Spotlight On: Sara Slinn

November 21, 2019 by CIRHR Communications

Graduated: 2003 
ThesisThe union certification experience in Ontario, 1993-1998
Research areas: Labour Law, Employment Law, Industrial Relations, Constitutional Law, Contracts 
NowAssociate Dean (Research and Institutional Relations) & Associate Professor, Osgoode Hall Law School, York University 

Dr. Sara Slinn’s research interests in the areas of labour and employment law have been reflected in legal practice, government publications, and grant-funded research. Slinn’s interdisciplinary research uses empirical methods of analysis, focusing on different approaches and impediments to collective employee representation, and the intersection of Charter rights and labour law.  

Selected publications:

  • Book Chapters 
    • Slinn, S. (2014). Non-union employee representation in the Royal Canadian Mounted Police: Resistance and revitalization. In P. J. Gollan, B. E. Kaufman & Taras Daphne (Eds.), Voice and involvement at work : Experience with non-union representation (pp. 227-263). New York : Routledge,. 
    • Slinn, S. (2009). Collective bargaining legislation in canada. In Taras Daphne, & Morley Gunderson (Eds.), Canadian labour and employment relations (6th ed., ). Toronto: Pearson Addison Wesley. 
    • Slinn, S. (2005). Vulnerability and legislation: Who gets left behind? In University of Western Ontario, & Heenan Blaikie (Firm) (Eds.), Administering labour law : Conference on labour law reform london, ontario, october 15, 2005 (). London, Ont. : University of Western Ontario, Faculty of Law. 
  • Recent articles: 

She has received numerous research grants. These have including a study funded by the National Academy of Arbitrators Research and Education Fund, with co-researchers Martin Malin (Chicago-Kent) and Jon Werner (Wisconsin) called “An Empirical Evaluation of the Adjudication of Statutory Human Rights Claims before Labour Arbitrators and Human Rights Tribunals in Ontario,” as well as SSHRC standard research grant investigating the workplace and expression; Borden Ladner Gervais Research Fellowships to explore labour board decision-making and back-to-work legislation; and a Foundation for Legal Research grant to study employer workplace communications. In 2012, Slinn completed a co-edited volume addressing collective bargaining structures for teachers. 

  • Sweetman, A., Slinn, S. J., & Queen's University (Kingston, Ont.). (2012). Dynamic negotiations: Teacher labour relations in Canadian elementary and secondary education. Kingston, Ont: School of Policy Studies, Queen's University. 

Slinn has also practiced labor and employment law with both the British Columbia Labour Relations Board and a private law firm in Vancouver. In 2015, Slinn, along with other CIRHR alumni and faculty, contributed to the Ontario government's Changing Workplaces Review academic research projects 

Slinn has also collaborated with Centre alumni and faculty on research on empowerment law and labour law, with Bruce Curran (CIRHR PhD 2005), Chris Riddell (CIRHR PhD 2003), and CIRHR professor Michele Campoliete, and policy challenges for public service reform with Zsuzsanna Lonti (CIRHR PhD 2003) and CIRHR professor Anil Verma.

Selected publications:

  • Curran, B.; Slinn, S. (2017). Just notice reform: Enhanced statutory termination provisions for the 99%. Canadian Labour and Employment Law Journal, 20(1), 229-268.  
  • Campolieti, M., Riddell, C., & Slinn, S. (2007). Labor Law Reform and the Role of Delay in Union Organizing: Empirical Evidence from Canada. ILR Review, 61(1), 32–58. 
  • Lonti, Z., Slinn, S. & Verma, A. (2002). Can Government Workplaces be made World-class?: Policy Challenges for Public Service Reform. Canadian Labour and Employment Law Journal. Lancaster House.  

In 2013, Slinn was awarded the Morley Gunderson Prize in Industrial Relations, which recognizes and honour current students or graduates who combine outstanding professional achievement with significant service to the Centre. She has taught courses in the MIRHR program, most recently a seminar on Labour Arbitration. Slinn also serves on the editorial board of the journal Relations Industrielles alongside several other CIRHR alumni, and is a member of both the Labour Law Casebook Group in Canada and the Labor Law Group in the United States. 

Before coming to the Centre, Slinn received her Hons. BA and MIR from Queen’s University and her LLB from the University of British Colombia, and practiced law in BC. After completing her PhD, she spent five years at Queen’s Faculty of Law and joined the faculty at Osgoode Law School at York University, where she is now Associate Dean (Research and Institutional Relations), in 2007. She has also been a visitor at Melbourne Law School’s Centre for Employment and Labour Relations Law, Cornell University’s Industrial and Labour Relations School and the RMIT Graduate School of Business and Law.