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Alberta Government



What does the ALRB do?

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:

  • how and under what conditions a trade union may claim the status of exclusive bargaining agent for a group of employees;

  • how the employer and union must bargain to reach or renew a collective agreement;

  • what kinds of union and employer conduct is prohibited; and

  • when the parties may have recourse to a strike or lockout.
What's New?  


Proposal for Submissions by the Labour Relations Community with Respect to an Application for Review of an Arbitration Award:

The Board has received its first application for review of an arbitration award pursuant to section 145(3) of the Labour Relations Code. We provide you with a link to the application and the arbitration award.

This matter is scheduled for argument for December 18, 2017.  As this is the first opportunity to interpret and apply section 145(3) the Board is inviting submissions from the Labour Relations Community.  The terms of an intervention are:

  1. 1. lntervenors are limited to providing written submissions only and will not participate in the oral argument.

    2. The Intervenor's submissions are to be filed on or before December 1, 2017, with copies to counsel for the Union and Employer (Leanne Chahley at Blair Chahley for the Union and Damon Bailey at McLennan Ross for the Employer).

    3. The Intervenor submissions are limited to 15 pages.

    4. The Intervenor submissions are only to address the interpretation of section 145(3) of the Labour Relations Code and the test to be applied by the Board in reviewing arbitrations, in the context of ALRB file AR-00001.

    5. Submissions are not to the address the specific application of section 145(3) to the arbitration award referenced in ALRB file AR-00001.

Written submissions may be filed with the Calgary office of the Labour Relations Board.

Board Member Appointments: The Board wishes to announce the appointment of four new Board Members to the Labour Relations Board:

Order in Council #371-2017 appoints four new Board Members to the Labour Relations Board: Allan Brown, Clayton Davis, Jody L. Fraser and Brygeda Mary Renke.

The Board also wishes to announce the reappointment of the following members to the Board: Jeannine Arbour, Paul Bokenfohr, Pamela M. Kirkwood, Crystal Norton, Daunine Rachert, Carl E. Soderstrom and Karen Thibault.

Amendments to Labour Legislation

A number of Bills amending Alberta’s labour legislation were passed this Spring, which impact the Board’s powers and procedures. The changes can be found in:

  • The Act to Enhance Post-secondary Academic Bargaining, SA 2017, c 4;
  • The Fair and Family-friendly Workplaces Act, SA 2017, c 9;
  • The Public Interest Disclosure (Whistleblower Protection) Amendment Act, 2017, SA 2017, c 11.

As amendments to the Labour Relations Code come into effect, the most up-to-date amended Code can be found on the Queen’s Printer website.  A link to the Code can be found here found here.

The Board has published new and revised Information Bulletins outlining the Board’s procedures for various new types of applications, which can be found below.  For any new type of application not specifically dealt with, applicants should follow the Board’s Information Bulletin #2 generally, and the Director of Settlement will advise the parties of any further requirements.

The Board’s Rules of Procedure and Voting Rules have been updated

Additional Information Bulletins and the Board’s Policy and Procedure Manual will be further updated to reflect changes to the legislation and the Board’s new procedures.  Until that updating process is completed, please note the legislation governs in the event of any inconsistency.

Further amendments to the Code bringing farm and ranch employers and employees under the Code are not in force until January 1, 2018.

The Board thanks the community for its understanding as these changes are implemented.  Watch this space for Bulletins and other changes as they are published.


Marshalling of Proceedings – Information Bulletin #26

Recent amendments to the Labour Relations Code add Division 11.1, giving the Board authority to “marshal” employment-related legal proceedings in unionized workplaces.  This means where there are multiple proceedings (or anticipated proceedings), often in multiple forums, involving the same legal issues and/or factual circumstances, parties may apply to the Board to determine the process of how those multiple proceedings should proceed.

The Board has prepared Transitional Information Bulletin #26 to acquaint the labour relations community with the concept of marshalling proceedings; to outline the legislative provisions in Division 11.1; and to provide guidance about the processes the Board will follow in marshalling applications.  The Board’s processes in marshalling applications will be flexible, and the responsible Chair or Vice-chair will choose an appropriate process in the circumstances.

Transitional Information Bulletin #26: Marshalling of Proceedings can be found here.

As Information Bulletin #26 is transitional, these procedures will be reviewed in the future to determine whether adjustment are necessary based upon the Board’s experience and feedback from the community. 


