Consensual mediation-arbitration

Some grievances are settled by the employer and the union (the parties to the collective agreement). Some can be harder to settle and the union and employer may decide that a neutral third-party can help them come to an agreement.

The process of mediation-arbitration is one tool available to unions and employers to try to reach an agreement.

What is mediation-arbitration?

Mediation-arbitration is a combination of two processes. Rather than going directly to an arbitration hearing process, where the arbitrator will hear the evidence and arguments of both sides and then come to decision, the union and employer agree that the arbitrator should try to work with them to settle (mediate) the grievance first. If the grievance can't be resolved informally, then the arbitrator will hear and decide the matter.

The union and employer can agree to a mediation-arbitration process themselves. In addition, the Director of the Collective Agreement Arbitration Bureau (CAAB) can appoint a mediator-arbitrator under the Labour Relations Code (the Code) where the parties make a joint application asking for one.

How can a party to a collective agreement apply for consensual mediation-arbitration?

Only the parties to a collective agreement can apply for a referral to consensual mediation-arbitration. Parties must agree to apply to the director for mediation-arbitration.

To apply for consensual mediation-arbitration:

  1. Complete the Request for Appointment form
  2. Submit the application by email, mail, or courier to the attention of Director of CAAB
    1. Confirm in the application that both parties are in agreement to apply for consensual mediation-arbitration
  3. Arrange to pay the $100 filing fee.

Filing by email? The Board only accepts supporting information in PDF, MP3, or MP4 format. Supporting information cannot be provided by a file-share link at this time.

The Director of the CAAB will appoint an arbitrator from the Register of Arbitrators.

Fees and expenses charged by the arbitrator are typically split between the parties and aren't governed by CAAB or the Code.


This page was last updated: 2023-07-10

Disclaimer: The information on this website is provided for general purposes only and is not legal advice. This information is subject to the Labour Relations Code, the Labour Relations Board Rules, the Labour Relations Regulation and the published decisions of the Board

The Labour Relations Board acknowledges the territories of the many diverse Indigenous Peoples in the geographic area we serve. With gratitude and respect, we acknowledge that the Board’s office is located on the unceded territories of the Coast Salish peoples, including the territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and səlil̓wətaʔɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations.