RCMP members may not form union: Ontario Appeal Court

‘Charter does not guarantee any particular model of labour relations,’ court rules
|labour-reporter.com|Last Updated: 06/04/2012

The RCMP may not form a union, the Ontario Court of Appeal has ruled.

The June 1 decision sides with the Federal government in upholding a section of the RCMP Regulations that establishes a system for Mounties to meet with management to settle work-related disputes.

RCMP officers are exempt from the Public Service Labour Relations Act, which permits most federal employees to form unions. An estimated 3,000 Mounties have joined independent labour associations wanting to represent RCMP employees in collective bargaining. These associations had been arguing the RCMP regulations violate their Charter right to freedom of association.

Ottawa argued that the program currently in place allows for employee participation in the decision-making process, and that the process is constitutionally sound.

The associations argued the program is unfair because it gives management the final say.

The Appeal Court disagreed with the unions, however, and overturned a lower court decision that was in their favour.

"There is more than one conception of collective bargaining,'' the Appeal Court ruling states. “The Supreme Court has made it abundantly clear that (the Charter) does not guarantee any particular model of labour relations.''

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