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Viewpoints From Tim Fitzgerald Maguire: an LLM Candidate, City Worker and Labour Leader/Activist

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See the LLM in Labour Relations and Employment Law from Tim Fitz Maguire’s perspective. He is an Ontario Works Caseworker and past President of CUPE Local 79.

For over a decade, you held a number of Labour Leader/Activist roles at CUPE Local 79. What prompted your decision to pursue your LLM in Labour Relations and Employment Law at this point in your career and beyond?

After nearly twenty years in various leadership roles at CUPE Local 79, including six years as President, and deepening engagement in the broader labour movement and various social justice communities, I decided to pursue an LLM in Labour and Employment Law at Osgoode in order to really enhance my legal knowledge and skills with the goal of making broader contribution in advocacy for improved labour and employment standards and rights, and social justice. I’ve also had an interest in learning aspects of the law since I was very young and saw the LLM at Osgoode as an opportunity to pursue that long-held dream in a unique way.

I’m hopeful that the skills and knowledge gained in the LLM on Labour and Employment Law will contribute to career development options beyond my current role, whether at the City of Toronto in the labour movement, or other advocacy and leadership roles.

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What are some standout experiences thus far in the program?

The LLM is both intensive and challenging, yet the rewards outweigh those challenges.

I’m excited by the opportunity to study both the historical and current developments in law and think about how one could apply this knowledge to make a new contribution to protecting and improving peoples’ working lives. Three things stand out for me thus far in the LLM in Labour and Employment Law will help with this goal in mind:

  1. Everyone, whether instructor, student, management-side, union-side, or neutral is passionate about ensuring labour and employment law standards are in place despite a rapidly changing and often precarious, less stable labour market.
  1. The breadth of labour and employment law elements covered in the various courses in the program, from the historical development to contemporary issues, arbitration, labour rights as human rights, to international and transnational dimensions. A common thread throughout the program is the importance of further developing critical thinking skills, which is useful in understanding both particular disputes and the broader legal issues.
  1. It became quickly evident that there could be improved engagement between academic/labour scholars and the labour movement with other labour and employment law activists. I would like to find a way to contribute to improving that engagement.

Want to know more about how you can start your studies in Fall 2020? Sign up for an info session today.

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