BRITISH COLUMBIA
LABOUR RELATIONS BOARD
COLLECTIVE AGREEMENT ARBITRATION BUREAU

Section 104
Expedited Arbitration

Delays in settling grievances can interfere with the ongoing relationship between a trade union and employer. Under certain conditions, a party to a collective agreement can apply to CAAB for expedited arbitration pursuant to Section 104 of the Labour Relations Code. Section 104 also provides for the appointment of a settlement officer to assist the parties in an attempt to resolve the grievance, prior to the appointment of an arbitrator.

Following receipt of a sufficiently completed application that complies with the filing requirements of Section 104, the director must appoint an arbitrator to hear and determine the matter arising out of the difference under the collective agreement.

The Director may appoint a settlement officer upon request.  If the grievance is not resolved by the settlement officer, the director will select an arbitrator from a Register of Arbitrators maintained by CAAB to hear the matter.

The arbitrator must, within seven calendar days of the appointment, conduct a case management conference with the parties to schedule the exchange of information and documents, schedule hearing dates and encourage settlement of the dispute.  Further, the arbitrator is required to conclude the arbitration within 90 calendar days after the date on which the difference was referred to the director.

The arbitrator's decision, with written reasons not exceeding seven pages, must be issued within 30 calendar days after the conclusion of the hearing or, if jointly requested by the parties, and if possible, issue an oral decision within one day after the conclusion of the hearing.

The Labour Relations Code states that no difference may be referred to the Director for expedited arbitration (section 104) unless

  • the grievance procedure has been exhausted; and
  • the application is made within 15 days of completion of the grievance procedure preceding a reference to arbitration; and
  • the matter has not already been referred to arbitration under the collective agreement by the party who is applying; and
  • the time stipulated in the collective agreement for referring the difference to arbitration has not expired.

Where there is a dispute between the parties as to whether these conditions have been met, the dispute is normally referred to the arbitrator who has the jurisdiction to deal with these issues as preliminary matters at the arbitration hearing. Arbitrators have, among other powers, the authority to relieve against breaches of time limits or other procedural requirements. The authority of an arbitration board is set out in section 89 and the powers of an arbitration board are set out in section 92 of the Labour Relations Code.

The fees and expenses charged by the arbitrator are normally shared equally by the two parties.

An application under Section 104 of the Code must be submitted on a Request for Appointment form which can be accessed on the LRB website: www.lrb.bc.ca

An application to CAAB can be filed by e-mail (registrar@lrb.bc.ca), mail, fax, or in person. The hours for filing applications with CAAB are: 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM, Monday to Friday, excluding statutory holidays. An application filed after 4:00 PM will be treated as filed at 8:00 AM the next business day.


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