On May 17th, 2022, Bill 10 passed its third reading. In essence, Bill 10 amends the BC Labour Relations Code Act to establish two significant changes for workers; it ensures the right to join a union and bargain for fair working conditions. The amendments proposed in this Bill will ensure that workers are permitted to exercise their free association and union representation rights without the interference of an employer.
Single-Step Union Certification System
Additionally, the amendments covered in Bill 10 will allow for the establishment of a single-step union certification system. This will support employees to exercise their Charter right of free association. Furthermore, it will also support workers with their constitutionally protected right to choose union representation in their workplace. In the Bill, this single-step process is often referred to as a card-check system.
Additionally, workers in the construction sector will have the ability to change their union representation more frequently. This amendment was made particularly with the construction workers in mind due to the unique nature of this industry.
Specifically, the changes to the BC Labour Relations Code will allow employees to change union representation in July and August of each year of the collective agreement or any continuation. Previously this was only permitted once every three years. A trade union claiming to have members in good standing with the majority of employees in a unit appropriate for collective bargaining may apply to the board to be certified for the unit.
More Relevant information on How Bill 10 Amends the BC Labour Relations Code
Further steps may be required by the board to certify the trade union as the bargaining agent for the employees in the unit if on the date the board receives an application stating:
- At least 55 percent of the employees in the unit are in good standing with the trade union, and
- The unit is appropriate for collective bargaining.
If these criteria are met, the union will be certified by the Board without a ratification vote.
While several associations have questioned this bill, claiming that these changes have been made “without any meaningful consultation with employers”, the British Columbia Government has passed these amendments into law. This Bill will come into force on the date that it receives Royal Assent, which is expected in the near future.
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