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First Session, Thirty-Seventh Legislature

This version is based on the printed bill that was distributed in the Legislature after First Reading.
It is not the official version.   If accuracy is critical, you can obtain a copy of the printed bill from Statutory Publications.

Bill 44

THE LABOUR RELATIONS AMENDMENT ACT (2)


Explanatory Note

(Assented to                                         )

HER MAJESTY, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba, enacts as follows:

C.C.S.M. c. L10 amended

1           The Labour Relations Act is amended by this Act.

2           The definition "collective agreement" in section 1 is amended by striking out "a first collective agreement the provisions of which are settled by the board under section 87" and substituting "a collective agreement the provisions of which are settled by the board or an arbitrator under section 87 or 87.2".

3           Subsection 12(2) is amended by striking out "outside the context of a strike or lockout" and substituting "and which was not related to the strike or lockout or any act in support of the strike or in opposition to the lockout".

4           Section 29.1 is repealed.

5           The following is added after subsection 39(3):

Interim certification

39(4)       If a union has applied for certification and the board is satisfied that any dispute about the composition of the proposed unit cannot affect the union's right to certification, the board may certify the union as the bargaining agent for the unit on an interim basis pending its determination of the composition of the unit. Either party may then give notice to commence collective bargaining under section 60. Once the board determines the composition of the unit, it shall issue a final certificate to the union certifying it as the bargaining agent for the employees in the unit.

Time not to run until final certificate

39(5)       Where the board certifies a union on an interim basis under subsection (4), the time period referred to in subsection 35(1) does not begin to run until the date of final certification.

6(1)        Subsection 40(1) is repealed and the following is substituted:

Certification, representation vote, or dismissal

40(1)        Subject to this Part, when the board receives an application for certification, it shall do the following:

1.  If it is satisfied that, at the time the application was filed, 65% or more of the employees in the unit wished to have the union represent them as their bargaining agent, it shall certify the union as the bargaining agent for employees in the unit.

2.  If it is satisfied that, at the time the application was filed, at least 40% but fewer than 65% of the employees in the unit wished to have the union represent them as their bargaining agent, it shall conduct a vote among the employees in the unit in accordance with section 48.

3.  If it is satisfied that, at the time the application was filed, fewer than 40% of the employees in the unit wished to have the union represent them as their bargaining agent, it shall dismiss the application.

6(2)        Subsections 40(2) and (3) are amended by striking out "subsection 48(2)" and substituting "section 48".

7           The centred heading "COMMENCING COLLECTIVE BARGAINING" is added before section 60.

8           The centred heading "CONCILIATION" is added before section 67.

9           The centred heading "RATIFICATION VOTES" is added before section 69.

10(1)       Subsection 69(1) is amended by striking out everything after "by secret ballot" and substituting the following:

(a) of the employees in the unit; or

(b) in the case of employees in the construction industry, of the employees in the unit who are members of the craft unit;

to determine whether they accept or reject the proposed collective agreement.

10(2)       The following is added after subsection 69(1):

Definition of "construction"

69(1.1)     For the purpose of subsection (1), "construction" has the same meaning as in The Construction Industry Wages Act.

10(3)       Subsection 69(2) is amended in the part before clause (a) by adding "or craft unit who may vote" after "unit".

10(4)       Subsection 69(3) is amended by striking out "who vote" and substituting "or craft unit who may vote and who cast ballots".

10(5)       Clause 69(4)(a) is repealed and the following is substituted:

(a) any collective agreement the provisions of which are settled by the board or an arbitrator under section 87 or 87.2, or by arbitration under The Public Schools Act;

11          Subsection 70(1) is repealed and the following is substituted:

Complaint about ratification vote

70(1)       Any employee who may vote under subsection 69(1) may make a complaint to the board alleging a failure to comply with a requirement of section 69.

12          Section 71 is amended in the part before clause (a) by striking out "in a vote held under subsection 69(1) the employees in a unit reject" and substituting "a vote under subsection 69(1) rejects".

