Labour Relations Officer, Canada Post Corporation
|Degrees:||Bachelor of Arts, Honours in Law ('12)|
I always had an interest in law. I chose Carleton University because the B.A. in Law program was the only one of its kind, and because the program offered a great balance between courses analyzing law as a social phenomenon on the one hand, and practitioner-focused coursework in law on the other. Being located in Ottawa was a bonus. With Parliament, the Government of Canada, and the Supreme Court of Canada right around the corner, I had access to a unique perspective and set of resources not available anywhere else in the country.
As I progressed through the B.A. in Law program, I was very drawn to the study of law in relation to the workplace. Courses such as Labour Law, Mediation, and Employment Dispute Resolution not only reinforced my interest in pursuing a career in labour & employment, but also gave me an excellent analytical toolset to succeed in it.
I also had the opportunity to write an Undergraduate Research Essay on the historical development and judicial treatment public sector collective bargaining. The insight I gained through that research proved very helpful to me in my employment at the (as it then was) Public Service Labour Relations Board, where managing the collective bargaining process for the federal public service was a core part of our mandate.
Working in Labour Relations at Canada Post Corporation, where union coverage is well above the national average, and the labour history is one of the longest and most storied in Canada, it is absolutely fundamental to have a solid grounding in labour law, labour relations, and dispute resolution in the workplace. At Carleton I learned a great deal about not only the law of the unionized workplace, but also how to operate effectively within it. I learned much, for example, about the collective bargaining process, collective agreement interpretation, strategic grievance handling, grievance arbitration, and workplace health and safety. It was especially enriching that the instruction came from respected academics, practitioners, and policymakers with both employer and labour backgrounds.
I took an unusual path to graduation. I first graduated from the 3-year B.A. General program which I completed through full-time studies. Not long after, I returned to Carleton on a part-time basis to complete my Honours year while working full-time. This was very manageable for me because of the multitude of courses that were either self-directed (i.e. Directed Readings courses or the Honours Research Essay), or were available to attend during the evening or online through CUOL’s Video on Demand service. I completed the Honours program in 2012, but I still have—and frequently consult—many of the texts I collected during my time at Carleton. Some I’ve kept simply because they’re interesting, but most I’ve kept because they’re still very relevant today.