Newfoundland and Labrador proposes Labour Relations Act changes

Amendments will improve first-agreement bargaining process
|labour-reporter.com|Last Updated: 04/15/2011

The Newfoundland and Labrador government is proposing amendments to the province’s Labour Relations Act. The changes will improve the effectiveness of negotiations in the collective bargaining process, according to a government press release.

The proposed changes will allow parties to have direct access to the Labour Relations Board in instances of new bargaining relations. At the time the board advises an agreement will be imposed, the right to strike or lockout will cease. The duration of the agreement will then be imposed for a minimum of 18 months to a maximum of 36 months, providing time for the parties to develop positive relationships.

Parties will also be given access to expedited arbitration and grievance mediation during the span of the collective agreement. Additionally, it is suggested that the requirement that the two parties agree on an arbitrator be removed to speed up dispute resolution.

The proposed amendments represent the first recommendations brought forward by the Employment Relations Committee, which has membership from business, labour and government sectors. Their review of labour legislation is still ongoing.

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