Challenging Bill 75

NSTU Announces it will launch a Charter of Rights and Freedoms Challenge against Bill 75

Nancy F. Barteaux, Q.C., and Courtney Barbour were recently featured in the Viewpoints section of the spring 2017 edition of Nova Voce. Nova Voce is The Canadian Bar Association’s magazine.

BarteauxDurnford commentary in Viewpoints, p. 12, CBANS Nova Voce Spring 2018

The Viewpoint feature shared Nancy and Courtney’s perspective on the Nova Scotia Teachers’ Union (NSTU)’s threat of legal action following the passage of Bill 75. Bill 75 was the law which imposed a contract on more than 9,000 public school teachers in Nova Scotia earlier this year.

This week, the NSTU announced that it would move forward with launching a Charter of Rights and Freedoms challenge against Bill 75. Take a look at the Viewpoint article, page 12, to understand what the Provincial Government’s response is likely to focus on, as well as what’s included in the duty to bargain in good faith for employers engaged in the collective bargaining process.

Bill 75 passed the Teachers' Professional Agreement and Classroom Improvements (2017) Act in late February 2017 following 15 months of negotiations between the provincial government and the NSTU. The Act legislated an end to Nova Scotia teachers' work to rule action and imposed a contract on teachers.

Nancy Barteaux and Courtney Barbour commentary on NSTU challenge against Bill 75

In essence, Nancy and Courtney's commentary goes like this: "The NSTU's announcement that it's launching a Charter of Rights and Freedoms challenge against Bill 75 should interest employers operating in unionized environments.

An employer has a duty under section 2(d) of the Charter to agree to meet with and discuss workplace goals with the union. There is also an employer duty to bargain in good faith in the collective bargaining process, which includes engaging in meaningful dialogue and making a reasonable effort to arrive at an acceptable contract.

As the NSTU's challenge unfolds, employers will want to pay attention to the efforts involved in fulfilling those duties.

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