Below are the presentation outlines from our 2013 Labour Relations Seminar that was held at the InterContinental Toronto Centre Hotel.
FIRE CHIEF NEVILLE WHEATON, Corner Brook Fire Department
The collective agreement has just been signed and now you are directed to layoff firefighters. Fire Chief Neville Wheaton from the Corner Brook Fire Department will candidly share with you his traumatic experience and how he dealt with the issues and fallout from this significant municipal decision.
Neville Wheaton began his career in fire service in 1983 when he joined the Bedford Fire Department in Nova Scotia. He advanced quickly through the ranks, accepting the position of chief in 1991. In 1996, he became chief of the Iqaluit Fire Department, where he remained until accepting the position of chief of the Corner Brook department in 2001.
FIRE CHIEF BRUCE BURRELL, City of Calgary
Since joining the Calgary Fire Department (CFD) in August 2005, Bruce Burrell has remained committed to the CFD's vision that it will become "the international fire service leader". To that end, he has expanded the fire service to meet the needs of a rapidly growing city through the addition of new stations, staff and fire emergency vehicles.
Chief Burrell has worked to broaden the fire department's public contacts through fire- prevention and injury-prevention initiatives. His goal is for the CFD to reach one in 10 Calgarians annually through non-emergency initiatives. In 2009, those programs touched one in 11 residents.
Chief Burrell has been an instructor at the Emergency Management College in Ottawa and Dalhousie University. He has taught courses in personnel management for fire officers, disaster management for fire officers, emergency operations centre management, emergency site management and the CBRNE (Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, Radiological and Explosive) first responders program at the intermediate level.
Chief Burrell oversees a management team of nine deputy chiefs, one of whom has the primary responsibility for overseeing the day-to-day activities of the Calgary Emergency Management Agency, and a staff of approximately 1,550 employees. Prior to joining the CFD, he was a Deputy Chief with the Halifax Fire Department.
Chief Burrell will discuss how to maintain leadership through turbulent times of change and apply his real life experiences as examples.
FIRE CHIEF KEN BLOCK, City of Edmonton and GREG HOLUBOWICH, President of the Edmonton Firefighter's Union
Chief Ken Block’s career spans over thirty years in the Edmonton Fire Service, beginning as a firefighter, progressing through the ranks to Deputy Fire Chief and to Fire Chief of the City of Edmonton. He has received numerous awards, including the Alberta Centennial Medal as outstanding citizen (2005), the Federal Canadian Exemplary Services Medal (2000) and the Fire Services Exemplary Medal (2011).
He has worked as an advocate for fire fighters serving three terms as union president. His leadership was instrumental in successfully uniting a fractured labour management relationship, with Edmonton Fire Fighters Union, Local 209, eventually developing into one of the most progressive, highly regarded firefighter Unions in North America. The relationship that the Union has with the Fire Administration team, City Council and the City’s Senior management team is highly regarded as a model across Canada.
Greg Holubowich has been an employee with the City of Edmonton for over thirty years and an active member of Local 209 for over 22 years. During that time he has been on the Executive Board for twelve years and has been President of Local 209 for seven years while continuing to work as many Fire Fighting shifts at his station that he can. Greg also served on the Alberta Fire Firefighters’ Association Executive Board from 2002 to 2007. He is the IAFF Canadian Representative on the Canadian General Standard’s Board and the IAFF Western Canadian Service Representative for the Commission on Fire Accreditation International. He has been a progressive leader for his members in successfully promoting a positive labour management relationship with Edmonton Fire Rescue Services.
Chief Ken Block and Greg Holubowich, President of the Edmonton Firefighter's Union, will share the story of how Edmonton Fire Rescue Services has evolved into a progressive and leading edge fire service built on a positive labour management relationship based on trust and common goals.
ELIZABETH BOURNS, Director, Human Resources, Town of Oakville and LOUISE ANN RIDDELL, Manager of Strategic Healthy Workplace, City of Mississauga
The Ontario Municipal Human Resources Association provides leadership and direction on Human Resources management issues to all Ontario Municipalities. It provides a medium for communication and exchange of information, knowledge and ethical standards for those in the field of Public Sector Human Resources Management.
OMHRA promotes the interests of the Association with all levels of government, other organizations and to review and make representations with respect to any government legislation, policies or programs which affect persons engaged in the field of Public Sector Human Resources Management.
Elizabeth Bourns, Vice President and Louise Ann Riddell, Director of OMHRA will provide Fire Chiefs and HR professional staff with a working overview of OMHRA’s Labour Relations Information System (LRIS). This data base designed, built and maintained by OMHRA is an excellent strategic tool for collective bargaining for departments with full time IAFF agreements. A demonstration will be given of the LRIS’s capacity and its ability to provide reports on specific articles and provisions of the collective agreements. Finally, access to the system will be discussed with solutions presented to departments who do not have an OMHRA member.
LARRY STEINBERG, Arbitrator
Larry Steinberg is a graduate of Dalhousie Law School (where he taught labour law for several years) and the Harvard Law School. He practised labour law for almost 30 years and left private practise in 2011 to pursue a private arbitration and mediation practice.
About Your Hicks Morley Presenters
MICHELLE A. ALTON, Associate
Michelle Alton is an Associate lawyer at Hicks Morley’s Toronto Office and currently practices in all areas of labour and employment law. Michelle’s practice in particular encompasses human rights matters, labour relations and collective bargaining, wrongful dismissal litigation and workplace safety and insurance issues. Michelle works with a variety of clients in the public and private sectors, providing strategic human resources advice and representation, as well as client training.