13          Subsection 72(1) is amended in the part before clause (a) by striking out "in a vote held under subsection 69(1) the employees in a unit accept" and substituting "a vote under subsection 69(1) accepts".

14(1)       Subsection 72.1(1) is repealed.

14(2)       Subsection 72.1(2) is amended by striking out "during a strike or lockout," and substituting "before or after the commencement of a strike or lockout".

15          The centred heading "COLLECTIVE AGREEMENTS" is added before section 73.

16          The centred heading "COMPULSORY CHECK-OFF" is added before section 76.

17          Section 76.1 is repealed.

18          The centred heading "GRIEVANCE ARBITRATION" is added before section 78.

19          The centred heading "OBLIGATION TO ACT FAIRLY AND CONSULT" is added before section 80.

20          The centred heading "VOLUNTARY INTEREST ARBITRATION" is added before section 82.

21          The centred heading "TECHNOLOGICAL CHANGE" is added before section 83.

22          The centred heading "SETTLEMENT OF FIRST AGREEMENTS" is added before section 87.

23          The following is added after section 87:

SETTLEMENT OF SUBSEQUENT AGREEMENTS

Dispute about subsequent agreements

87.1(1)     Where a collective agreement has expired and a strike or lockout has commenced, the employer or the bargaining agent for a unit may apply in writing to the board to settle the provisions of a collective agreement if

(a) at least 60 days have elapsed since the strike or lockout commenced; and

(b) the parties have not concluded a new collective agreement.

Notice

87.1(2)     The board shall promptly notify the parties when it receives an application.

Board to conduct vote

87.1(3)      After receiving an application, the board shall conduct a vote of the employees in the unit to determine whether they wish the board to settle the provisions of the collective agreement.

Vote within seven days

87.1(4)     The board shall conduct the vote within seven days after the application is received unless it thinks exceptional circumstances warrant an extension.

Parties may agree to arbitration

87.2(1)     If the employees in a unit vote in favour of having the board settle the collective agreement, the bargaining agent and the employer may, within 10 days after the vote is taken, serve a notice on the board stating that they wish to have the collective agreement settled by arbitration. The notice must name a person who has agreed to act as arbitrator.

Arbitrator to settle collective agreement

87.2(2)      The arbitrator shall settle the provisions of the collective agreement within 60 days after notice is served on the board under subsection (1).

Arbitration provisions of this Act apply

87.2(3)     The provisions of this Act respecting arbitration apply, with necessary modifications, to an arbitrator acting under this section.

Strike or lockout must end

87.2(4)     If the employees in a unit vote in favour of having the board settle the collective agreement,

(a) the employees shall immediately terminate the strike; or

(b) the employer shall immediately terminate the lockout;

and the employer shall reinstate the employees as provided for in subsection 87(5).

Board may settle collective agreement

87.2(5)     If the employees in a unit vote in favour of having the board settle the collective agreement and the parties have not agreed to arbitration under subsection (1), the board shall inquire into negotiations between the parties. If the parties do not settle the provisions of a collective agreement between them within 60 days after the results of the vote are made known, the board shall, within a further three days,

(a) settle the provisions of a collective agreement between the parties; or

(b) notify the parties in writing that it declines to settle the provisions of a collective agreement because it believes that the parties might be able — either through their own endeavours or with the assistance of a board representative or a conciliation officer — to conclude a collective agreement within a further 30 days.

Assistance of a board representative or conciliator

87.2(6)     For the purposes of this section, the board may

(a) appoint a board representative; or

(b) request the minister to appoint a conciliation officer;

to confer with the parties to assist them in settling the provisions of a collective agreement.

If parties fail to conclude agreement

87.2(7)     If notice is given to the parties under clause(5)(b) and they fail to conclude a collective agreement within the 30 days set out in the notice, the board shall, within a further 30-day period, settle the provisions of a collective agreement between them.

Term of collective agreement

87.2(8)     A collective agreement settled by an arbitrator or the board under this section is effective for a period of one year following the expiry date of the previous collective agreement, or for any longer period the parties agree to.

