured free markets. Research on income inequality is challenging that view."

2018-02-16
policyoptions.irpp.org 2017-10-31 22:07:10
Inequality Governance Income and Wealth Development A new narrative on income inequality and growth 2017-10-31 22:07:10
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News Items

News Items

A changing workplace means changes for the HR profession. Regulators, universities and HR associations need to keep up with the changes.

Transforming HR

A changing workplace means changes for the HR profession. Regulators, universities and HR associations need to keep up with the changes.

2018-08-10
www.hrreporter.com 2018-08-10 14:05:12
Governance Employment Relations HR Profession Strategic HRM Transforming HR 2018-08-10 14:05:12
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Dionne talks to CPAC about the role of co-operatives in economic and social development.

G7 Summit Preview on the Economy

Dionne talks to CPAC about the role of co-operatives in economic and social development.

2018-08-10
www.cpac.ca 2018-08-10 14:03:12
Inequality Governance Development Co-ops Public Policy G7 Summit Preview on the Economy 2018-08-10 14:03:12
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Is it good public policy to give preference to one ownership structure over another?

Public money ‘shouldn’t pad profits’: Ontario NDP signals shift away from private-sector delivery of services

Is it good public policy to give preference to one ownership structure over another?

2018-08-10
nationalpost.com 2018-08-10 14:02:11
Governance Public money ‘shouldn’t pad profits’: Ontario NDP signals shift away from private-sector delivery of services 2018-08-10 14:02:11
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"The experiences of Alberta and Seattle, two jurisdictions that share Ontario's $15-an-hour goal, offer some lessons on how to adjust to a higher minimum wage: that is, if Ontario businesses can weather the short-term storm."

Alberta, Seattle offer lessons for Ontario on 'Fight for $15' minimum wage: Ontario's rate increased to $14 per hour from $11.60 — a 21% jump— on Jan. 1

"The experiences of Alberta and Seattle, two jurisdictions that share Ontario's $15-an-hour goal, offer some lessons on how to adjust to a higher minimum wage: that is, if Ontario businesses can weather the short-term storm."

2018-02-16
www.cbc.ca 2017-11-01 14:04:08
Inequality Governance Employment Relations Income and Wealth HR Practices Law Alberta, Seattle offer lessons for Ontario on 'Fight for $15' minimum wage: Ontario's rate increased to $14 per hour from $11.60 — a 21% jump— on Jan. 1 2017-11-01 14:04:08
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Other Valuable information

Other Valuable Information

On a per capita basis, the annual cost would range between $9,421 and $10,169 for the period 2018-2023.

Summary from the PBO:

The total annual estimated gross cost of the defined GBI would range between $76.0 billion and $79.5 billion for the period 2018-2023. The guaranteed income for disability would range between $3.2 billion and $3.5 billion.

PBO forecasts that more than 7.5 million people would benefit from the basic cost of GBI. Thus, on a per capita basis, the annual cost would range between $9,421 and $10,169 for the period 2018-2023.

The actual federal support for low-income Canadians and vulnerable groups defined by our benchmark model is about $32.9 billion. If this amount were deducted from the total estimated GBI cost of $76.0 billion in 2018-2019, the net cost of a federally implemented GBI would be $43.1 billion. However, the GBI could take the form of a combined federal-provincial basic income system managed by an intergovernmental fiscal arrangement. This would replace some provincial transfers for low-income individuals and families, including many non-refundable and refundable tax credits, thereby reducing its net cost.

Costing a national guaranteed basic income using the Ontario basic income model

Summary from the PBO:

The total annual estimated gross cost of the defined GBI would range between $76.0 billion and $79.5 billion for the period 2018-2023. The guaranteed income for disability would range between $3.2 billion and $3.5 billion.

PBO forecasts that more than 7.5 million people would benefit from the basic cost of GBI. Thus, on a per capita basis, the annual cost would range between $9,421 and $10,169 for the period 2018-2023.

The actual federal support for low-income Canadians and vulnerable groups defined by our benchmark model is about $32.9 billion. If this amount were deducted from the total estimated GBI cost of $76.0 billion in 2018-2019, the net cost of a federally implemented GBI would be $43.1 billion. However, the GBI could take the form of a combined federal-provincial basic income system managed by an intergovernmental fiscal arrangement. This would replace some provincial transfers for low-income individuals and families, including many non-refundable and refundable tax credits, thereby reducing its net cost.

On a per capita basis, the annual cost would range between $9,421 and $10,169 for the period 2018-2023.

2018-08-10
www.pbo-dpb.gc.ca 2018-04-18 18:54:06

Summary from the PBO:

The total annual estimated gross cost of the defined GBI would range between $76.0 billion and $79.5 billion for the period 2018-2023. The guaranteed income for disability would range between $3.2 billion and $3.5 billion.

PBO forecasts that more than 7.5 million people would benefit from the basic cost of GBI. Thus, on a per capita basis, the annual cost would range between $9,421 and $10,169 for the period 2018-2023.

The actual federal support for low-income Canadians and vulnerable groups defined by our benchmark model is about $32.9 billion. If this amount were deducted from the total estimated GBI cost of $76.0 billion in 2018-2019, the net cost of a federally implemented GBI would be $43.1 billion. However, the GBI could take the form of a combined federal-provincial basic income system managed by an intergovernmental fiscal arrangement. This would replace some provincial transfers for low-income individuals and families, including many non-refundable and refundable tax credits, thereby reducing its net cost.

Inequality Governance Income and Wealth Development Costing a national guaranteed basic income using the Ontario basic income model 2018-04-18 18:54:06
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The five-week college teachers' strike in Ontario was one of the longest labour stoppages in the system's history. Panelists discuss the implications of the strike for different stakeholders.

An Ontario college strike out

The five-week college teachers' strike in Ontario was one of the longest labour stoppages in the system's history. Panelists discuss the implications of the strike for different stakeholders.

2018-04-11
tvo.org 2018-01-15 20:05:25
Governance Employment Relations Law Public Policy Unions An Ontario college strike out 2018-01-15 20:05:25
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