Expedited arbitration

Every collective agreement must have a process to resolve issues under the collective agreement. One process is grievance and arbitration.

While a collective agreement can have its own expedited arbitration process, the Labour Relations Code (the Code) allows a union or employer to apply to the Director of Collective Agreement Arbitration Bureau (CAAB) to appoint an arbitrator to resolve the grievance under specific, and fast, timelines.

The Director of CAAB will appoint an arbitrator if the following conditions are met:

  • the grievance procedure set out in the collective agreement is complete,
  • the Section 104 application is made within 15 calendar days of the completion of the final step in grievance procedure before the matter is referred to arbitration,
    • If the collective agreement sets out a shorter timeframe to refer the grievance to arbitration, the shorter timeframe applies, and
  • the matter hasn't been referred to arbitration under the collective agreement by the party who is applying.

A dispute between the union and employer as to whether these conditions have been met is normally referred to the arbitrator to decide.

Once accepted, the Director of CAAB will appoint an arbitrator from the register of arbitrators to hear and decide the grievance.

 The arbitrator's authority is set out in the Labour Relations Code, Section 89 - Powers of arbitration board  and the powers of the arbitrator are set out in Section 92 - Authority of arbitration board.

The Director may also appoint a settlement officer to assist the parties to attempt to settle the matter before the hearing.

Within seven calendar days of the appointment, the arbitrator must conduct a case management conference with the union and employer. The purpose of the case management conference is to schedule the exchange of information and documents, schedule hearing dates, and encourage settlement. It usually takes place by phone or video conference.

The arbitrator must conclude the arbitration within 90 calendar days after the date the application was accepted by the Director. The arbitrator must issue a decision within 30 calendar days after the conclusion of the hearing.

If the parties request it, and if possible, the arbitrator can issue an oral decision within one day of the conclusion of the hearing.

To apply for expedited arbitration, either the union or the employer must file an application with the Board by using the Board’s online application process. The $100 filing fee can be paid through the online application process. If you can't use the online application process and need an alternate means of filing an application, contact us.

Once the application has been submitted through the online application process, you will be able to save a copy of the completed application. A copy of the completed application must be sent to the other party.

The cost of an arbitration is determined by the arbitrator appointed. The arbitrator appointed will generally charge their usual daily rate. This can vary between different arbitrators.

Where a settlement officer is appointed by the Director, there is no charge for their time. The parties will be required to share the cost of travel and accommodation if the settlement officer attends a settlement meeting away from the Board's offices.


This page was last updated: 2021-05-10

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.