The Newfoundland and Labrador Labour Relations Board is an independent, specialized, quasi-judicial body which plays a crucial role in contributing to and promoting harmonious labour relations in the Province. The Labour Relations Board’s primary objectives include fair and efficient processing of applications and rendering decisions which are clear, consistent, and in accordance with sound legal principles.
The Board is responsible for the interpretation and application of certain provisions of the following labour relations statutes: Labour Relations Act; Public Service Collective Bargaining Act; Fishing Industry Collective Bargaining Act; Teachers’ Collective Bargaining Act; Interns and Residents Collective Bargaining Act; Labour Standards Act; Occupational Health and Safety Act; Smoke-Free Environment Act, 2005; House of Assembly Accountability, Integrity and Administration Act; and Public Interest Disclosure and Whistleblower Protection Act and Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Atlantic Accord Implementation Newfoundland and Labrador Act.
Section 6 of the Labour Relations Act articulates the board’s structure and states:
(a) a chairperson, who holds office for 5 years;
(b) 2 persons representative of employers, 1 of whom shall retire each year; and
(c) 2 persons representative of employees, 1 of whom shall retire each year.
(3) The Lieutenant-Governor in Council shall appoint the chairperson and members of the board, and when making the appointment of the members he or she shall prescribe the date for retirement of each member in accordance with subsection (2).
(4) The Lieutenant-Governor in Council shall appoint 1 or more persons to be vice-chairpersons of the board who, subject to subsection (7.2), hold office for 5 years, and shall, in accordance with the regulations that may be made, act in the place of the chairperson during the absence of the chairperson and the vice-chairperson is a member of the board while he or she is so acting.
(5) The Lieutenant-Governor in Council may appoint as many persons as he or she considers appropriate but in number equally representative of employees and employers in the province to serve as alternate members of the board and as members of a panel of the board and the persons appointed hold office for 2 years.
(6) A person appointed under subsection (5) as a representative of employers may serve on the board in the absence of a person appointed under paragraph (2)(b) or where that person has an undue interest.
(7) A person appointed under subsection (5) as a representative of employees may serve on the board in the absence of a person appointed under paragraph (2)(c) or where that person has an undue interest.
(7.1) The persons appointed under subsection (5) shall be considered to be members of the board only while serving on the board or on a panel of the board.
(7.2) Persons appointed under subsections (3), (4) and (5) hold office during pleasure and are eligible for reappointment.
(8) Where a vacancy occurs on the board, because of the death, illness, resignation or removal of a person or for other reasons, the Lieutenant-Governor in Council may appoint a person to fill the vacancy, and a person so appointed may serve for the unexpired portion of the term of the person whom he or she replaces.
(9) Where the term of office of a person appointed under subsection (3) or (4) expires, he or she continues to be a member of the board until he or she is reappointed or replaced.
(10) Where the term of office of a person appointed under subsection (5) expires, he or she continues to be an alternate member of the board until he or she is reappointed or replaced.
The Board is supported by the administrative arm of the Labour Relations Board, which consists of: a chief executive officer, deputy chief executive officer, secretary, clerk typist and labour relations board officers. The support positions are full time Government of Newfoundland and Labrador employees.
Those who make up the Board should collectively possess the following core competencies:
Members of the Board should possess the following personal attributes:
Panels of the board meet monthly, at a minimum, by conference call or in person. Members of the Board should be available to meet for in-person meetings or hearings and/or deal with matters via conference call as required. When necessary, Board members need to make themselves available to participate in hearings on reasonably short notice. Hearings can range from one day to several weeks in length. Board members are expected to spend additional time reviewing materials and preparing for Board and/or panel meetings.
The Board is composed of a chairperson, who holds office for five-year renewable terms; two persons representative of employers, one of whom shall retire each year; and two persons representative of employees, one of whom shall retire each year. The Lieutenant Governor in Council shall appoint one or more persons to be vice-chairpersons of the board who hold office for five-year renewable terms. Where the term of office of a person appointed expires, he or she continues to be a member of the board until he or she is reappointed or replaced.
For additional information, related to the Labour Relations Board, please visit the website at: http://www.gov.nl.ca/lrb/
Currently, there are two vacant Vice-Chairperson positions. The Vice-Chairperson has historically been a practicing lawyer resident in the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador, knowledgeable in labour and employment law and maintaining a neutral practice – i.e. neither pro- union nor pro- employer. The role of a Vice-Chairperson is to serve in the place of the Chairperson when he/she is in a conflict or otherwise unable to chair a panel of the board or determine a Labour Standards matter, as per Section 9 of the Labour Relations Act. The Vice-Chairperson shall, where directed by the Chairperson, make determinations and conduct hearings with a panel of the board and write reasons for those decisions, where appropriate.
There are eight expirations occurring on November 1, 2017. These include: one regular member (Employer Representative), three alternate Employer Representatives and four alternate Employee Representatives. Employer and Employee representatives are expected to have the skills and qualifications articulated under qualifications above.