This is an official version.
Copyright © 2011: Queen's Printer,
Statutes of Newfoundland and Labrador 2011
AN ACT TO AMEND THE LABOUR
(Assented to May 31, 2011)
3. Ss.86.1 & 86.2 Added
Be it enacted by the Lieutenant-Governor and House of Assembly in Legislative Session convened, as follows:
1. Section 81 of the Labour Relations Act is repealed and the following substituted:
First collective agreement
81. (1) Where a trade union certified as a bargaining agent and an employer have been engaged in collective bargaining to conclude a first collective agreement and have failed to do so, either party may make an application to the board to inquire into the dispute and, where the board considers it advisable, to settle the terms and conditions for the first collective agreement.
(2) Where the board settles the terms and conditions of a first collective agreement, those terms and conditions shall be considered to constitute the collective agreement between the trade union and the employer and to be binding on them and the employees, except to the extent that the trade union and employer agree in writing to vary those terms and conditions.
(3) Where an application is made under subsection (1), and upon the date that the board advises the parties that it has determined that it is advisable to proceed to impose a first collective agreement, an employee shall not strike or continue to strike, and the employer shall not lock out or continue to lock out the employees.
2. Section 83 of the Act is repealed and the following substituted:
Term of first collective agreement
83. Where the terms and conditions of a first collective agreement are settled by the board under section 81, the agreement shall be effective for a minimum period of 18 months up to a maximum period of 36 months, as determined by the board, from the date on which the board advises the parties that it has determined that it is advisable to impose the terms and conditions of the collective agreement, or the date the employees returned to work, whichever is earlier.
3. The Act is amended by adding immediately after section 86 the following:
86.1 (1) The parties to a collective agreement may, after exhausting the grievance procedure established by the collective agreement, agree to refer all differences between the parties to or persons bound by the agreement or on whose behalf it was entered into, where those differences arise out of the interpretation, application, administration or alleged violation of the agreement, or a question as to whether a matter is arbitrable, to the minister for resolution by expedited arbitration.
(2) Where a difference is referred to the minister under this section, the minister
(a) shall appoint an arbitrator to hear and determine the matter arising out of the difference;
(b) shall fix the time period, not later than 28 days after the day on which the difference is referred to the minister, within which the hearing by the arbitrator will commence; and
(c) where one party so requests and the other party agrees, may appoint a grievance mediator to assist the parties in settling the grievance before the hearing.
(3) Parties to a grievance under this section shall comply with a decision of an arbitrator issued under subsection (5) or (6) and shall do or abstain from doing anything as required by that decision.
(4) Where a grievance mediator is appointed under paragraph (2)(c), the grievance mediator shall, within 10 days after the appointment or within a further time that the minister may allow,
(a) inquire into the difference; and
(b) endeavour to assist the parties in settling the difference.
(5) Where a grievance mediator is not appointed under paragraph (2)(c), or where the parties are unable to settle the difference with the assistance of a grievance mediator appointed under paragraph (2)(c), the arbitrator appointed under paragraph (2)(a) shall
(a) proceed to hear and determine the matter arising out of the difference; and
(b) issue a written decision and written reasons for that decision within 21 days after the conclusion of the hearing.
(6) Notwithstanding paragraph (5)(b), where jointly requested to do so by the parties to the difference, the arbitrator shall, where possible, issue an oral decision within one day after the conclusion of the hearing and shall issue written reasons within 21 days after the conclusion of the hearing.
(7) In addition to the powers conferred on arbitrators by this Act, an arbitrator appointed under paragraph (2)(a) has all the powers and jurisdiction conferred by the collective agreement between the parties to the difference.
(8) Notwithstanding subsection (7), subsections 88(3) and (4) do not apply to an arbitrator appointed under paragraph (2)(a).
86.2 (1) Notwithstanding sections 86 and 88 and a provision in a collective agreement, the parties to the collective agreement may agree to refer one or more grievances under the collective agreement to a grievance mediator for the purpose of resolving the grievances in an expeditious and informal manner.
(2) The parties shall not refer a grievance to a grievance mediator unless they have agreed on the nature of the issues in dispute.
(3) On a joint request by the parties, the minister shall appoint a grievance mediator.
(4) Where the parties jointly request the appointment of a grievance mediator under this section, a time limit with respect to the reference of a grievance to arbitration in the collective agreement is suspended until the date that the grievance mediator advises the parties that the grievance mediation is concluded.
(5) The grievance mediator shall attempt to assist the parties to settle the grievance by mediation.
4. Section 91 of the Act is repealed and following substituted:
91. Where the parties to a collective agreement so agree, a single arbitrator may be appointed instead of an arbitration board, and, where a single arbitrator is appointed under this section, the arbitrator has the powers and duties conferred and imposed on an arbitration board under this Act.
5. Section 105 of the Act is repealed.