What is Arbitration?

Grievance arbitration is a formal process for concluding disputes between trade unions and employers that arise from collective agreements. The arbitrator, either chosen consensually by the parties or appointed by the Director of CAAB, is a neutral person who is given quasi-judicial powers to investigate, hear evidence and provide a decision binding on the parties.

Q. Who can apply for expedited arbitration?

A. Any trade union or employer which is party to a collective agreement under the Labour Relations Code. However, the parties must have exhausted the grievance procedure in their collective agreement before making an application to CAAB.

Q. How does an employer or union apply for expedited arbitration?

A. Application forms are available from the Collective Agreement Arbitration Bureau, as well in PDF format on this website.

Q. Is there a time limit to applying for expedited arbitration?

A. Yes. Time limits must be followed according to the collective agreement. Otherwise, applications must be made within 45 days of completing the grievance procedure.

Q. If a union or employer applies for expedited arbitration, can the other party refuse to take part on the grounds it differs from the collective agreement?

A. No. Expedited arbitration, as set out in section 104 of the Labour Relations Code, overrides the provisions of the collective agreement.

Q. Is there an opportunity to settle before or during arbitration?

A. Yes. The Director may appoint a settlement officer prior to an expedited arbitration hearing. The expedited arbitrator may encourage settlement of the grievance if the parties concur. In addition, the parties may refer grievances to a mediator-arbitrator (section 105).

Q. Who pays for expedited arbitration?

A. The fees and expenses of the arbitrator are divided equally between the union and employer. There is no charge for meeting with a settlement officer.

Q. What power does an expedited arbitrator have?

A. An expedited arbitrator has the same powers as any arbitrator appointed under the Labour Relations Code. See Sections 89 and 92 of the Code for details of these powers.

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