Restrictive Labour Laws

Labour Rights Under Attack

227 Restrictive labour laws

In the past three decades Canadians have seen a serious erosion of a fundamental and universal human right, their right to organize into a union and engage in full and free collective bargaining.  Federal and provincial governments have passed numerous labour laws since 1982 that have restricted, suspended or denied collective bargaining rights for Canadian workers.

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Title Jurisdiction Type of Legislation Datesort ascending

Back-to-School (Toronto Catholic Elementary) and Education and Provincial Schools Negotiations Amendment Act, 2003 (Bill 28, June)

The Act ended a lockout and prevented those teachers from participating in any work-to-rule campaign once back in the classroom, unilaterally imposed a mediation-arbitration scheme that does not meet requirements of independence and impartiality and brought additional restrictions on the collective bargaining rights of teachers.

Ontario Back to work - settlement imposed June 2003

Labour Relations (Regional Health Authorities Restructuring) Amendment Act, 2003 (Bill 27, April)

The Act excluded nurse practitioners from unionization, terminated the right to strike for all health care workers and removed negotiated severance provisions from collective agreements.

Alberta Denial of right to join a union April 2003

Coastal Ferry Act, 2003 (Bill 18, March)

The Act allowed private contractors to override contracting out provisions contained in the ferry workers’ collective agreement.

British Columbia Restrictions on scope of bargaining March 2003

Agricultural Employees Protection Act, 2002 (Bill 187, November)

This Act denies agricultural employees in the province of Ontario the right to engage in collective bargaining.practices from employers.

Ontario Denial of right to join a union November 2002

Back to School Act (Simcoe Muskoka Catholic District School Board), 2002 (Bill 211, November)

The Act ended a strike by teachers and provided for the appointment of a mediator-arbitrator if a new collective agreement was not concluded within seven days.

Ontario Back to work - dispute sent to arbitration November 2002

City of Toronto Labour Disputes Resolution Act, 2002 (Bill 174, July)

The Act ended a strike by municipal  employees and provided for the appointment of a mediator-arbitrator to conclude a two-year collective agreement, taking into consideration the employer’s “ability to pay” and the economic situation of the city and province.

Ontario Back to work - dispute sent to arbitration July 2002

Education Services Settlement Act, 2002 (Bill 12, March)

The Act ended a strike by teachers, imposed fines for not complying with the legislation and removed certain matters from collective bargaining.

Alberta Back to work - settlement imposed March 2002

Labour Relations Act (March 2002)

The government invoked section 148 of the Act to suspend the right to strike for teachers in 22 school districts in March 2002.

Alberta Back to work - settlement imposed March 2002

Health and Social Services Delivery Improvement Act, 2002 (Bill 29, January)

This Act eliminated much of the job security protection for health and social service workers that their unions managed to bargain as part of their collective agreements. It empowered health and social service employers to “contract out” to non-union employers not bound by the terms of the collective agreements, notwithstanding clauses to the contrary in collective agreements. Existing layoff and bumping provisions in collective agreements were rewritten by the legislation in favour of the employer. Severance pay was unilaterally reduced below even the standard applicable to non-union employees under provincial Employment Standards legislation.

British Columbia Restrictions on scope of bargaining January 2002

Public Education Flexibility and Choice Act, 2002 (Bill 28, January)

The Act permitted public school board employers to override negotiated collective agreement provisions for teachers regarding class size, staffing formulae and intergration of special needs students and prevented these matters from being raised in collective bargaining.  It also allowed for contracting out.

British Columbia Restrictions on scope of bargaining January 2002

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