Collective agreement binding

87.2(9)     A collective agreement settled under this section is binding on the parties and on the employees in the unit as though it were a collective agreement voluntarily entered into between the parties, but the parties may nevertheless amend its provisions by a subsequent written agreement.

Subsections 87(6) and (8) apply

87.2(10)    Subsections 87(6) and (8) apply, with necessary changes, to the settlement of a collective agreement under this section.

24          Subsection 95(1) is repealed and the following is substituted:

Appointment of mediator on joint request

95(1)       Where collective bargaining has commenced, if the parties jointly request the minister, in writing, to appoint a mediator, the minister shall appoint a mediator to endeavour to bring about agreement between them. Where the request names a mediator that the parties have selected jointly, the minister shall appoint that person.

Appointment on request of one party

95(1.1)      Where collective bargaining has commenced, either party may request the minister, in writing, to appoint a mediator, and the minister may appoint a mediator to endeavour to bring about agreement between them if he or she considers it advisable to do so.

25(1)       Subsection 111(2) is amended by striking out "board and its members" and substituting "board, its members, and a mediator appointed under subsection 95(2)".

25(2)       Subsection 111(4) is amended by striking out "section 95" and substituting "subsection 95(1) or (1.1)".

26          Subsection 120(1) is amended by striking out "and" at the end of clause (f), by adding "and" at the end of clause (g), and by adding the following after clause (g):

(h) to set fixed dates for hearings, for which an adjournment may not be granted.

27(1)       Subsection 130(1) is repealed and the following is substituted:

Referral of grievance to board

130(1)       When an employee in a unit bound by a collective agreement, or the bargaining agent, initiates a grievance under the agreement about

(a) the dismissal, suspension or other discipline of an employee; or

(b) any other matter that the board considers to be of an exceptional nature;

the bargaining agent may refer the grievance, including any question about its arbitrability, to the board to be dealt with in accordance with this section.

27(2)       Subsection 130(3) is repealed and the following is substituted:

Time for referral: dismissal or suspension over 30 days

130(3)      No grievance under a collective agreement about the dismissal of an employee or the suspension of an employee for more than 30 days may be referred to the board under this section until the grievance procedure under the agreement has been exhausted, or until 14 days have elapsed since the grievance was first brought to the other party's attention, whichever occurs first.

Time for referral: other cases

130(3.1)    No grievance under a collective agreement about any matter other than the dismissal of an employee or the suspension of an employee for more than 30 days may be referred to the board under this section until the grievance procedure under the agreement has been exhausted, or until 30 days have elapsed since the grievance was first brought to the other party's attention, whichever occurs first.

27(3)       Subsection 130(5) is amended

(a) in the part before clause (a), by striking out "within the time periods prescribed in this section" and substituting "in accordance with this section"; and

(b) by repealing clause (a) and substituting the following:

(a) shall appoint an arbitrator to hear and determine the matter arising out of the grievance;

27(4)       Subsection 130(10) is repealed and the following is substituted:

Hearing and decision

130(10)     If the parties are unable to settle the grievance, the arbitrator appointed under subsection (5) shall proceed to hear and determine the matter arising out of the grievance.  The arbitrator shall issue a decision

(a) within 14 days after concluding the hearing, if the grievance is about an employee's dismissal or a suspension for more than 30 days; or

(b) within 28 days after concluding the hearing, in any other case.

Overall time limit for decision

130(10.1)   Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, an arbitrator appointed under subsection (5) shall issue a decision within 90 days after being appointed unless the board, on application, extends the period. If no decision is issued within 90 days or any extended period allowed by the board, this section ceases to apply and the matter shall be dealt with under sections 114 to 128.

Board approval for adjournments

130(10.2)   Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, an arbitrator appointed under subsection (5) shall not grant an adjournment of a hearing without the approval of the board.

28          Sections 132.1 to 132.11 are repealed and the following is substituted:

Union to give financial statement to members

132.1(1)    At the request of a member, every union shall give the member, at no charge, a copy of a financial statement of the union's affairs to the end of its last fiscal year. The statement must be certified to be a true copy by the union's treasurer or other officer responsible for handling and administering its funds.

