Dr. Bob Barnetson is a professor of labour relations at Athabasca University. His research focuses on the political economy of workplace regulation in Alberta with specific attention to occupational injury, child labour and farm worker rights. Barnetson is the author of several Parkland Institute reports and blog posts. His recent books include Canada’s labour market training system (Athabasca U Press, 2018), Farm workers in Alberta (UAlberta Press, 2016), and Health and safety in Canadian workplaces (Athabasca U Press, 2016).
Bill 47 Pt. 2 - Less Compensation for Work-related Injuriesblog | Nov 12, 2020
This is the second of two blog posts examining Bill 47. This post focuses on changes to the Workers’ Compensation Act. These changes save employers money by reducing the likelihood of injured workers receiving benefits and reducing the value of those benefits. Bill 47 also makes it harder for workers to appeal decisions and reduces the likelihood of returning to their job once recovered.
Bill 47 Pt. 1 - Making Alberta Workplaces Less Safeblog | Nov 12, 2020
Alberta’s United Conservative government recently introduced Bill 47 (Ensuring Safety and Cutting Red Tape Act, 2020). The bill makes substantial changes to the Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Act and the Workers’ Compensation Act and represents a rollback of workers’ safety protections. This is the first of two blog posts examining Bill 47. This post focuses on changes to the OHS Act that, if passed, will come into effect Sept. 1, 2021.
Cargill, COVID, and the failure of Alberta OHS policyblog | Apr 24, 2020
Two meat-packing plants in southern Alberta have given rise to nearly one in six of Alberta’s 3400 cases of COVID-19. Athabasca University's Bob Barnetson and Jason Foster examine what went wrong at the two meatpacking plants, what it tells us about the inadequacy of OHS policy in Alberta and how the incidents could have been avoided.
Performance-based funding means more red tape, uncertainty for post-secondary institutionsblog | Jan 29, 2020
The UCP government has announced it will be implementing a performance-based funding model for the province's 26 post-secondary institutions. Bob Barnetson looks at what we know, and the potential impacts for post-secondary in Alberta.
Bill 26 strips farm workers' basic employment rightsblog | Nov 27, 2019
Athabasca University labour relations professor Bob Barnetson analyzes the UCP's Bill 26, which repeals many of the gains Alberta farm workers gained with 2015’s Bill 6, adds new exclusions, and strips agricultural workers of many basic employment rights.
Rethinking Alberta’s essential services legislationblog | Aug 30, 2019
As we head into the 2019 Labour Day long weekend, Athabasca University labour relations professor Bob Barnetson looks at Alberta's essential services legislation and the likely impact of changes the UCP has promised.
Bill 2 grinds wages, complicates payroll, and impedes union drivesblog | May 28, 2019
Despite the stated benefits of the UCP government's new labour legislation, Bill 2 will reduce workers' income, make payroll administration more complex for employers, and impede workers seeking to join a union.
UCP platform will drive down wagesblog | Apr 03, 2019
Athabasca University labour professor Bob Barnetson breaks down exactly what the UCP platform planks on employment, labour, and training would mean for workers in Alberta.
UCP pledge to repeal Bill 6 would endanger farm workersblog | Mar 21, 2019
Athabasca University labour relations professor Bob Barnetson analyzes the UCP pledge to repeal 2015’s Enhanced Protection for Farm and Ranch Workers Act (more commonly referred to as Bill 6).
Farm injury data supports mandatory safety rules and injury compensationblog | Sep 03, 2018
Bob Barnetson looks at what WCB data reveals about the impact of mandatory workers’ compensation coverage for paid, non-family farm workers in Alberta.