Law:Postal Services Continuation Act, 1997

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S.c. 1997, c. 34

Assented to 1997-12-03

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

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


Contents

Short Title

Short title

1. This Act may be cited as the Postal Services Continuation Act, 1997.


Interpretation

Definitions

2. (1) The definitions in this subsection apply in this Act.

“collective agreement”

« convention collective »

“collective agreement” means the collective agreement between the employer and the union that expired on July 31, 1997.

“employee”

« employé »

“employee” means a person employed by the employer and bound by the collective agreement.

“employer”

« employeur »

“employer” means the Canada Post Corporation.

“mediator-arbitrator”

« médiateur-arbitre »

“mediator-arbitrator” means the mediator-arbitrator appointed pursuant to subsection 8(1).

“Minister”

« ministre »

“Minister” means Minister of Labour.

“union”

« syndicat »

“union” means the Canadian Union of Postal Workers.

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.


Postal Operations

Resumption or continuation of postal operations

3. On the coming into force of this Act,

(a) the employer shall resume without delay, or continue, as the case may be, postal operations; and

(b) every employee shall, when so required, resume without delay, or continue, as the case may be, the duties of that employee’s employment.


Obligations

Obligations of employer

4. Neither the employer nor any officer or representative of the employer shall

(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 that employee’s having been on strike before the coming into force of this Act.

Obligations of union

5. The union and each officer and representative of the union shall

(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 operations 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, as the case may be, the duties of their employment;

(b) take all reasonable steps to ensure that employees comply with paragraph 3(b); and

(c) refrain from any conduct that may encourage employees not to comply with paragraph 3(b).


Extension Of Collective Agreement

Extension of collective agreement

6. (1) The term of the collective agreement is extended to include the period beginning on August 1, 1997 and ending on the day on which a new collective agreement comes into effect, except for the period beginning on November 18, 1997 and ending when this Act comes into force.

Collective agreement binding for extended term

(2) The collective agreement, as extended by subsection (1), 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. That Part applies in respect of the collective agreement, as extended, as if that period were the term of the collective agreement.

Arbitration of discipline or discharge

(3) Any employee who is disciplined or discharged in the period beginning on November 18, 1997 and ending when this Act comes into force may submit the matter for final settlement

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

(b) when 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.

Provisions of Canada Labour Code apply

(4) 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 (3).

Strikes and lockouts prohibited

7. During the term of the collective agreement, as extended by subsection 6(1),

(a) the employer shall not declare or cause a lockout against the union;

(b) no officer or representative of the union shall declare or authorize a strike against the employer; and

(c) no employee shall participate in a strike against the employer.


Mediator-arbitrator

Appointment of mediator-arbitrator

8. (1) The Minister shall, after the coming into force of this Act, appoint a mediator-arbitrator and refer to the mediator-arbitrator all matters that, at the time of the appointment, remain in dispute between the parties in relation to the conclusion of a new collective agreement.

Duties

(2) The mediator-arbitrator shall, within ninety days after being appointed,

(a) endeavour to mediate all the matters referred to in subsection (1) and to bring about an agreement between the parties on those matters;

(b) if the mediator-arbitrator is unable to do so, hear the parties on the matter, arbitrate the matter and render a decision;

(c) ensure that any agreement or decision referred to in paragraph (a) or (b) is in appropriate contractual language so as to allow its incorporation into the collective agreement; and

(d) report to the Minister on the resolution of all such matters.

Powers

(3) The mediator-arbitrator has, with any modifications that the circumstances require,

(a) for the purposes of the mediation referred to in paragraph (2)(a), all the powers of a conciliation commissioner under section 84 of the Canada Labour Code; and

(b) for the purposes of the arbitration referred to in paragraph (2)(b), all the powers and duties of an arbitrator under sections 60 and 61 of that Act.

Technical experts

(4) The mediator-arbitrator may, with the approval of the Minister, engage the services of any technical advisers or other experts or assistants that the mediator-arbitrator considers necessary.