Michelle received her LL.B. from the University of Western Ontario and has a Bachelor of Science degree from Queen’s University, as well as a Master of Science degree in Biology from McGill University. Michelle was the recipient of numerous advocacy awards throughout law school, including the Justice C.D. Stewart Trophy, which is awarded to the best team of advocates in Western’s Upper Year Appellate Advocacy Competition. Michelle worked as a summer student at Hicks Morley and also completed her articles at the firm.
MICHAEL J. KENNEDY, Partner
Michael Kennedy is a partner in the firm and has practised his entire career at Hicks Morley. Michael’s practice ranges from advising large private sector employers to a wide variety of public sector employers such as universities and municipalities. He regularly advises on labour and employment matters including labour arbitrations, negotiations, human rights matters, Ontario Labour Relations Board proceedings, and civil litigation, including wrongful dismissal claims. Michael has extensive experience in advising on strike related matters, including seeking picketing injunctions in the Courts and seeking cease and desist orders for illegal strikes at the Ontario Labour Relations Board. During the recent City of Toronto strike he was successful in representing the City in obtaining injunctions and cease and desist applications at the Ontario Labour Relations Board. Michael specializes in providing advice to municipalities on labour and employment matters. He has advised and represented over twenty municipalities regarding fire fighter interest arbitration disputes. Michael also chairs the Firm's Universities Practice Group.
WILLIAM M. LEMAY, Partner
Will LeMay advises a wide variety of public and private sector employees on general labour and employment matters, as well as issues related to the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act. Will also appears regularly before the Workplace Safety and Insurance Appeals Tribunal, the Labour Relations Board, arbitrations and courts. Will also works with clients to manage the risks and issues associated with the accommodation of disabilities and attendance management issues. Will also negotiates collective agreements and assists clients in resolving complex litigation matters. Will was selected by LEXPERT as one of Canada’s Leading Lawyers under 40.
JONATHAN MAIER, Associate
Jonathan Maier practises in all areas of labour and employment law. He has appeared before the Ontario Labour Relations Board, the Superior Court of Justice, the Divisional Court and various labour arbitrators and mediators. Jonathan acts on behalf of a wide variety of private sector clients in both Canada and the United States along with several public sector organizations in Ontario including municipalities, police services boards and universities.
MARK H. MASON, Partner
Mark Mason’s practical approach to labour and employment law and strong focus on solutions is an asset to his clients who include private sector employers as well as municipalities and health care institutions in the public sector. His practice includes arbitration advocacy, employment litigation, human rights proceedings and the entire spectrum of collective bargaining, including interest arbitrations and strike management. A portion of Mark’s practice also involves day-to-day human resources and workplace consulting.
Mark has quickly become one of Ontario’s leading counsel in the emergency services sector through his work with municipalities in managing their relationships with both firefighters and paramedics. Mark’s extensive work in these areas has given him the level of knowledge and expertise necessary to properly advise employers in these bargaining relationships as well as their relationships with other municipal employees. His experience also allows Mark to ensure that management is knowledgeable in both current and emerging sector trends.
Mark works closely with various employer groups, speaks extensively at conferences and seminars, and conducts client training workshops, all on a wide variety of issues facing management in both labour and employment law. This allows him to work with employers to provide them with the knowledge and tools they need to anticipate and manage their workplace issues. Mark also chairs the Firm's Municipal Practice Group.
DANIEL MICHALUK, Partner
Dan Michaluk is chair of Hicks Morley’s information management and privacy practice group. He acts exclusively on behalf of management in a full range of matters related to information management and privacy, regulatory defence and employment.
Dan is a well-known and published writer and speaker on the law of information management and privacy. He has authored a chapter on information governance in Managing Personal Information: Insights on Corporate Risk and Opportunity for Privacy-Savvy Leaders (Carswell: 2012) and chapters on privacy, corporate systems access and e-discovery in E-Discovery in Canada (LexisNexis: 2011). He also regularly acts as lead counsel in matters heard before labour arbitrators, human rights tribunals and all levels of court.
Dan received a Bachelor of Commerce in 1994 and an LL.B. in 1997. Prior to joining the firm he was the Director of Operations for a start-up business simulation software company.
LAURI REESOR, Partner
Lauri Reesor is a partner in Hicks Morley’s Toronto office and advises a wide variety of both public and private sector clients with respect to labour relations and employment issues. Lauri regularly appears before various administrative tribunals including the Pay Equity Hearings Tribunal and the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario. She has appeared before the Federal Court of Canada, the Superior Court of Justice, the Divisional Court and the Ontario Court of Appeal. In addition, Lauri has a thriving labour arbitration practice. With respect to litigation, Lauri has developed a niche in class action litigation on behalf of employers including claims for unpaid wages, retiree benefits and tort claims. Lauri is a frequent speaker and provides client training on human rights, pay equity, class proceedings and all aspects of the employment relationship.
JOHN W. SAUNDERS, Partner
John Saunders has been with the firm since he articled in 1986/1987. He advises a wide variety of unionized and non-unionized employers on all issues relating to labour and employment law. His practice includes collective agreement negotiations, rights and interest arbitrations and wrongful dismissal litigation.
He acts for a wide variety of employers in the forestry, metals and manufacturing industries and provides them with strategic advice as they deal with the fiscal, legal and practical realities of the current economic times. In addition, John represents numerous municipalities with particular expertise regarding fire department and EMS labour and employment matters.
He is regularly invited as a key note speaker to industry and legal conferences. On an annual basis since 2006, John has been named in the peer reviewed publication The Best Lawyers in Canada in the Labour and Employment Law Area. He serves on the Hicks Morley Executive Committee as the Finance Partner.
John is the past Chairman of the Board of Elders in his local church. He is an avid downhill skier and enjoys fixing things at his cottage in the Muskokas.