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4 Canadian Lab. & Emp. L.J. 1 (1996)

handle is hein.journals/canlemj4 and id is 1 raw text is: AMALGAMATION OF THE PUBLIC
SERVICE STAFF RELATIONS BOARD
AND THE CANADA LABOUR
RELATIONS BOARD: SOME THOUGHTS
ON A RECURRING THEME
Michel LeFranpois*
In the following article, the author discusses the concept of the amalgamation of
the Public Service Staff Relations Board with the Canada Labour Relations Board.
This, he notes, is an issue that has been raised periodically, and in the author's view, is
a matter which is likely to resurface.
The author begins by tracing the historical underpinnings of collective bargain-
ing in the public service and explores the reasons for the creation of the Public Service
Staff Relations Board as a tribunal distinct from the Canada Labour Relations Board.
Differences between public sector collective bargaining and its counterpart in the
private sector are cited, which include statutory limitations on the right to strike, the
different scope of collective bargaining, and the distinct constituencies served. Other
factors are also offered as contributing to the separate existence of the Public Service
Staff Relations Board, including independence from government and the view of the
public servants themselves.
The experience in other jurisdictions with respect to the relationship between the
public and private sectors is explored, the author noting that some provinces have
never established separate public sector and private sector boards, while others
initially set up separate boards and subsequently amalgamated them.
The author, without committing himself to any of these positions, then sets out
the respective cases for merging the private and public sector legislative regimes, for
maintaining the status quo, and for effecting an administrative amalgamation. While
not himself advocating any of these options, the author does, however, suggest that
administrative amalgamation might have more far-reaching implications than an-
ticipated once implemented; for example, revealing the differences between the legis-
lative schemes may cause the parties to question their continued separate existence.
This, and other factors, the author argues, might result in a tendency towards har-
monization of the two schemes if administrative amalgamation is adopted.
Michel LeFran~ois is counsel to the Public Service Staff Relations Board. The
views of the author are his own and the author would like to thank
D. Ltourneau, R. Harkin, J. McCormick and the anonymous referee for their
support and guidance.

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