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|ALBERTA LABOUR RELATIONS BOARD|
The Alberta Labour Relations Board (ALRB) is an independent and impartial tribunal responsible for the day-to-day application and interpretation of Alberta's labour laws. The role of the ALRB is to interpret and apply the legislation governing collective bargaining including:
Update: September 16, 2021 Public Health Restrictions
On September 16, 2021, mandatory public health restrictions were reintroduced that require all employees to work from home unless their physical presence in the office is required for operational effectiveness. As a result, the Board will continue to work with a reduced in-person staff in its Calgary and Edmonton locations, and may further reduce the number of people working from the office as necessary depending on operational needs. The Board does not anticipate that these changes will result in adjournments or cancellations of hearings that are scheduled while these measures are in place. We appreciate your cooperation and patience during this time.
Changes to Information Bulletin #10 – Bargaining Units for Hospitals and Nursing Homes
The Regional Health Authority Collective Bargaining Regulation was recently amended. There is currently a certification application before the Board that will consider the amended Regulation and its potential implications for Information Bulletin #10. Once those proceedings have concluded, the Board will release an updated bulletin accordingly.
Information Bulletin #11 - Bargaining Units for the Building Trades
Part 3 of the Labour Relations Code was recently amended. The Board is in the process of developing an updated Information Bulletin #11 to address those changes.
Updates to Board Information Bulletins
As a result of the changes to the Code arising from the Restoring Balance in Alberta’s Workplaces Act, 2020, the Board has updated the following Information Bulletins:
The Board plans to release updated versions of Information Bulletin #10 (Bargaining Units for Hospitals and Nursing Homes) and Information Bulletin #11 (Bargaining Units for the Building Trades) shortly.
The Board has updated its Rules of Procedure that relate to informal hearings under section 11 of the Labour Relations Code. Please see Rules 29-33. These changes have been incorporated into Information #2 – Processing Applications, Complaints and References and Information Bulletin #4: Location and Conduct of Board Hearings.
Labour Relations Code Changes
On February 10, 2021, a number of changes to the Labour Relations Code arising from Restoring Balance in Alberta’s Workplaces Act, 2020 (Bill 32) were proclaimed in force by Order in Council 0043/2021.
In addition, Order in Council 0044/2021 amended the expiry date in section 4 of the Construction Industry Labour Relations Regulation to November 30, 2022.
Guidelines for Email Filing and Email Communications
Effective January 1, 2021, the Board is changing its filing deadline from 4:30 PM to 4:00 PM. This change applies to all methods of filing materials with the Board (i.e. fax, delivery, email).
The Board has recently begun accepting applications, complaints, and references under the Labour Relations Code, and appeals under the Occupational Health and Safety Act via email. As a result of this change, the Board has developed Guidelines for Email Filing and Email Communications, which include naming conventions, and other procedures and best practices for submitting material to the Board via email. The Guidelines will be incorporated into a revised version of Information Bulletin #2 at a later date.
Some of the key components of the Guidelines include:
Effective January 1, 2021, the deadline for filing materials with the Board will change from 4:30 PM to 4:00 PM.
Guidelines for Remote Proceedings
Video-conferencing using the Zoom platform is presumptive method for hearings during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Board has released updated Guidelines for Remote Proceedings. Parties and participants are expected to comply with these Guidelines.
Representation Votes – Mail-In Ballots Presumptive
In response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Board has moved to mail-in ballots as the presumptive approach for representation votes. Please see the Case Management Directive for further consideration on this point.
Restoring Balance in Alberta's Workplaces Act, 2020 (Bill 32)
Bill 32, Restoring Balance in Alberta’s Workplaces Act, 2020, received Royal Assent on July 29, 2020. Bill 32 amended a number of labour and employment statutes, including the Employment Standards Code, the Labour Relations Code, the Public Service Employee Relations Act, the Police Officers Collective Bargaining Act, the Public Education Collective Bargaining Act, and the Post-Secondary Learning Act.
Regarding the Labour Relations Code, some of the amendments to came into force on Royal Assent, while others will come into force at a future date upon Proclamation.
The Board is currently reviewing and updating its processes and Information Bulletins to reflect these legislative changes. Please continue to check the Board’s website for more information in this regard.
Information Bulletin Updates:
Resumption of Hearings
Effective July 6, 2020 the Board will resume the regular scheduling of hearings. At this time, the presumptive method of hearing will be by video conference, unless the Board Chair or Vice-Chair approves and directs otherwise in a particular case.
Officers scheduling matters for resolution conferences and hearings will operate on the presumption that video conferencing will be used unless:
Where a party seeks a resolution conference or hearing other than by video conference, the Board will schedule a case management conference for the Board to determine the issue. The Board will then explore the options of video conference hearing; in-person hearing where the safety of participants can be ensured; written submissions only; or a hybrid of the preceding alternatives. All parties must provide a brief written position on the appropriate method of hearing in advance of the case management conference, including, where applicable, their reasons why the presumption of a video conference hearing ought not to apply in their case.
All matters set for video-conference will have a further case management conference booked at a later date with the Chair or Vice-Chair presiding at the hearing, to:
For video conference hearings, please see the Board’s Guidelines for Remote Proceedings.
For in-person hearings, please see the Board’s Protocol for In-Person Hearings (revised July 2021)
For a thoughtful analysis of proceedings being conducted via video conference in contrast to “in-person” hearings please see OLRB Case No: 2788-17-U (Labourers International Union of North America, Local 183 v. Innovative Civil Constructors Inc., et al.)
Public Health and Ministerial Orders Restricting Emplyoees to Working at only One Healthcare Facilitiy Due to COVID-19
As a result of COVID-19, a state of public heath emergency was declared in Alberta on March 17, 2020. Several Ministerial Orders have resulted. In particular, as a result of Ministerial Order 2020-26, the Board has developed Procedural Guidelines for resolving disputes under that Order. View information here.
The Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) is a federal benefit program administered the Canada Revenue Agency and Service Canada. The toll free number to reach an agent who can discuss your CERB application is 1-800-959-8281.
The Alberta Labour Relations Board is a provincial agency that regulates collective bargaining in Alberta.
The Employment Standards Branch is the government agency that can assist you.
For information about the changes to the Employment Standards Code see:
Further questions about job-protected leave should be directed to Employment Standards Branch:
Please note that effective immediately, the Board’s front-line reception areas in both our Edmonton and Calgary offices will be closed to the public for walk-in inquiries until further notice. Please contact the Board at (780) 422-5926 (in Edmonton) or (403) 297- 4334 (in Calgary) to obtain information or discuss options relating to filing applications and/or complaints, scheduling of hearings and other matters before the Board.
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CONFERENCES / MEETINGS / EVENTS OF INTEREST
CIRA - September 16, 2021 at 7:00 pm - Speaker, Dr. Glynnis Lieb, Athabasca University, PhD in Social and Personality Psychology; specializing in mental health education and awareness, will be presenting on the topic "Prioritizing Workplace Mental Health: where we are, where we need to go, and what's holding us back?"
Mediation Services: New Grievance Mediation Program
Mediation Services is pleased to introduce a new Grievance Mediation program to assist unions and employers to resolve grievances. Follow this link for further information.