Labour Relations Support

The OLRC provides support to member districts in the following areas: collective bargaining, contract interpretation, investigations, discipline, grievances, mediation/arbitration, attendance management, accommodation, human rights, employment law, exempt staffing issues, assistance with developing job descriptions, job evaluation, and the general application of management rights. The OLRC also provides education and in-service to staff in member organizations.

Collective Bargaining – The OLRC Executive Director will act as spokesperson on behalf of the Employer for CUPE negotiations either through direct delegated authority or as a service to members who are responsible for bargaining authority at the Board level. The OLRC also acts as an advisor and/or spokesperson for local teacher negotiations as practicable, given available resources.

Negotiations support includes:

  • working with the employer bargaining committees and districts to develop employer proposals
  • providing advice to the bargaining committee on bargaining tactics and responses
  • development of comparative information concerning benefits and contract provisions as appropriate
  • organizing the bargaining documentation
  • acting as a liaison with the union committee through the union spokesperson
  • generation of a final Memorandum of Agreement and Collective Agreement and ensuring legal requirements of relevant statutes are met.

Collective Agreement Administration – The OLRC provides interpretation, advice and guidance on matters arising from the collective agreements based on historical information, past practice, arbitral jurisprudence, legal precedents, general labour relations principles and experience to ensure problems are resolved and management rights are protected.

Grievances and Arbitration Management – The OLRC supports districts in the grievance process by researching contract interpretation issues and legal principles, assisting with developing appropriate responses to the union and may participate in the final stages of the grievance process as part of the employer committee for both CUPE and teacher grievances.

Job Evaluation Plan Administration – The OLRC has been involved in pay equity and job evaluation since the formation of the plans in 1994 and provides support to districts in the development and maintenance of appropriate job descriptions, recordkeeping, organization of committee meetings and associated correspondence/documentation, and assistance with rating inquiries.

Education Services – The OLRC is committed to providing seminars for professional development/growth in areas such as Progressive Discipline, Investigations, Performance Management and Professional Boundaries that are available to teachers or exempt staff from member districts who have been directed to attend as a result of a disciplinary investigation or who wish to attend for professional development. Other school districts are invited to attend based on availability of spaces.

Management Support – The OLRC is available for coaching and support for all manners of labour relations and human resources issues and can provide assistance with development of employer policies on existing and new initiatives in the human resources/labour relations area. In addition, the OLRC can support management by acting as a “buffer” in their relationship with the union on difficult issues and can assist with the development and deployment of labour relations strategies at the local level.

The OLRC also provides advice and support on exempt staffing issues. This includes working with districts and Principal and Vice Principal Associations on PVP contracts and misconduct investigations if required and appropriate.

Investigation Services

The OLRC provides investigation services to member school districts working closely with management to appropriately coordinate the investigation and progressive discipline process. This support typically begins at the time a complaint is received or incident occurs and includes a determination as to whether an investigation is appropriate given the circumstances.

The OLRC provides assistance with the notice of investigation, if required, planning of the investigation – identification of witnesses, timing of investigation and creation or editing of the interview questions. It may also include the Executive Director personally conducting the investigation. It concludes with a review of all the information gathered, a recommendation of required action and preparation of necessary documentation including formal reports, correspondence and support during grievance process as required.

Employee and Workplace Health

The OLRC assists districts with this integral part of organizational culture. Achieving optimal conditions results in a productive workplace where employees are healthy and function to the best of their ability, and the organization is fully accomplishing its mission.  The OLRC helps districts build awareness, develop concepts, create processes and effective behaviours within the foundational pillars: Wellness, Disability Management and Attendance Support.

Wellness – The OLRC works with Districts to develop and promote wellness strategies that increase awareness of health and wellbeing issues and encourage relevant wellbeing behaviours for both employee and employer in an effort to ensure employees are healthy and the workplace is physically and psychologically safe and supportive.

Disability Management – The OLRC provides customized assistance to districts in the development of fair, consistent, legally defensible systems and process relating to management of all medical leaves, return to work and accommodations, ranging from routine to highly complex situations.

Attendance Support –The OLRC assists districts in the development of consistent processes (objective analysis of attendance data, management training, engagement with unions and communication with employees) that aim to support employees among the highest absence percentiles to attend work more regularly.