The Federal Public Sector Labour Relations and Employment Board (FPSLREB) is responsible for administering the collective bargaining process for the federal public service, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, and Parliament.
Sections 103 and 104 of the Federal Public Sector Labour Relations Act (FPSLRA) specify that a bargaining agent may choose arbitration or conciliation as the process for resolving disputes arising from collective bargaining.
Arbitration leads to an arbitral decision that resolves the dispute and that binds the parties, thus eliminating the possibility of a strike.
Conciliation is a non-binding process that recognizes that employees in the bargaining unit have the right to strike under certain conditions, which is why it is often referred to as the "conciliation/strike route".
Regardless of the bargaining agent’s chosen dispute resolution process, the employer or the bargaining agent may request third-party assistance from the FPSLREB to facilitate the progress of negotiations. That request may be made under section 108 of the FPSLRA.
Under the Parliamentary Employment and Staff Relations Act (PESRA), arbitration is the only method available for resolving disputes that may arise during collective bargaining. Under section 40 of the PESRA, third-party assistance can be requested from the FPSLREB to facilitate collective bargaining.
Dispute Resolution Services (DRS) acts as the central resource for administrative services that facilitate resolving disputes that arise in the context of collective bargaining. In that role, DRS receives and processes applications and documents related to arbitration and conciliation processes.
See the Fact Sheet on Collective Bargaining for more detailed information.