40:1 Bill 78, Defending Employees' Rights Act (Collective Bargaining and Financial Disclosure by Trade Unions), 2012

Hillier, Randy

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Bill 78                                                          2012

An Act to amend the Labour Relations Act, 1995 to protect the rights of employees in collective bargaining and the financial interests of members of trade unions

Note: This Act amends the Labour Relations Act, 1995.  For the legislative history of the Act, see the Table of Consolidated Public Statutes – Detailed Legislative History at www.e-Laws.gov.on.ca.

Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Assembly of the Province of Ontario, enacts as follows:

   1.  The Labour Relations Act, 1995 is amended by adding the following section after the heading “Contents of Collective Agreements”:

Definition

   44.1  In sections 45 to 51,

“regular union dues” means that part of the dues uniformly and regularly paid by a member of a trade union in accordance with the constitution and by-laws of the trade union that relates to,

  (a)  bargaining by the trade union for a collective agreement,

  (b)  the payment of any pension, superannuation, sickness insurance or other benefit available only to members of the trade union,

   (c)  the exercise by the trade union of any power or duty under this Act, or

  (d)  any other matter prescribed by the regulations made under this Act,

but not any amount of the dues that relates to any other purpose, such as donations to political parties, unless the employee has specifically authorized the trade union in writing to include that amount in the part of the dues described in this definition.

   2.  Subsection 45 (1) of the Act is repealed and the following substituted:

Recognition provisions

   (1)  Every collective agreement shall be deemed to provide that the trade union that is a party to the agreement is recognized as the exclusive bargaining agent of,

  (a)  the employees in the bargaining unit defined in the agreement who are members of the union, but not employees who are not members of the union, if the agreement is entered into on or after the Defending Employees’ Rights Act (Collective Bargaining and Financial Disclosure by Trade Unions), 2012 comes into force;

  (b)  the employees in the bargaining unit defined in the agreement if the agreement is entered into before the Defending Employees’ Rights Act (Collective Bargaining and Financial Disclosure by Trade Unions), 2012 comes into force.

   3.  Section 47 of the Act is repealed and the following substituted:

Deduction and remittance of union dues

   47.  Except in the construction industry, if a trade union that is the bargaining agent for employees in a bargaining unit so requests, there shall be included in the collective agreement between the trade union and the employer of the employees a provision requiring the employer to deduct from the wages of each employee in the unit who is affected by the collective agreement the amount of the regular union dues and to remit the amount to the trade union forthwith.

   4.  (1)  Subsection 51 (1) of the Act is amended by striking out the portion before clause (a) and substituting the following:

Permissive provisions

   (1)  Despite anything in this Act, the parties to a collective agreement may include in it provisions,

.     .     .     .     .

   (2)  Clause 51 (1) (a) of the Act is repealed and the following substituted:

  (a)  for requiring employees in the bargaining unit who are affected by the agreement to pay regular union dues to the trade union;

   (3)  Section 51 of the Act is amended by adding the following subsection:

Void provisions

   (1.1)  A provision of a collective agreement is void if it,

  (a)  requires, as a condition of employment, membership in the trade union that is a party to or is bound by the agreement;

  (b)  grants a preference of employment to members of the trade union; or

   (c)  requires that an employee in the bargaining unit who is affected by the agreement pay or arrange to pay to the trade union any dues, assessment or amount in excess of regular union dues.

   (4)  Subsection 51 (2) of the Act is repealed and the following substituted:

No discharge of non-member employee

   (2)  No trade union that is a party to a collective agreement shall require the employer to discharge an employee because,

  (a)  the employee has been expelled or suspended from membership in the trade union; or

  (b)  membership in the trade union has been denied to or withheld from the employee.

   (5)  Subsection 51 (4) of the Act is repealed.

   5.  Section 52 of the Act is repealed.

   6.  Section 56 of the Act is repealed and the following substituted:

Binding effect of collective agreements

   56.  A collective agreement is, subject to and for the purposes of this Act, binding upon,

  (a)  the employer;

  (b)  the trade union that is a party to the agreement, whether or not the trade union is certified;

   (c)  the employees in the bargaining unit defined in the agreement who are members of the union, but not employees who are not members of the union, if the agreement is entered into on or after the Defending Employees’ Rights Act (Collective Bargaining and Financial Disclosure by Trade Unions), 2012 comes into force; and

  (d)  the employees in the bargaining unit defined in the agreement if the agreement is entered into before the Defending Employees’ Rights Act (Collective Bargaining and Financial Disclosure by Trade Unions), 2012 comes into force.

   7.  Subsection 58 (3) of the Act is amended by striking out “of the Board on the joint application”.

   8.  The Act is amended by adding the following section:

Disclosure of financial information

   92.1  (1)  Every trade union that is party to a collective agreement shall, within 30 days after the end of its fiscal year, file with the Minister a statement setting out,

  (a)  the total of all dues payable to it by employees in the bargaining unit to which the collective agreement applies;

  (b)  the total of all expenses incurred by the trade union during the year;

   (c)  a breakdown of each expense that forms part of the total described in clause (b) and that is for an amount equal to or greater than $5,000 showing,

           (i)  the name of the individual who incurred the expense,

          (ii)  the total amount of the expense,

         (iii)  the date that the expense was incurred,

         (iv)  a description of the expense and the purpose of it, and

          (v)  all other information prescribed by the regulations made under this Act with respect to the expense.

Publication

   (2)  The Minister shall publish the statement on the Ministry’s website on the Internet.

Copy to members

   (3)  A trade union that is required to file a statement under subsection (1) shall, upon the request of any member, furnish the member, without charge, with a copy of the statement.

   9.  Section 125 of the Act is amended by adding the following clauses:

(j.1)  prescribing matters for the purpose of clause (d) of the definition of “regular union dues” in section 44.1 and amounts that are not to be included in that definition;

(j.2)  prescribing information for the purpose of subclause 92.1 (1) (c) (v);

Commencement

   10.  This Act comes into force on the day it receives Royal Assent.

Short title

   11.  The short title of this Act is the Defending Employees’ Rights Act (Collective Bargaining and Financial Disclosure by Trade Unions), 2012.

 

EXPLANATORY NOTE

The Bill amends the Labour Relations Act, 1995.

An employee in a bargaining unit where there is a collective agreement between the employer and a trade union is not required to be a member of the union. An employee who is not a member of the trade union is not affected by the collective agreement. The Bill repeals the present section 52 of the Act which allows an employee who objects to joining a trade union because of religious conviction to have dues paid to a charitable organization instead of to the union.

The Bill limits regular union dues of a member of a trade union to dues that relate to collective bargaining and no other purpose, unless the member specifically authorizes the union to include amounts for such other purpose. A provision in a collective agreement between an employer and a trade union is void if it requires any employee in the bargaining unit affected by the agreement to pay or arrange to pay to the union any amount in excess of the employee’s regular union dues. The trade union is prohibited from requesting the employer to deduct from the wages of any employee who is a member of the union any amount in excess of the employee’s regular union dues.

The parties to a collective agreement are allowed to terminate the agreement on consent. The Ontario Labour Relations Board no longer has jurisdiction to terminate the agreement early on the joint application of the parties.

The Bill requires a trade union that is a party to a collective agreement to file a yearly statement with the Minister setting out the dues that are payable to it under the agreement and particulars of its expenses incurred during the year, with a breakdown given of expenses of $5,000 or more. The Minister is required to post the statement on the Ministry’s website on the Internet and the trade union is required to make a copy of the statement available to its members upon request.

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