Extension of time

(5) The time during which the mediator-arbitrator may perform the duties and exercise the powers under this section may be extended by the Minister or by mutual consent of the employer and the union.

Guiding principle

9. The mediator-arbitrator shall be guided by the need for terms and conditions of employment that are consistent with the Canada Post Corporation Act and the viability and financial stability of Canada Post, taking into account

(a) that the Canada Post Corporation must, without recourse to undue increases in postal rates,

(i) operate efficiently,

(ii) improve productivity, and

(iii) meet acceptable standards of service; and

(b) the importance of good labour-management relations between the Canada Post Corporation and the union.

Proceedings prohibited

10. No order may be made, no process may be entered into and no proceeding may be taken in court

(a) to question the appointment of the mediator-arbitrator; or

(b) to review, prohibit or restrain any proceeding or decision of the mediator-arbitrator.


New Collective Agreement

Incorporation in collective agreement

11. As of the day that the mediator-arbitrator reports to the Minister under paragraph 8(2)(d), the collective agreement shall be deemed to be amended by the incorporation into it of

(a) any agreement resolving the matters in dispute between the employer and the union arrived at before, or pursuant to, mediation; and

(b) any decision of the mediator-arbitrator in respect of any matters that were arbitrated.

Rates of pay

12. The collective agreement shall also be deemed to be amended by increasing the rates of pay in effect as of February 1, 1997 and set out in Appendix A to the collective agreement by 1.5% effective February 1, 1998, by another 1.75% effective February 1, 1999 and by another 1.9% effective February 1, 2000.

New collective agreement

13. The collective agreement amended by sections 11 and 12 constitutes a new collective agreement that, subject to section 14, comes into effect and is binding on the parties to it for the period beginning on the day that the mediator-arbitrator reports to the Minister under paragraph 8(2)(d) and ending on July 31, 2000, despite anything in Part I of the Canada Labour Code. That Part applies in respect of the new collective agreement as if it had been entered into pursuant to that Part.

Coming into effect of provisions

14. The new collective agreement may provide that any of its provisions is effective and binding on a day before or after the day on which the new collective agreement becomes effective and binding.


Costs

Costs

15. All costs incurred by Her Majesty in right of Canada relating to the appointment of the mediator-arbitrator and the exercise of the mediator-arbitrator’s duties under this Act are debts due to Her Majesty in right of Canada and may be recovered as such, in equal parts from the employer and the union, in any court of competent jurisdiction.


Amendment Of Collective Agreements

Amendments

16. Nothing in this Act shall be construed so as to limit or restrict the rights of the parties to agree to amend any provision of the collective agreement, or of the new collective agreement referred to in section 13, other than a provision relating to its term or one amended by section 12, and to give effect to the amendment.


Enforcement

Individuals

17. (1) An individual who contravenes any provision of this Act is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction and is liable, for each day or part of a day during which the offence continues, to a fine

(a) of not more than $50,000, if the individual was acting in the capacity of an officer or representative of the employer or the union when the offence was committed; or

(b) of not more than $1,000, in any other case.

Employer or union

(2) If the employer or the union contravenes any provision of this Act, it is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction and is liable, for each day or part of a day during which the offence continues, to a fine of not more than $100,000.

No imprisonment

18. Despite subsection 787(2) of the Criminal Code, a term of imprisonment may not be imposed in default of payment of a fine that is imposed under section 17.

Recovery of fines

19. When a person is convicted of an offence under section 17 and the fine that is imposed is not paid when required, the prosecutor may, by filing the conviction, enter as a judgment the amount of the fine and costs, if any, in a superior court of the province in which the trial was held, and the judgment is enforceable against the person in the same manner as if it were a judgment rendered against the person in that court in civil proceedings.

Presumption

20. For the purposes of this Act, the employer and the union are deemed to be persons.


Coming Into Force

Coming into force

21. This Act comes into force on the expiry of the twelfth hour after the time at which it is assented to.


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