Bill C-4 will quash many of your rights

November 26, 2013

Bill C-4, the budget implementation act, has a lot of hidden changes that would impact labour relations in the public service. Here are some of these changes. Don’t hesitate to print this page and distribute it to your colleagues.

Did you know C-4 will change the definition of danger?
The definition of “danger” in Section 122.1 of the Canada Labour Code – this section of the Code applies to federal public service employees – would be pared: the new definition would take away important details regarding the nature of what is a danger, which in turn would allow your employer to expose your health and wellbeing to what are now considered dangerous working conditions.

Did you know C-4 will allow the employer to solely designate which employees are essential?
Contrary to the current practice, designated positions would no longer be identified by means of a negotiated process involving employer and bargaining agent. The employer would have sole discretion over the identification of designated positions (the type of work and the number of positions). Furthermore, at any time after its decision, the employer could modify its list of designated positions.

Did you know C-4 will allow the employer to force you to do overtime?
During a labour dispute, members of a bargaining unit who are encumbering designated positions would no longer be allowed the right to refuse overtime work, call-back to work during personal hours or being on call. This would allow the employer to have designated employees do the work of striking employees.

Did you know C-4 will prevent you from voting for arbitration?
Instead of allowing you to select which dispute resolution process you prefer between conciliation/strike or arbitration, the only choice that would be left is conciliation followed by strike, in case of an impasse. This will increase the risk of work interruptions as a result of failed negotiations.

Did you know that C-4 will allow the employer to emerge from a policy grievance with nothing more than a simple declaration against it?
C-4 will actually eliminate all retroactive action on policy grievances in which the findings go against the employer. Consequently, even if the employer is found to have violated your rights, the employer would suffer no consequences except for a declaration issued by the Public Service Labour Relations Board.

Did you know that C-4 would expand the power of search and entry over your workplaces?
C-4 will expand the present PSLRB’s power to search and enter workplaces and to require employees to answer questions regarding complaints pursuant to the Public Service Employment Act.