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Annual Report 2005-06 PESRA

PARLIAMENTARY EMPLOYMENT
AND STAFF RELATIONS ACT

2005–2006 ANNUAL REPORT

PUBLIC SERVICE LABOUR RELATIONS BOARD


© Minister of Public Works and Government Services Canada 2006
SR2-1/2006
0-662-49275-7
This publication is also available on the Board’s Web site at:
www.pslrb-crtfp.gc.ca


The Honourable Beverley J. Oda, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Canadian Heritage and Status of Women
House of Commons
Ottawa, K1A 0A6

Dear Minister,

It is my pleasure to transmit to you, pursuant to section 84 of the Parliamentary Employment and Staff Relations Act, the Annual Report on the administration of that Act by the Public Service Labour Relations Board covering the period from 1 April 2005 to 31 March 2006, for submission to Parliament.

Yours sincerely,

Ian R. Mackenzie
Acting Chairperson


PARLIAMENTARY EMPLOYMENT AND
STAFF RELATIONS ACT
Public Service Labour Relations Board
2005 – 2006

PRINCIPAL STAFF OFFICERS OF THE BOARD


TABLE OF CONTENTS

INTRODUCTION

PROCEEDINGS BEFORE THE BOARD

  1. GRIEVANCE ADJUDICATION
  2. COMPLAINTS
  3. OTHER PROCEEDINGS

MEDIATION

TABLES

  1. Bargaining Units and Bargaining Agents under the Parliamentary Employment and Staff Relations Act, 1 April 2005 – 31 March 2006

  2. Adjudication References, 1 April 2000 – 31 March 2006

  3. Adjudication References Brought Forward and Received, 1 April 2000 – 31 March 2006


INTRODUCTION

In 1986, the Parliament of Canada passed the Parliamentary Employment and Staff Relations Act (PESRA). Part I of this Act gives employees of parliamentary institutions the right to form a union in order to negotiate collectively the conditions of their employment. Part I also gives employees the right to lodge grievances concerning these conditions and, in certain cases, to refer these grievances to adjudication before a neutral third party.

Part I is administered and applied by the Public Service Labour Relations Board (the Board), a quasi-judicial tribunal set up under the Public Service Labour Relations Act. The Board consists of a Chairperson, up to three Vice-Chairpersons, and such other full-time members and part-time members as the Governor in Council considers necessary.

Under PESRA, the Board hears various matters: applications by employee organizations for certification to become the bargaining agent representing employees; complaints of unfair labour practices; exclusion of persons employed in managerial and confidential capacities; and interest arbitration.

The Board also adjudicates grievances concerning the interpretation and application of provisions of collective agreements, significant disciplinary action, and all forms of termination of employment except rejection on probation during initial appointments. Grievances concerning demotion, appointment and classification may also be referred to adjudication but are determined, not by a Board Member, but by an external adjudicator chosen by the parties, which are equally responsible for the adjudicator's remuneration and expenses.

Through its dispute resolution service, the Board also assists parties unable to resolve their disputes at the bargaining table. This assistance may lead to a resolution without the need for the dispute to be heard formally by the Board, or may limit the number of issues.

PESRA provides for only one means of resolving disputes if bargaining comes to a dead end: arbitration. In these situations, the Board acts as an arbitration board. After hearing the parties, it renders a decision on the issues. These decisions form part of the collective agreements and are binding on the parties and on employees.


PROCEEDINGS BEFORE THE BOARD

In 2005-06, the Board dealt with 47 cases under the Parliamentary Employment and Staff Relations Act. Of these, 40 were grievances, 3 were complaints, and 4 pertained to other applications.

1) GRIEVANCE ADJUDICATION

In 2005-06, the bulk of proceedings before the Board concerned grievances. In that time period, the Board processed 40 grievances. Of these cases, 26 had been carried over from previous years and 14 were new.

Under PESRA there are three types of adjudicable grievances. The first type arises out of the application or interpretation of collective agreements or arbitral awards. Such grievances cannot be referred without the approval and support of the bargaining agent. In 2005-06, the Board processed 4 of these grievances: 3 were from the House of Commons and 1 was from the Library of Parliament.

The second type refers to disciplinary actions resulting in suspension or a financial penalty and to termination of employment, other than rejection on probation in respect of an initial appointment. A member of the Board acting as an adjudicator hears these grievances. In 2005-06, the Board dealt with 11 such grievances—10 from the House of Commons and 1 from the Senate.

The third type includes grievances concerning demotion of employees, denials of appointment, and classification. These are heard and determined by an adjudicator selected by the parties. The Board processed 25 of these grievances. One was from the House of Commons and 24 were from the Library of Parliament. Most of the latter pertained to allegations of incorrect reclassification.

As of March 31, 2006, of these 40 grievances, 4 were on hold pending the outcome of mediation, 8 were on hold pending the outcome of another matter, 1 was scheduled for a hearing, 1 had received a hearing and was to be continued into the next fiscal year, and 23 were awaiting the scheduling of a hearing. Two cases had been settled or withdrawn pending confirmation, and 1 had been withdrawn and was considered completed.

2) COMPLAINTS

Section 13 of the Act requires the Board to examine and inquire into an alleged failure to observe any prohibition contained in sections 6, 7 or 8; to comply with any regulation respecting grievances made by the Board pursuant to section 71; and to give effect to any provision of an arbitral award or to a decision of an adjudicator with respect to a grievance. Where the Board upholds a complaint, it has authority under this section to order remedial action. If such action is not carried out, section 14 provides that the Board shall make a report to Parliament.

