Supreme Court Ruling Good for Women, Families

A decision by the Supreme Court decision to uphold the federal government’s right to offer maternity and parental benefits through the Employment Insurance program is welcome news for Canadian workers. It is especially good news for working women and young families.

“Employment Insurance is one of the single most important programs the federal government delivers” said Barbara Byers, Executive Vice-President of the Canadian Labour Congress.

Only a third – just over 30% – of the unemployed qualify for unemployment benefits because the rules haven’t kept up with the times and how Canadians work. Byers said that by reducing the eligibility requirement across the country to 360 hours of work, the federal government could make the program a real insurance for today’s workers.


Corporate Director Pay Outstrips Workers Salaries

Compensation for corporate directors increased by 41 per cent between 2002 and 2004, according to the Conference Board’s latest Compensation of Boards of Directors survey.

Among the 49 companies that responded to both the Conference Board’s 2002 and 2004 surveys, the average annual potential compensation for outside directors increased from $26,177 to $36,917 over this two-year period.

The average wage of Canadian workers over that time increased 3.4 per cent to $35,551, up from $34,350 two years earlier.


Shift Workers Suffer Insomnia More Often

An estimated 3.3 million Canadians aged 15 or older, or about one in every seven, have problems going to sleep or staying asleep, and thus are considered to have insomnia, according to a new study in the latest edition of Health Reports. Just under one-fifth (18%) of these people average less than five hours of sleep a night.

While stress, obesity, and shronic pain contributed to insomnia, the odds that shift workers would report insomnia were high compared with other workers.