Labour Relations Board

The Saskatchewan Labour Relations Board is an independent, quasi-judicial tribunal charged with the responsibility of administering the Trade Union Act. It came into existence with the passage of the Trade Union Act, S.S. 1944. While there have been amendments to the Act, the concept of the Board has remained unchanged. The composition of the Board, as dictated by the Act, is one chairperson and two vice-chairpersons who are full-time members, and an unspecified number (currently eighteen) of members who are paid on a per-diem basis. Board members, with the exception of the chairperson and vice-chairpersons, are representatives of employees or employers. All members of the Board are appointed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council.

The basic function of the Labour Relations Board is to certify unions to represent groups of employees, and to guarantee the rights conferred by the Act on trade unions and individual employees. Part of this responsibility includes identifying the parties that will participate in the collective bargaining process, and to monitor and settle disputes. Three-person panels including the chairperson or a vice-chairperson, plus equal representation from employers and unions, conduct hearings. A decision, usually written, is rendered following the hearing. The Board attempts to conduct the hearings so as to identify the issues which are genuinely in dispute and to make the procedures accessible to those representatives of the parties who may have no legal training.

Donna Ottenson