Relations Labour Code: Mediation Officer and Services

Section 74: Mediation officer and services

74

  1. The associate chair of the Mediation Division may appoint a mediation officer if
    1. The associate chair of the Mediation Division may appoint a mediation officer if
    2. either party makes a written request to the associate chair to appoint a mediation officer to confer with the parties to assist them to conclude a collective agreement or a renewal or revision of it, and
    3. the request is accompanied by a statement of the matters the parties have or have not agreed on in the course of collective bargaining.
  2. A person appointed as a mediation officer need not be an employee of the board.
  3. The minister may at any time during the course of collective bargaining between an employer and a trade union, if he or she considers that the appointment is likely to facilitate the making of a collective agreement, appoint a mediation officer to confer with the parties
  4. If a mediation officer is appointed to confer with the parties, the mediation officer, must, no later than 10 days after first meeting with the parties or 20 days after the mediation officer’s appointment, whichever is sooner, or such longer period as the parties agree on or as the minister directs, report to the associate chair setting out the matters on which the parties have or have not agreed and such other information as the mediation officer considers relevant to the collective bargaining between the parties.
  5. If either party so requests of the associate chair, or if the minister so directs, the mediation officer must provide to the associate chair and the parties a report concerning the collective bargaining dispute, and the report may include recommended terms of settlement.
  6. Parties conferring with a mediation officer under this section must provide the information that the mediation officer requests concerning their collective bargaining.

Procedure

  1. Pursuant to Section 74 either party to a dispute may request the Associate Chair (Mediation) to appoint a mediator to assist the parties to resolve their difference. Prior to making application, districts are advised to contact their BCPSEA liaison to update them on the status of negotiations. BCPSEA will assist in the development of a mediation management plan.
  2. Application may be made by submitting the Application for Mediator or a Mediation Officer (form 74 – attached) to the Associate Chair (Mediation).
  3. Once an application is received by personal delivery, courier, Canada Post or by facsimile, the Associate Chair has the discretion to appoint a mediator in the dispute. That determination will be based on such factors as the specific nature of the dispute, the number of negotiating meetings held between the parties, the number of issues outstanding, etc. Once strike or lockout notice is served in a dispute, a mediator will usually only be appointed if both parties agree.
  4. If the Associate Chair determines that a mediator should be appointed, written notice will be provided to the parties. The mediator will usually be an employee of the Mediation Division.
  5. The mediator will contact the parties to arrange a meeting place and date. At that time, the parties will be advised what costs (if any) of the proceedings they must assume. The mediator will attempt to commence the meetings as soon as possible after the appointment.
  6. Within 20 days after the mediation officer’s appointment or 10 days after the first meeting with the parties, the mediation officer shall report to the Associate Chair on the dispute and include in his or her report the items agreed upon, the items still in dispute, and such other information as the mediation officer considers relevant to the collective bargaining dispute. This report may be in verbal or written form. The 20-day deadline can be extended by agreement of the parties or at the direction of the Minister; however, the Board does not have a discretionary power to grant an extension.
  7. If either party or the Minister requests of the Associate Chair, the mediator may provide recommended terms of settlement in a report. Such recommendations are non binding and will generally only be provided when the mediator is of the view that they are likely to be acceptable to both parties. The mediator’s recommendations will be transmitted from the Associate Chair to the parties. The parties will be asked to advise the Associate Chair as soon as possible if the recommendations form the basis for concluding a collective agreement.
  8. In accordance with Sections 60(3)(b)(iv) and 61(3)(b)(iv) of the Labour Relations Code, if a strike or lockout has not commenced and a mediator has been appointed under Section 74, a strike or lockout may not occur until 48 hours from the time the Associate Chair advises the parties that the mediator has reported out of the dispute.
  9. A party wishing a mediator to "report out" of a dispute should verbally advise the mediator. The mediator will then issue her/his report to the Associate Chair. Written notice of this "report out" will be provided to the parties by the Associate Chair. The letter will advise of the commencement of the 48 hour period before a strike or lockout can occur.