Labour-Management Relations Certificate Program Expert Session Leaders

Our program instructors are top academics from the University of Saskatchewan in the areas of Industrial Relations and Human Resources including the former Dean of the Edwards School of Business. We also have one of Canada's most respected arbitrators joining us, Allen Ponak.  In addition to our well-qualified instructors, we will be joined by industry expert guest lecturers who will discuss special topics and contribute a balanced perspective.

Beth Bilson, PhD, LLB, MA, BA

Beth Bilson

Beth Bilson, PhD, LLB, MA, BA – is the University Secretary at the University of Saskatchewan.  She previously worked as the Assistant Dean and Professor in the College of Law at the University of Saskatchewan, as well as an Associate Professor at the Johnson Shoyama School of Public Policy. With a degree in law and history from the University of Saskatchewan she teaches and writes in the areas of torts, labour and administrative law and legal history. Beth has extensive experience in grievance, collective bargaining and labour arbitration having received numerous regional and national awards for her work. She is a member of the Law Society of Saskatchewan and has received designation of Queen’s Counsel.

Gary Entwistle, PhD, CPA, CA

Gary Entwistle

Gary Entwistle, PhD, CPA, CA - joined the University of Saskatchewan after practicing public accounting with KPMG in both Canada and New Zealand. In 1997 he received his Ph.D. from the Richard Ivey School of Business. His research is primarily in the areas of financial accounting and reporting and accounting standard setting, and has attracted external funding from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, the Canadian Academic Accounting Association, public accounting firms and provincial accounting organizations. During 2009-2010 Gary was the President of the Canadian Academic Accounting Association.

Dionne Pohler, PhD, B.Comm Co-operative Education, CHRP

Dionne Pohler

Dionne Pohler, PhD, B.Comm Co-operative Education, CHRP – Dr. Dionne Pohler is an assistant professor at the Centre for Industrial Relations and Human Resources at the University of Toronto. Her research in employment relations and human resource management has included comparing the processes of HR professionalization in Canada and the USA, and exploring the impact of relationships between strategy, HR, unions and employee voice and involvement on individuals and organizations. More recent research includes projects on compensation/HR systems and inequality, and organizational implementation of and compliance with labour and employment policy. 

Allen Ponak, BA, MLIR, PhD 

Allen Ponak

Allen Ponak, BA, MLIR, PhD  – has arbitrated since 1985 and is a listed arbitrator in a number of national and regional collective agreements. He has been a faculty member at UBC, McGill, University of Calgary, and University of Saskatchewan.  His film, “Beyond Collision: High Integrity Labour Relations”, won a Silver Screen Award at the 2005 Los Angeles International Video and Film Festival. In 2015, Allen was named the winner of the prestigious Bora Laskin award for his contributions to Canadian labour law. In 2015/2016 he was president of the National Academy of Arbitrators, the fourth Canadian president in the Academy’s 70 year history. 

Daphne Taras, PhD, LLM, MBA, MA, BA

Daphne Taras

Daphne Taras, PhD, LLM, MBA, MA, BA - is the Dean of the Ted Rogers School of Management at Ryerson University in Toronto.  She is the Dean Emerita of the Edwards School of Business at the University of Saskatchewan, where she served from 2010-2016. She was a professor and Associate Dean (Research) and Director of the PhD program at the Haskayne School of Business, U of C. She has experience in mediating labour disputes, facilitating union-management committees and training in conflict resolution. Daphne was an expert advisor to the federal Labour Standards Commission and was awarded the US-based Labour and Employment Relations Association’s Excellence in Education Award. She is a Top 100 Woman in Canada, a Top 10 Woman in Saskatchewan, and a recipient of the Saskatoon YMCA Award in Education.

Scott Walsworth, PhD, Masters of Industrial Relations and HR, BA (Academic Program Director)

Scott Walsworth


Scott Walsworth, PhD, Masters of Industrial Relations and Human Resources, BA – is an Associate professor of industrial relations at the Edwards School of Business. His research examines the effect of unions on various management decisions and firm outcomes, such as innovation, employment and profits. In his role as the Hanlon Scholar in International Business, he also researches the international workplace, more specifically the immigration experiences of skilled workers from India. In 2011 he was named the Principal Investigator on a prestigious 3-year Standard Research Grant from SSHRC.

Perry Sirota, PhD, MBA

Dr. Perry Sirota, PhD, MBA - is a Clinical and Forensic Psychologist, and organizational consultant, based in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. He holds a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Queen's University and an M.B.A. from the University of Phoenix. He divides his time equally between a thriving clinical and consulting practice, that includes; psychological assessments and consultations relating to litigation, accommodation, disability management, threats, and violence; workplace investigations and workplace conflict; and organizational consulting, coaching, training and conducting workshops. Training and workshops cover a range of topics, including workplace mental health, bullying and harassment, respectful workplaces, leadership, and substance abuse. Dr. Sirota has a special interest and extensive experience in the unionized workplace setting. Dr. Sirota also prepares psychological evaluations for courts and administrative tribunals, and has testified over 400 times as an expert witness in the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench, Provincial Court, Family and Youth Court, and at labour arbitrations. 

Dates, Fees & Registration >>

Past Guest Speakers have included:

Dr. Perry Sirota, Sirota Psychological Services, SMP Management Solutions

Bertha Greenstein, Negotiations and Labour Relations, Alberta Health Services

Pete Suderman, Labour Relations and Mediation, Labour Relations and Workplace Safety

Aaron Fornwald, Human Resources, Nutrien

Andy Sims, Andrew C L Sims Prof. Corp, previously Alberta Labour Relations Board

Dr. Richard Hurd, IRL School, Cornell University

Kevin Wilson, MLT Aikens LLP

Hanah Gasper, SGEU

Robert Gibbings, Sharfsten Gibbings Walen Fisher LLP

Hon.Don Morgan, Government of Saskatchewan

Hugh Wagner, Grain & General Services Union

Glen Billingsley, SGEU

Leah Schatz, Q.C., MLT Aikens LLP

Jordan Jakubowski, Nutrien

Tom Hesse, United Food and Commerical Workers

Session leaders and program content are subject to change. Information in this page is accurate at the time of publication.

  "This program was exceptionally good.  The opportunity to chat with arbitrators, bargaining representatives, national reknown speakers and teachers was amazing!"

Andrea Zeigler, Meewasin Valley Authority

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  "The Labour-Management Relations Certificate program has provided an opportunity to discuss critical labor relations issues with respected faculty and labor relations mangers. Thank you for the opportunity!"
- Jackie Lindenbach, MacKenzie Art Gallery

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