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Alberta Labour Relations Board Considers Impact of First Contract Arbitration on Revocation Applications

The Alberta Labour Relations Board (the “Board”) heard Certain Employees of Mountain View Seniors’ Housing v The Alberta Union of Provincial Employees and Mountain View Seniors’ Housing, [2019] Alta. LRBR LD-046 in late May of this year.

The Union made an application for Board assistance in settling the terms of the collective agreement, pursuant to section 92.2 of the Labour Relations Code (the “Code”), which falls under the recently added Division 14.1 – First Contract Arbitration.

Shortly after, certain employees of Mountain View Seniors’ Housing (“Mountain View”) filed a revocation application. The Union argued that the Board should apply its discretion under section 54(1) of the Code to consider “any other relevant matter”, and dismiss the revocation application in light of the Union’s section 92.2 application. The Union made its application for assistance after only three days of negotiations.

The Union further argued that a meeting between Mountain View’s COO and its employees violated section 148(1)(a)(ii) based on alleged comments by the COO about the Union that would unduly influence employees’ perceptions of membership in an organized workplace.

On June 21, 2019, the Board released its decision dismissing the Union’s section 148(1)(a)(ii) application, finding the COO’s comments fell within the realm of permissible representations by an employer.

However, the Board is still determining its interpretation of the First Contract Arbitration process as it impacts other sections of the Code.

Accordingly, the Board is now seeking written submissions from intervenors in relation to a revocation application or other matters under the Code, and will reserve judgment on the issue until it has considered intervenors’ submissions on this legal issue under the Code.

Currently, the Union’s section 92.2 application is adjourned pending the outcome of the employees’ revocation application. While the vote has been conducted, the ballots remain sealed until intervenors’ submissions have been reviewed by the Board.

The Board will be accepting submissions from all interested parties until July 26, 2019. We will keep you updated as the situation unfolds.
A copy of the decision can be found here.

If you have any questions regarding the impact of any upcoming changes to Alberta’s workplace laws, please do not hesitate to contact a Mathews Dinsdale lawyer.

Expertise: Labour relations

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