Proposed Amendments to the Labour Relations Act

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Disclosure of Annual Salaries and Benefits

The legislation would require disclosure of the salaries and benefits of all union officials earning in excess of $100,000 annually.

Decertification

The window for decertification would be increased from 60 to 90 days and a one-year cooling off period would be introduced where a certification drive fails. The amendments would require mandatory posting of factual information on decertification. This information would include: who may make an application for decertification; when the application may be made; and any applicable Ontario Labour Relations Board (OLRB) rules regarding the decertification procedure.

First Contract Situations

The bill would amend the LRA and require separate votes for ratification and strike action in first-contract situations. The legislation would, if passed, require the OLRB to deal with decertification applications before any anything else.

Certification Drives

The legislation would impose a mandatory bar of one year for certification applications by any union if: a union withdraws its application for certification for the same group of employees twice in a six-month period before a vote is taken; a union withdraws its application after a representation vote; or a union has had an unsuccessful representation vote and its application is dismissed by the Ontario Labour Relations Board.

Construction Sector

Employers who do not sell construction services (e.g., municipalities, school boards and banks) would be allowed to tender construction projects to union and non-union contractors. Further amendments applicable to the construction sector would permit project agreements to apply to multiple and future projects developed within the term of the agreement, thereby eliminating the need to negotiate a new project agreement for each specific construction project. These legislative changes would also permit non-construction work to be performed in the project agreement framework and protect non-union employers hiring unionized non-construction workers on the project from certification.

Other Salient Amendments

The amended Act would: allow a party to apply to the Chair of the OLRB for a rehearing of its case if a decision is not released within six months of the last hearing date; enable the construction industry sector disputes to be resolved through the consultation process available for jurisdictional disputes; clarify section 8.1. to apply to the construction industry; provide (unless the OLRB Chair orders otherwise) that all duty of fair representation complaints be heard by the Chair or a vice-president sitting alone; and provide that persons appointed to accompany and/or assist mediators/conciliators could not be compelled to testify about the negotiations.

Legislative Schedule

Government wishes to enact the amendments to the LRA before December 21st, 2000. At this time, the Government is at second reading of the bill. (For more recent developments, see “New amendments to Labour Relations Act passed” on our Publications page.)