Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Labour and Employment Board upholds union members rights

A recent decision by the New Brunswick Labour and Employment Board has upheld the rights of union members.
In its decision, the board ordered the commission to reinstate a lawyer, Jean Trahan, it fired after he became a union member. The lawyer was part of the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada bargaining team that was set to negotiate the first collective agreement on behalf of legal aid attorneys.
He was to be terminated without cause and offered six months' severance, something the commission believed was within its rights as the first collective agreement had not been negotiated.
In the written decision, the board ruled that once a worker is a certified union member, the employer cannot terminate the employee without cause before a collective bargaining agreement is signed.
Alternate chairperson on the board G.L. Blandon wrote, "These circumstances compel the board to conclude that Trahan's termination would have a negative impact on an employee considering membership in the union and anticipation in its activities.
"The effect of improperly terminating Trahan without cause, just before bargaining was to begin for a collective agreement, had the effect of denying the union the opportunity of representing Trahan in the grievance process."
This decision, along with others from the Supreme Court, make it clear that it is safe to join or bring a union into your work place. To learn more about the New Brunswick Union call 1-800-442-4420 or go online to