Content of financial statement

132.1(2)     A union's financial statement must set out its income and expenditures for the fiscal year in sufficient detail to disclose accurately the union's financial condition and operation and the nature of its income and expenditures.

Complaint

132.1(3)    If a member of a union complains to the board that the union has failed to give him or her a financial statement in compliance with this section, the board may direct the union to

(a) file with the board, within the time the board determines, a copy of the financial statement of its affairs to the end of its last fiscal year, verified by its treasurer or another officer responsible for handling and administering its funds; and

(b) give a copy of the statement to the members of the union that the board in its discretion may direct.

Union must comply

132.1(4)    The union shall comply with the board's direction.

Complaint that financial statement inadequate

132.1(5)    If a member of a union complains to the board that the union's financial statement is inadequate, the board may inquire into the complaint and may order the union to prepare another financial statement in a form, and containing the information, that the board considers appropriate.

29(1)       Subsection 141(1) is amended by repealing clause (f.1) and substituting the following:

(f.1) the form of financial statements that may be required to be given or filed;

29(2)       Clause 141(1)(f.2) is repealed.

30          Subsection 143(3) is repealed and the following is substituted:

Board review

143(3)      The board or a panel of the board may

(a) review and vary or rescind any decision, order, direction, declaration or ruling that it or another panel has made; and

(b) rehear a matter that it has heard or that another panel has heard.

Transitional

31          Sections 87.1 and 87.2, as enacted by section 23 of this Act, apply to the settlement of collective agreements only where notice to commence collective bargaining is given after this Act comes into force.

Coming into force

32          This Act comes into force 30 days after it receives royal assent.

Explanatory Note

This Bill makes a number of changes to The Labour Relations Act. The key changes are as follows:

Interim certification

The Bill authorizes the Labour Board to issue interim certification to a union when it is satisfied that any dispute about the composition of a proposed bargaining unit will not affect the union's right to certification.  (Subsections 39(4) and (5))

Certification votes

Under the current law, the Labour Board must order a certification vote if the union demonstrates that 40% or more of the employees support the union. The Bill requires a certification vote if the union demonstrates that between 40% and 65% of the employees support the union. If 65% or more are in support, certification is automatic. (Section 40)

Ratification votes

The Bill amends the requirements for ratification votes for employees in the construction industry. It permits only union members in the bargaining unit (rather than all employees) to cast ballots.  (Section 69)

Last offer votes

The current Act allows an employer to request a vote of the employees to determine if they accept or reject the employer's last offer. The Bill repeals that provision and allows the minister to order such a vote at any time before or during a strike or lockout instead of only after a strike or lockout has commenced. (Section 72.1)

Union dues used for political purposes

The Bill repeals section 76.1 of the Act. That section requires a union to consult with each employee in the unit about whether they wish their union dues to be used for political purposes. It also lets an employee who objects to such use to direct the amount proposed to be used for political purposes to a registered charity.

Settlement of collective agreement by the Labour Board or an arbitrator during a work stoppage

If a strike or lockout has continued for at least 60 days, the Bill allows either party to apply to the Labour Board to have the collective agreement settled by the Board or, if the parties agree, by a single arbitrator. The agreement is to be settled by the Labour Board or an arbitrator only if the employees in the bargaining unit vote in favour of having the agreement settled in that manner. (Sections 87.1 and 87.2)

Appointment of mediators

The Bill allows a mediator to be appointed in two new circumstances:

  • the minister must appoint a mediator if the parties make a joint request for mediation but do not name a mediator; and
  • the minister may appoint a mediator if only one party makes a request.  (Section 95)

Expedited grievance mediation/arbitration

The Bill allows the expedited grievance mediation/arbitration procedure in the Act to be used for all grievances relating to discipline — not just for dismissals and suspensions over 30 days.  (Section 130)

Financial and compensation statements

The Bill repeals the requirement for unions to file audited financial and compensation statements with the Labour Board. In its place, the Bill requires a union, at the request of a member, to give the member a copy of its annual financial statement. (Section 132.1)