Resolution of Ambulance Services Labour Disputes Act
BILL NO. 87
5th Session, 61st General Assembly
62 Elizabeth II, 2013
Private Member's Bill
Resolution of Ambulance Services Labour Disputes Act
The Honourable Jamie Baillie
First Reading: July 5, 2013
Be it enacted by the Governor and Assembly as follows:
1 This Act may be cited as the Resolution of Ambulance Services Labour Disputes Act.
2 The purpose of this Act is to protect the health, safety and well-being of the public while preserving free and fair collective bargaining and the fair and impartial resolution of collective bargaining disputes in respect of ambulance services.
3 (1) In this Act,
(a) "ambulance services" has the same meaning as in the Emergency Health Services Act;
(b) "Board" means the Labour Board established under the Labour Board Act;
(c) "employee" means a registered paramedic who is an employee of the employer and is covered by a collective agreement;
(d) "employer" means EMC Emergency Medical Care Incorporated or any other person that operates a business or undertaking of providing ambulance services pursuant to an agreement with the Minister of Health and Wellness under Section 6 of the Emergency Health Services Act;
(e) "registered paramedic" has the same meaning as in the Emergency Health Services Act;
(f) "union" means a union that represents employees.
(2) Except as otherwise provided in this Act, words and expressions used in this Act have the same meaning as in Part I of the Trade Union Act.
4 (1) This Act applies to every employer, every employee and every union.
(2) This Act applies to collective bargaining between a union and an employer on and after the coming into force of this Act, whether the collective bargaining commenced before, on or after that day.
5 This Act binds Her Majesty in right of the Province.
6 This Act prevails over every other Act, including the Trade Union Act, and every regulation, collective agreement, arbitral or other award or decision and every obligation, right, claim, agreement or arrangement of any kind.
7 Ambulance services provided by employees are hereby declared to be an essential service.
8 Where a work stoppage is or has been declared, every employee shall resume or continue to perform, as the case may be, the employee's assigned duties.
9 (1) No employee shall participate in a work stoppage against the employee's employer.
(2) No employer shall authorize, declare or cause a work stoppage of employees.
(3) No union shall authorize, declare or cause a work stoppage of employees.
(4) No person or union shall in any manner impede or prevent or attempt to impede or prevent any employee from complying with this Act.
(5) No person or union shall do or omit to do anything for the purpose of aiding, abetting or counselling any employee not to comply with this Act.
10 The right to strike of and the right to lock out employees is hereby replaced with the processes set out in this Act.
11 (1) Employees and their employers shall conduct interest arbitration as provided for in the regulations unless the parties mutually agree in writing to an alternative binding interest-arbitration process or unless a settlement is achieved through mediation pursuant to Section 15.
(2) An award reached pursuant to an alternative binding interest-arbitration process agreed to pursuant to subsection (1) is
(a) for the purpose of this Act an award of an arbitrator pursuant to this Act; and
(b) subject to the requirements prescribed by subsection 17(2).
12 Notwithstanding Section 35 of the Trade Union Act, the employer shall not, without consent by the certified or recognized bargaining agent or by the Board, increase or decrease rates of wages or alter any other term or condition of employment of employees in relation to whom notice to bargain has been given until
(a) a new collective agreement has been concluded; or
(b) the bargaining agent and the employer or representatives authorized by them in that behalf have bargained collectively and have failed to conclude a collective agreement and an arbitrator has made an award.
(a) a conciliation officer fails to bring about an agreement between the parties engaged in collective bargaining; and
(b) the conciliation officer makes a report to the Minister of Labour and Advanced Education,
the employer or the union shall notify the other party in writing of its desire to submit the collective agreement to an arbitrator for interest arbitration.
14 (1) Where a collective agreement is submitted to an arbitrator for interest arbitration pursuant to Section 13, the arbitrator shall be appointed in the manner prescribed by the regulations.
(2) The fees and expenses of the arbitrator shall be paid in the manner prescribed by the regulations.
15 (1) Before beginning the arbitration process, an arbitrator appointed pursuant to subsection 14(1) may seek to mediate a settlement between the parties and, upon the joint request of the parties or the request of the union, may conduct binding mediation.
(2) A settlement reached pursuant to subsection (1) is deemed to be for the purpose of this Act an award of the arbitrator.
(3) Where matters in dispute are not settled by mediation pursuant to subsection (1), the arbitrator shall decide the matters.
16 An interest arbitration conducted by an arbitrator appointed pursuant to subsection 14(1) shall be conducted in the manner prescribed by the regulations.
17 (1) As soon as possible after conducting a hearing into the matters referred to it, the arbitrator shall make an award and in its award deal with each item in dispute.
(2) For the purpose of ensuring that wages and benefits are fair and reasonable to the employees and employer and in the best interest of the public, the arbitrator
(a) shall consider, for the period with respect to which the award will apply,
(i) wages and benefits in private and public, and unionized and non-unionized, employment,
(ii) the continuity and stability of private and public employment, including
(A) employment levels and incidence of layoffs,
(B) incidence of employment at less than normal working hours, and
(C) opportunity for employment,
(iii) general economic conditions in the Province,
(iv) the extent to which services may have to be reduced in light of the award, if current funding is not increased, and
(v) the financial position of the employer; and
(b) may consider, for the period with respect to which the award will apply,
(i) the terms and conditions of employment of paramedics outside the employer's employment taking into account any geographic, industrial or other variations that the arbitrator considers relevant,
(ii) the need to maintain appropriate relationships in terms and conditions of employment between different classification levels among employees,
(iii) the need to establish terms and conditions of employment that are fair and reasonable in relation to the qualifications required, the work performed, the responsibility assumed and the nature of the services rendered, and
(iv) any other factor that the arbitrator considers relevant.
(3) The award of the arbitrator is deemed to include items settled by the parties but, for greater certainty, the arbitrator shall not deal with items settled by the parties.
(4) An award of an arbitrator is final and binding upon
(a) the union and every employee in the unit on whose behalf it was bargaining collectively; and
(b) the employer,
and the employer and the union shall give effect to it.
(5) Every award of an arbitrator must be signed by the arbitrator.
(6) An arbitrator retains jurisdiction over an arbitration after the decision if it has issued an award in order to clarify any ambiguities, uncertainties or omissions in that decision raised by any party to the proceedings.
18 Where an arbitrator renders an award, the arbitrator shall forward a copy of the decision to the parties and file a copy with the Department of Labour and Advanced Education.
19 (1) A person, union or employer that contravenes this Act is guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction,
(a) in the case of an offence committed by an employer or a union, or by a person acting on behalf of an employer or a union, to a fine of not more than $50,000; and
(b) in the case of an offence committed by any person other than one described in clause (a), to a fine of not more than $1,000.
(2) Where an offence under this Act is committed or continued on more than one day, the person who committed the offence is liable to be convicted for a separate offence for each day on which the offence is committed.
20 (1) The Governor in Council may make regulations
(a) prescribing the manner in which an arbitrator is to be appointed to conduct interest arbitration under this Act;
(b) prescribing the manner in which the fees and expenses of an arbitrator are to be paid;
(c) prescribing the manner in which an interest arbitration under this Act is to be conducted;
(d) providing that an interest arbitration under this Act proceed by way of final-offer arbitration;
(e) respecting any matter or thing the Governor in Council considers necessary or advisable to effectively carry out the intent and purpose of this Act.
(2) The exercise by the Governor in Council of the authority contained in subsection (1) is a regulation within the meaning of the Regulations Act.
21 This Act has effect on and after July 5, 2013.
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