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Postal Services Resumption and Continuation Act (S.C. 2018, c. 25)

Assented to 2018-11-26

Postal Services Resumption and Continuation Act

S.C. 2018, c. 25

Assented to 2018-11-26

An Act to provide for the resumption and continuation of postal services

SUMMARY

This enactment provides for the resumption and continuation of postal services and imposes a mediation process to resolve matters remaining in dispute between the parties. It also empowers the mediator-arbitrator to impose an arbitration process to resolve matters that cannot be resolved through mediation.

Preamble

Whereas the Canada Post Corporation and the Canadian Union of Postal Workers were parties to two collective agreements, one that expired on December 31, 2017 and one that expired on January 31, 2018;

Whereas the parties have engaged, since November 2017, in collective bargaining to reach new collective agreements;

Whereas the Minister of Labour and the Minister of Public Works and Government Services met with the parties on a number of occasions to encourage them to reach new collective agreements;

Whereas the Minister of Labour appointed conciliation officers in July 2018 to assist the parties in their negotiations and the conciliation period expired without the parties having entered into new collective agreements;

Whereas the Minister of Labour appointed mediators in September 2018 to further assist the parties in the negotiation of a settlement of their differences for the purpose of renewing their collective agreements;

Whereas work stoppages commenced on October 22, 2018;

Whereas the Minister of Labour appointed a special mediator on October 24, 2018, and then re-appointed the special mediator on November 7, 2018, to assist the parties in negotiating new collective agreements and in ending the work stoppages, and in each case the appointment ended without the parties having entered into new collective agreements and without the work stoppages having ended;

Whereas the work stoppages are disrupting the delivery of mail and parcels across Canada;

Whereas the work stoppages are having a significant adverse impact on Canadian workers, consumers and businesses as well as on those Canadians who rely on postal services;

Whereas the Minister of Labour recognizes the importance of effective collective bargaining practices and the need for stable industrial relations for employees, unions and employers in the postal services sector;

And whereas, having regard to the negative impact of the work stoppages, the public interest requires an exceptional solution to address the matters in dispute so that new collective agreements may be concluded;

Now therefore, Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate and House of Commons of Canada, enacts as follows:

Short Title

Marginal note:Short title

 This Act may be cited as the Postal Services Resumption and Continuation Act.

Interpretation

Marginal note:Definitions

  •  (1) The following definitions apply in this Act.

    collective agreement

    collective agreement means the collective agreement between the employer and the union that expired on December 31, 2017 or the collective agreement between the employer and the union that expired on January 31, 2018. (convention collective)

    employee

    employee means a person who is employed by the employer and bound by a collective agreement. (employé)

    employer

    employer means the Canada Post Corporation. (employeur)

    mediator-arbitrator

    mediator-arbitrator means the mediator-arbitrator appointed under subsection 8(2). (médiateur-arbitre)

    Minister

    Minister means the Minister of Labour. (ministre)

    union

    union means the Canadian Union of Postal Workers, representing the Urban Postal Operations Unit or the Rural and Suburban Mail Carriers Unit. (syndicat)

  • Marginal note:Words and expressions

    (2) Unless otherwise provided, words and expressions used in this Act have the same meaning as in Part I of the Canada Labour Code.

  • Marginal note:Presumption

    (3) For the purposes of this Act, the union is deemed to be a person.

Postal Services

Marginal note:Resumption or continuation of postal services

 On the coming into force of this Act,

  • (a) the employer must resume without delay, or continue, as the case may be, postal services; and

  • (b) every employee must, when so required, resume without delay, or continue, as the case may be, the duties of their employment.

Marginal note:Prohibitions

 It is prohibited for the employer and for any of its officers and representatives to

  • (a) in any manner impede any employee from complying with paragraph 3(b); or

  • (b) discharge or in any other manner discipline, or authorize or direct the discharge or discipline of, any employee by reason of the employee having been on strike before the coming into force of this Act.

Marginal note:Obligations

 The union and each of its officers and representatives must

  • (a) without delay on the coming into force of this Act, give notice to the employees that, by reason of that coming into force, postal services are to be resumed or continued, as the case may be, and that the employees, when so required, are to resume without delay, or continue, the duties of their employment; and

  • (b) take all reasonable steps to ensure that employees comply with paragraph 3(b).

Extension of Collective Agreements

Marginal note:Extension

  •  (1) The term of the collective agreement that expired on December 31, 2017 is extended to include the period beginning on January 1, 2018 and ending immediately before a new collective agreement between the parties comes into effect, except for any period during which there is

    • (a) a strike against the employer in respect of the bargaining unit to which the collective agreement applies; or

    • (b) a lockout against the union in respect of the bargaining unit to which the collective agreement applies.

  • Marginal note:Extension

    (2) The term of the collective agreement that expired on January 31, 2018 is extended to include the period beginning on February 1, 2018 and ending immediately before a new collective agreement between the parties comes into effect, except for any period during which there is

    • (a) a strike against the employer in respect of the bargaining unit to which the collective agreement applies; or

    • (b) a lockout against the union in respect of the bargaining unit to which the collective agreement applies.

