Public Sector Labour Relations Transition Act (PSLRTA):
■ This legislation was passed in 1997 to cover mergers, amalgamations and other restructuring in three (3) public service sectors: municipalities and local boards, school boards and hospitals
■ Often these mergers bring together employees in similar bargaining units who belong to one union in one place and another union in the second. For example COPE at Wilson Memorial Hospital and SEIU at McCausand Hospital
How the expansion of PSLRTA could affect your collective agreement.
EXPANSION OF PSLRTA
■ In 2005, PSLRTA was expanded to apply not only to hospital mergers, but to mergers of health service providers and health services integration
■ Where PSLRTA applies, it replaces the “successor rights” provisions in the Labour Relations Act which cover how members retain their union representation when a business changes hands
■ After the date of the restructuring takes effect, any bargaining taking place is suspended
■ The successor employer is bound by all previously existing contracts
■ Each collective agreement continues to apply to the employees who were previously covered by it with the predecessor employer(s)
■ The member of each union continue to work under their collective agreement
How PSLRTA will become relevant and potentially applied.
■ This situation usually cannot continue very long with employees doing similar work having different wages, benefits, etc.
■ Either the Employer or the Union can file an application under PSLRTA
■ A Labour Relations Officer from the Labour Board meets with the Employer and the Union(s) to mediate discussions and help the parties come to agreement on the issues
■ If they are unable to agree, the Labour Board holds a hearing and the parties make submissions about the matters that remain in dispute
■ In the final analysis, the Labour Board issues its decision on the how the process will unfold usually by ordering a vote
■ The Labour Board oversees the voting and the voting is by secret ballot
■ The vote usually takes place on the premises of the workplace
■ Recent amendments to PSLRTA on December 10, 2015 state that no vote is required if a prescribed percentage of the employees in the bargaining unit are represented by a single bargaining agent. The prescribed percentage shall be more than 60 percent.
■ Once the Labour Board determines that one union has won the vote, that union is declared the bargaining agent for the entire bargaining unit