New Rules of Procedure Respecting Applications for Certification in Effect Beginning June 22, 2017

On June 22, 2017, amendments to the Canada Labour Code Part I–Industrial Relations (the Code) came into force and modified the approach with respect to applications for certification. Most notably, the amendments provide the Board with the discretion to certify a trade union on the basis of the membership evidence submitted with an application for certification if it is satisfied that a majority of the employees in the unit wish to be represented by the applicant union, without the requirement to hold a representation vote in every case.

All applications that were filed prior to the coming into force of these amendments will continue to be processed under the provisions of the Code that were in effect prior to June 22, 2017.

The Board will continue to ensure the timely processing of all certification applications by adhering to strict timelines for the filing of submissions and the completion of its investigation of the membership evidence. The procedures that must be followed by the parties are established in Rules of Procedure No. 1. These rules incorporate the requirements of the Canada Industrial Relations Board Regulations, 2012 (the Regulations), with some variations that have been adopted pursuant to the Board’s general powers found in section 46 of the Regulations.

Highlights of the Changes

  • When filing an application for certification, the applicant trade union must include:
    • a copy of the completed Application for Certification form;
    • the original membership applications (membership cards) as well as proof of payment of the $5 membership fee;
    • a separate and confidential statement of the number of employees in the proposed bargaining unit that the applicant claims to represent;
    • the completed Certificate of Accuracy;
  • An application is considered filed with the Board on the day the application and all the required materials are received. Failure to submit the required evidence may result in the summary dismissal of the application by the Board.
  • All applications must be filed in person, by mail or by courier. Any subsequent documents can be filed through the Board’s e-filing portal which is accessible from its website.
  • Applications can be filed in any one of the Board’s regional offices (Vancouver, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal or Dartmouth).
  • The Board will give notice of the application in writing to the employer, any incumbent bargaining agent and, to the extent possible, to any person whose rights may be directly affected by the application.
  • The employer will have 5 calendar days from the notice of the application to provide the Board with certain required information, including the list of employees.
  • The employer and any incumbent bargaining agent will have 10 calendar days from notice of the application to file a response to the Board and the applicant will have 5 calendar days from the receipt of the response to file a reply.

The Board’s Rules of Procedure and the application form are available on the Board’s website.

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