Duty of Fair Representation Amendments – Guidelines for Union Appeal or Review Processes and Revised Information Bulletin #18

The Labour Relations Code was amended effective June 7, 2017 allowing unions to apply for Board approval of an internal or external appeal process for representation issues.  Having a Board approved process significantly affects how the Board will process duty of fair representation complaints against the union, including the timeline for filing duty of fair representation complaints.

The Board has adopted Guidelines for Board Approval of Union Appeal or Review Processes for Representation Issues to assist union in establishing processes that will satisfy the requirements of section 153(6) of the Code.  The Guidelines also outline the procedures for unions to apply for Board approval under section 153(6).  The Guidelines can be found here, and on the Board’s website under the “Workplace Related” tab.  A list of unions with a Board approved appeal or review process will be published on the Board’s website under the “Workplace Related” tab.

The changes to the Board’s duty of fair representation procedure where an internal appeal is in place are reflected in the Board’s amended Information Bulletin #18, effective September 1, 2017.  Amended Information Bulletin #18 can be found here.

Three further significant changes to the Board’s processes for duty of fair representation complaints are reflected in the Information Bulletin:

  1. (1) Unions are now directed to provide with its response to the application, copied to the complainant, any and all documents in its possession which are relevant and material to the union’s representation of the complainant concerning the matters raised in the complaint.  Details of this requirement, and it rationale under recent changes to the Code, are discussed in the Information Bulletin.

(2) Employers will not be notified of duty of fair representation complaints, or receive copies of documents and submissions, unless the complaint is sent to a hearing.  That is, employers will not be involved in the documentary review stage of the Board’s process.  This change reduces concerns that employers may unnecessarily obtain union information in complaints which have no arguable merit.

(3) The duty of fair representation complaint form is now a mandatory form. The form can be found here.


Review of Arbitrations - Information Bulletin #25

Amendments to section 145 of the Labour Relations Code, giving the Board authority to review grievance arbitration matters, come into force on September 1, 2017.  The Board has prepared Transitional Information Bulletin #25 to outline the Board’s procedures for applications under section 145. Information Bulletin #25 can be found here.  These procedures apply to decisions or proceedings of arbitrators or arbitration panels on or after September 1, 2017.

The mandatory application form for applications under section 145(2) can be found here.  The Board’s process requires the arbitrator or arbitration chair to file the Record of the arbitration proceeding with the Board.  The Table of Contents for the Record to be used by arbitrators can be found here.

Information Bulletin #25 is transitional, and these procedures will be reviewed in the future to determine whether adjustment are necessary based upon the Board’s experience and feedback from the community.


Certification Amendments - Revised Information Bulletin #8

Amendments to the Labour Relations Code concerning certification come into force on September 1, 2017.  Information Bulletin #8 will be revised effective that date, setting out the Board’s amended procedures for dealing with certification applications.

Amended Information Bulletin #8 (effective September 1, 2017) can be found here. The amended procedures apply to applications received on or after September 1, 2017.

The mandatory Application for Certification Form has also been revised effective September 1, 2017.  The revised Form can be found here

Significant changes to the certification procedure include:

  • The employer is required to provide the Board Officer with all information requested no later than 5 working days after the date of the application (section 34(4)).
  • Timelines for Officer’s Reports, receipt of objections and administrative reviews of files have been formalized as a result of the Code’s new statutory timelines (section 34(6)).
  • A hearing will automatically be scheduled for 13 working days after the date of application for the hearing of any objections.  Hearings will usually be completed in the single scheduled date. Parties and legal counsel must make themselves available on the scheduled date.  Due to statutory timelines for completion of applications, adjournments will not normally be granted.
  • Parties must exchange any documents to be used at the hearing at least 48 hours before the hearing.
  • If there is evidence of more than 65% membership support from the employees in the unit, the Board may authorize certification without a vote (section 34(8)).

The Board will review Information Bulletin #8 and these procedures in the future to determine whether adjustments to these procedures are necessary based upon the Board’s experience and feedback from the community.


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Conferences / Meetings  

  • CIRA’s next dinner meeting will be on Tuesday February 6, 2018. Ross Nairne will be speaking on the OH&S Review. On Wednesday May 16 CIRA is planning a six hour session, 2 pm to 8 pm (dinner included) on the changes to the Employment Standards Legislation and to the Labour Relations Code and its impact.