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Unionized workers hiring their own lawyers: 3 issues

I often receive requests for consultations from unionized workers dissatisfied with their employer, their union or both. Frequently, this dissatisfaction arises out of the worker having a grievance with the company, but he or she feels that they are not receiving proper representation from their union. Before going ahead and hiring a lawyer outside of their union for advocacy, there are 3 challenges that people in this position should know.

 

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Saskatchewan government’s do-over: another version of essential services legislation proposed

Bill 183, The Saskatchewan Employment (Essential Services) Amendment Act, 2015, proposes a new Part VII in the Employment Act, entitled Essential Services. The Bill is currently in third reading.

 

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Howell v. United Steelworkers, Local 7135: No reasonable prospect of success

Rule 19A of the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal’s Rules of Procedure, allow the Tribunal to hold a summary hearing to determine whether the Application should be dismissed in whole or in part on the basis that there is no reasonable prospect that the Application or part of the Application will succeed. This was the case in Howell v. United Steelworkers, Local 7135.

 

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Even long-term employees with a clean record can be handed a lengthy suspension when it is warranted

A recent Ontario Grievance Settlement Board case highlights the point that, even where employees are long-term and have a clean service record, they can still be subject to serious discipline if the circumstances are right.

 

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‘Obey now, grieve later’ principle applies to management

In recent unreported arbitration decision, the arbitrator confirmed that an “obey now, grieve later” rule applies to management in some cases.

 

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SCC orders parliament to reconsider RCMP labour relations

Until last Friday, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police was Canada’s only police force that was legislatively prohibited from unionizing. On January 16, 2015, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled…

 

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Employees’ Voting Rights Act significantly changes federal labour relations

The Employees’ Voting Rights Act (the “EVRA”) significantly changes the way in which unions gain and lose bargaining rights in the federal sector in Canada. Federal labour relations law applies to a variety of sectors including the federal public sector, banking, inter-provincial and international transportation, broadcasting, telecommunications and aeronautics. The EVRA will become effective on June 16, 2015.

 

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Supreme Court of Canada gives quick win to BCTF on parental benefits

The Supreme Court of Canada recently made a rare oral ruling from the bench, giving the B.C. Teachers’ Federation a quick win in their appeal of a decision by the B.C. Court of Appeal regarding discrimination and unequal treatment under the Human Rights Code and the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

 

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Update: BC teachers accept deal with the province

Well it seems there will not be any need for back-to-work legislation to end the longest province-wide strike in the history of the British Columbia Teachers’ Federation.

 

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Update on BC teachers’ strike: historic deal a possibility

It has been a long road, but the British Columbia Teachers’ Federation and the provincial government have just reached a tentative six-year deal. The union has encouraged its members to accept it.

 

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Surreptitious tape recording of bargaining negotiations not admitted into evidence

The issue in this case was whether a surreptitious tape recording of bargaining negotiations was allowed to be admitted into evidence.

 

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Arbitrator rules profanity during telephone call with manager insufficient to constitute ‘just cause’ for dismissal

Vice-Chair Ian Anderson of the Ontario Labour Relations Board recently ruled in Canadian Union of Skilled Workers v. Hydro One Inc., 2014 CanLII 15069, a construction industry grievance that the employee’s use of profanity during a telephone call with his manager did not constitute conduct sufficient to justify a dismissal for cause.

 

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The Wal-Mart saga: one more chapter

On June 27th, the Supreme Court of Canada released a decision in the Wal-Mart saga that will have a major impact on employment law in Quebec.

 

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Slaw: Quebec bill would require small farms to collectively bargain

Quebec’s new government wants to ensure that all farm workers have the right to unionize and collectively negotiate working conditions with their employers. Minister of Labour Sam Hamad has introduced Bill 8, An Act to amend the Labour Code with respect to certain employees of farming businesses, which would require small farms to let a union represent their employees.

 

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Employee who lied about ability to work justly fired

An Ontario labour arbitrator upheld an employee’s termination for just cause after the employer learned that the employee faked the severity of her injury and ability to perform work for over five years. The arbitrator found that the employer was justified in terminating the employee for just cause because the actions of the employee went to the heart of the employment relationship.

 

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