Review of Arbitration Awards

    Purpose

The purpose of this Information Bulletin is to provide general information and guidance about the review of arbitration awards.  It is not a legal document and is subject to the provisions of the Labour Relations Code, the Labour Relations Regulation and the Labour Relations Board Rules.

  Legislative References (Code, Regulation, Rules)

Section 99; LRB Rule 28

  Law

The Board has jurisdiction under Section 99 of the Labour Relations Code to review arbitration awards on certain grounds. Application may also be made under Section 100 of the Code to the Court of Appeal where the grounds for review concern matters of general law not within the Board's jurisdiction.

 Section 99 applies to grievance arbitrations and other awards which the Board has determined have the status of arbitration awards (examples include awards by medical review panels and awards under the construction industry Jurisdiction Assignment Plan).  However, Section 99 is not applicable to interest arbitrations unless they arise under a collective agreement. Accordingly, it is not applicable to first agreement arbitration awards under Section 55 of the Code.  If the Board itself renders a first agreement arbitration award, it is subject to reconsideration under Section 141.  

  Time Limits

Within 15 calendar days after publication of an arbitration award, a party directly affected by the award may apply to the Board for review.  An application for an extension of time should be made to the Registrar before the expiry of the 15-day time limit. If an extension of more than three working days is being sought, the applicant should first seek the agreement of the other party before contacting the Board.  If an extension is granted, the applicant should immediately confirm that extension in writing to the Board, with copies to the parties.  For more information, see the section on "Extensions" in either Information Bulletin No. 25 "Procedural Matters", or Practice Guideline No. ADJ-1 "Processing of Applications - General". 

Ten Page Limit

 

An application shall not exceed ten (10) double-spaced pages unless permitted by the Registrar (this limit does not include the arbitration award itself or any other supporting materials).  

  Rule 28

The application must comply with Board Rule 28, and must be accompanied by a copy of the decision or award.  It is not necessary to file a copy of the relevant collective agreement unless specifically requested by the Board.

  Compliance or Stay

The Board generally requires that a party comply with the terms of an arbitration award before it will review the award under Section 99.  A party may apply for a stay of an award within the 15 day time period for seeking review, and must satisfy the established test for a stay of proceedings (see Stay of Proceedings in Information Bulletin No. 25).

  Grounds For Review

The Board is not a full-fledged avenue for appeal of arbitration awards.  Appeal as a matter of course would be destructive to the arbitration system, which is intended to be a relatively quick, inexpensive and informal method of resolving contested grievances.  The grounds for review under Section 99 (1) are: 

·         a party has been denied a fair hearing, or

 ·         the award is inconsistent with the principles of the Labour Relations Code or another Act dealing with labour relations.  

    Limits on Review

The following points list some of the restrictions on review under Section 99:

·         the Board generally does not review an interim award made by an arbitration board,

·         the Board does not interfere with an interpretation of the language of a collective agreement, so long as the arbitrator made a genuine effort to interpret the provisions relevant to the dispute between the parties,

 ·       the Board will not consider an argument that was not made at the arbitration hearing,

 ·        the Board generally does not review an arbitration board's findings of fact,

 ·       the Board does not review the weight attached to the evidence by the arbitration board,

·         the Board will not consider evidence which was available to the applicant and which was not presented at the arbitration hearing by choice of the applicant, and

 ·       the Board will be less stringent in reviewing expedited awards.

    Examples of Review Allowed

The following are examples of circumstances where the Board will review an arbitration award:

 ·         a party to the arbitration was denied a fair hearing (the fair hearing standard is flexible where the parties have agreed to an expedited arbitration process),

 ·         the arbitration board did not consider the real substance of the matters in dispute,

 ·         the arbitration board failed to make a genuine effort to interpret the collective agreement,

 ·         the arbitration board failed to provide a reasoned analysis of the issues,

 ·         the arbitration board considered or referred to facts not put in evidence,

 ·         the arbitration board refused to admit extrinsic evidence which might be relevant, or failed to properly exercise its discretion regarding the use of extrinsic evidence,

·         the arbitration board failed to complete its award or did not provide a final and conclusive decision,

 ·         the arbitration board went beyond its power to imply terms in a collective agreement and, in effect, rewrote parts of the agreement, or

the arbitration award is inconsistent with the principles of the Labour Relations Code or other labour relations legislation.

  Statutory Declaration

Where the application for review is based on material facts which are not evident on the face of the award, a statement of those material facts, verified by statutory declaration, must accompany the application (see Board Rule 28(2)).

  Remedy

The Board may set aside an arbitration award, remit the matter back to the original arbitration board or to a new board, or substitute its own decision for that of the arbitration board.

  Leading Cases

Wm. Scott and Company Ltd., BCLRB No. B46/76, [1977] 1 Can LRBR 1 (general law, dismissal)

  Simon Fraser University, BCLRB No. B16/76, [1976] 2 Can LRBR 54 (general law)

  Lornex Mining Corporation Limited, BCLRB No. B96/76, [1977] 1 Can LRBR 377 (general law)

  Andres Wines (B.C.) Ltd., BCLRB No. B75/77, [1978] 1 Can LRBR 251 (general law)

  B.C. Rail Ltd. , BCLRB No. B410/94 (stay of arbitration awards)

  Rose Lalani, BCLRB No. B378/93 (standing of employee to appeal arbitration award; timeliness of application)

  Fording Coal Limited , BCLRB No. B361/96 (restrictive approach to review of interim awards)

 Central Saanich Police Board, et al , BCLRB No. B395/95, 28 CLRBR (2d) 168 (jurisdiction to review or reconsider interest arbitrations)

Pullman Trailmobile of Canada Ltd., BCLRB No. 43/79, [1979] 2 CLRBR 458 (fair hearing)

  Nanaimo Times Ltd. , BCLRB No. B40/96 (use of extrinsic evidence)

  University of British Columbia, BCLRB No. B42/76, [1977] 1 Can. LRBR 13 (use of extrinsic evidence)

  Howe Sound Pulp and Paper Limited , BCLRB No. B183/93 (use of statutory declarations)

  Fording Coal Limited , BCLRB No. 165/2000, 59 CLRBR (2d) 223 (setting aside or remitting)

  Decisions (Copies)

Board decisions since January 1, 2000 are available without charge on the Internet at www.lrb.bc.ca .

Board decisions can also be purchased from:

Canada Law Book Inc.
240 Edward St.
Aurora, Ontario    L4G 3S9
Telephone (toll free) 1-800-387-5164 

    Advice

LRB Staff provide general information and assistance to the public, but they cannot act as your representative or advisor.  For answers to specific concerns related to your situation, you should consult a lawyer or an advisor experienced in labour relations.  For general clarification, call the Board's Information Officer at 660-1300.

 


    Practice Manual Effective: 04/01/95
    Revised: 08/2001

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(Collective Agreement Arbitration Bureau)