First contract legislation in Canada: Success or failure

New Nova Scotia law follows in steps of a dozen other Canadian jurisdictions
By Danielle Harder
|Canadian Labour Reporter|Last Updated: 01/09/2012

Recently certified workers and employers with new unions in Nova Scotia enter 2012 in a new bargaining climate. In December 2011, the province passed legislation to amend its Trade Union Act to allow an arbitrator or the provincial labour board to settle first collective agreements.

First contract arbitration (FCA), under various models, is now in place in 12 jurisdictions in Canada, including the federal government and all provinces except New Brunswick and Alberta.

Some employers in Nova Scotia are voicing their opposition to legislation, and there are concerns it will harm the business environment because it introduces uncertainty in how an employer can regulate its workplace.