December 17, 2014
On December 16, 2014, the Employees’ Voting Rights Act (the “Act”), also known as Bill C-525, received Royal Assent, and will come into force on June 16, 2015. This legislation will amend the Canada Labour Code, the Parliamentary Employment and Staff Relations Act (“PESRA”), and the Public Service Labour Relations Act (“PSLRA”).
The Act fundamentally changes the union certification and decertification process for federally regulated employees. Specifically, automatic “card check” certification and decertification has been eliminated and replaced with secret ballot representation votes. In other words, under the Act, the Board will only certify a trade union after a majority of employees (who cast a ballot) vote to have a union represent them as their bargaining agent.
In determining whether to order a vote the Board must be satisfied that:
A new process for decertification has also been implemented under the Act. The Board will grant an order terminating the rights of a bargaining unit where:
It is important to note that the Senate passed Bill C-525 with an observation that there were drafting errors with the Bill that it urged be fixed before the legislation comes into force. These errors are technical and exist in the amendments to the PSLRA. The Chair of the Public Service Labour Relations and Employment Board has stated these errors impact the Board’s power to regulate the evidence that is filed in a certification application.
We will update you if these amendments have any impact on the operation of the Act or your business.
If you have any questions about this topic or any other questions relating to workplace law, please do not hesitate to contact a Mathews Dinsdale lawyer.
For more information on new developments in Workplace Law, please refer to our website at: http://www.mathewsdinsdale.com/news-events/in-a-flash/
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