Changes to the Labour Relations Act, 1995
Bill 66 would “deem municipalities and certain local boards, school boards, hospitals, colleges, universities and public bodies to be non-construction employers.” This would quash bargaining rights that currently bind certain public and quasi-public sector entities. Going forward, these entities would be exempt from the provisions of the Labour Relations Act, 1995 pertaining to the construction industry. As a result of this change:
“[t]rade unions that represent employees of these employers who are employed, or who may be employed, in the construction industry no longer represent those employees.”
“[a]ny collective agreement in this sector is no longer valid in so far as it applies to the construction industry.”
This change is significant, as the collective bargaining regime in the construction industry is quite different and generally more onerous for employers. Perhaps the greatest beneficiary of this change will be non-unionized construction contractors that will now have the opportunity to bid for work on projects owned or controlled by the affected entities.