The Board processed 3 complaints in 2005-06. By the end of the fiscal year, 1 case had a settlement pending, 1 case had been withdrawn, and 1 case was scheduled to be heard in 2006-07.

3) OTHER PROCEEDINGS

Enforcement of obligations of employer and employee organizations

Section 70 of the Act requires the Board to inquire into allegations that cannot be the subject of a grievance by an individual employee. These come about when the employer or the bargaining agent seeks to enforce an obligation alleged to arise out of a collective agreement or arbitral award. No such cases were dealt with in 2005-06.

Applications for certification

Under section 18 of the Act, an employee organization may submit an application to be certified as bargaining agent for a bargaining unit. The Board did not receive any such applications in 2005-06.

Application to review certification

On November 15, 2005, the House of Commons employer filed an application with the Board under section 17 of the Act requesting a review of the existing bargaining unit structure. The respondents (the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada, the Public Service Alliance of Canada, the House of Commons Security Service Employees Association, and the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada) represent 7 bargaining units that would be affected by this application. The matter is scheduled to be heard in 2006-07.

Determination of membership in bargaining unit

Under section 24 of the Act, the employer or an employee organization may ask the Board to determine whether an employee or class of employees is included in a bargaining unit. The Board dealt with no such applications in 2005-06.

Application for declaration of successor rights

Section 36 of the Act provides for the Board to determine what rights, privileges and duties are acquired or retained by an employee organization subsequent to a merger or amalgamation or a transfer of jurisdiction, other than as a result of revocation of certification. The Board did not receive any such applications in 2005-06.

Notice to bargain collectively

Section 37 provides that either the bargaining agent or the employer may require, by written notice, to commence bargaining collectively, with a view to concluding a collective agreement. In 2005-06, the Board received 1 Notice to Bargain Collectively from the Canadian Association of Professional Employees in order to commence bargaining with the Library of Parliament.

Applications under section 38

Section 38 of the Act requires the parties to bargain collectively in good faith and make every reasonable effort to conclude a collective agreement. The Board received 1 allegation of a violation of section 38 in 2005-06.

Request for the appointment of a conciliator

Under section 40 of the Act, parties unable to reach agreement on any term or condition of employment embodied in a collective agreement may ask the Chairperson to appoint a conciliator to assist them in reaching an agreement. The Board dealt with no such cases in 2005-06.

Arbitration proceedings

Section 46 of the Act provides that binding arbitration is the only method available for the resolution of interest disputes; there is no right to strike under the Act. The Board dealt with 1 request for arbitration in this fiscal year. At the end of March 2006, it had been scheduled for a hearing in 2006-07.


MEDIATION

When a proceeding is brought before the Board, mediation services are offered to help parties resolve their differences without resorting to a formal hearing. In 2005-06, the Board provided the services of a mediator on 2 occasions to resolve grievances. One of these occasions involved 3 grievances from the same grievor.


1

Bargaining Units and Bargaining Agents under the
Parliamentary Employment and Staff Relations Act
1 April 2005 – 31 March 2006


Bargaining UnitsBargaining Agents


(HOUSE OF COMMONS AS EMPLOYER)
Technical Group Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada
Protective Services Group House of Commons Security Services Employees Association
Procedural Sub-group and Analysis/ Reference Sub-group in the Parliamentary Programs Group Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada
Operational Group (except for part-time cleaners classified at the OP A level) Public Service Alliance of Canada
Reporting Sub-group and Text Processing Sub-group in the Parliamentary Programs Group Public Service Alliance of Canada
Postal Services Sub-group in the Administrative Support Group Public Service Alliance of Canada

(SENATE OF CANADA AS EMPLOYER)
Legislative Clerk Sub-group in the Administrative Support Group Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada
Protective Service Sub-group in the Operational Group Senate Protective Service Employees Association
Operational Group (except for employees in the Protective Service Sub-group) Public Service Alliance of Canada

(LIBRARY OF PARLIAMENT AS EMPLOYER)
Library Science (Reference) and Library Science (Cataloguing) Sub-groups in the Research and Library Services Group Public Service Alliance of Canada
Administrative and Support Group Public Service Alliance of Canada
Library Technician Sub-group in the Research and Library Services Group Public Service Alliance of Canada
Research Officer and Research Assistant Sub-groups in the Research and Library Services Group Canadian Association of Professional Employees


2

Adjudication References
1 April 2000 – 31 March 2006


  Interpretations [Para. 63(l)(a)] Discipline [Paras. 63(l) (b) & (c)] Party & Party [Sec. 70] Sub-Total Paras. 63(l) (d), (e) & (f) Total

2005–2006 4 11 0 15 25 40
2004–2005 2 4 0 6 0 6
2003–2004 2 2 0 4 0 4
2002–2003 51 3 0 54 29 83
2001–2002 7 0 0 7 0 7
2000–2001 2 2 1 5 12 17

Cumulative Totals 24 December 1986 – 31 March 2006
  350 65 10 425 263 688


3

Adjudication References Brought Forward and Received
1 April 2000 – 31 March 2006


Fiscal
Year
Brought
Forward
Received Overall
Total
Dispositions
Total

2005–2006 26 14 40  1
2004–2005 26  6 32  4
2003–2004 33  4 37  7
2002–2003  3 83 86 55
2001–2002 10  7 17 14
2000–2001 41 17 58 45