  • Marginal note:Collective agreement binding for extended term

    (3) A collective agreement, as extended by subsection (1) or (2), is effective and binding on the parties to it for the period for which it is extended, despite anything in the collective agreement or in Part I of the Canada Labour Code. However, that Part applies in respect of the collective agreement, as extended, as if that period were the term of the collective agreement.

  • Marginal note:Arbitration of discipline or discharge

    (4) Any person employed by the employer who is disciplined or discharged during any period that is excluded under subsection (1) or (2), and who, but for the exclusion, would have been bound by the collective agreement during that period, may submit the matter, for final settlement,

    • (a) to an arbitrator selected by the employer and the union; or

    • (b) if they are unable to agree on the selection of an arbitrator and either of them makes a written request to the Minister to appoint an arbitrator, to an arbitrator appointed by the Minister after any inquiry that the Minister considers necessary.

  • Marginal note:Provisions applicable

    (5) Sections 58 to 61 and 63 to 66 of the Canada Labour Code apply, with any modifications that the circumstances require, in respect of an arbitrator to whom a matter is submitted under subsection (4).

Marginal note:Strikes and lockouts prohibited

 Until a collective agreement, as extended by subsection 6(1) or (2), expires, it is prohibited

  • (a) for the employer and for any of its officers and representatives to declare or cause a lockout against the union in respect of the bargaining unit to which the collective agreement applies;

  • (b) for the union and for any of its officers and representatives to declare or authorize a strike against the employer in respect of that bargaining unit; and

  • (c) for an employee who is a member of that bargaining unit to participate in a strike against the employer.

Mediator-Arbitrator

Marginal note:Lists of candidates

  •  (1) The employer and the union may, within two days after the day on which this Act comes into force, each provide to the Minister a list of the names of up to three individuals that the employer or union, as the case may be, considers qualified to act as mediator-arbitrator.

  • Marginal note:Appointment of mediator-arbitrator

    (2) If the two lists have only one name in common, the Minister must appoint that individual as the mediator-arbitrator, and if they have more than one name in common, he or she must appoint one of those individuals. However, if the Minister does not receive both lists within the period referred to in subsection (1), or if the lists that are received within that period have no names in common, he or she must appoint the mediator-arbitrator after seeking advice from the Chairperson of the Canada Industrial Relations Board.

Marginal note:Referral of matters in dispute

 The Minister must refer to the mediator-arbitrator all matters relating to the amendment or revision of each collective agreement that are, at the time of the appointment, in dispute between the parties.

Marginal note:Powers and duties of mediator-arbitrator

 The mediator-arbitrator has, with any modifications that the circumstances require, all the powers and duties referred to in paragraphs 60(1)(a) and (a.2) to (a.4) and sections 61 and 84 of the Canada Labour Code.

Marginal note:Duties of mediator-arbitrator

  •  (1) Within 90 days after the day on which he or she is appointed or any longer period that the Minister may allow, the mediator-arbitrator must

    • (a) endeavour to mediate all the matters that were referred to him or her relating to the amendment or revision of each collective agreement and to bring about an agreement between the parties to it on those matters;

    • (b) if he or she is unable to bring about an agreement between the parties in respect of any such matter,

      • (i) hear the parties on the matter, arbitrate the matter and render a decision in respect of the matter, or

      • (ii) ask each of the parties to submit, within the time and in the manner that he or she may specify, that party’s final offer in respect of the matter and, subject to subsection (7), select, in order to resolve the matter, either the final offer of the employer or the final offer of the union; and

    • (c) report to the Minister on the resolution of each of the matters that were referred to the mediator-arbitrator and provide the parties with a copy of the report.

  • Marginal note:Precision

    (2) For greater certainty, the choice of acting in accordance with subparagraph (1)(b)(i) or (ii) is at the discretion of the mediator-arbitrator.

  • Marginal note:Guiding principles

    (3) In rendering a decision or selecting a final offer under paragraph (1)(b), the mediator-arbitrator is to be guided by the need

    • (a) to ensure that the health and safety of the employees is protected;

    • (b) to ensure that the employees receive equal pay for work of equal value;

    • (c) to ensure the fair treatment of temporary or part-time employees, and other employees in non-standard employment, as compared to full-time, permanent employees;

    • (d) to ensure the financial sustainability of the employer;

    • (e) to create a culture of collaborative labour-management relations; and

    • (f) to have the employer provide high-quality service at a reasonable price to Canadians.

  • Marginal note:Mediation period

    (4) Despite subsection (1), the mediator-arbitrator has a period of not more than seven days after the day on which he or she is appointed — that may be extended for an additional period of not more than seven days if the parties agree — within which to endeavour to mediate the matters referred to in paragraph (1)(a) and to bring about an agreement between the parties.

  • Marginal note:Contractual language — decision

    (5) Every decision of the mediator-arbitrator under subparagraph (1)(b)(i) must be worded in appropriate contractual language so as to allow its incorporation into a new collective agreement.

  • Marginal note:Contractual language — final offer

    (6) The final offer of the employer and of the union referred to in subparagraph (1)(b)(ii) must be submitted with proposed contractual language that can be incorporated into a new collective agreement.

  • Marginal note:If no final offer submitted

    (7) If either party fails to submit to the mediator-arbitrator a final offer when requested to do so under subparagraph (1)(b)(ii), the mediator-arbitrator must select the final offer submitted by the other party.

 
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