Federal unions plan legal challenge against Bill C-4

Legislation undermines collective bargaining, human rights protections: PSAC

Federal public sector unions are challenging collective bargaining and workplace health and safety changes proposed in the government’s latest budget bill.

On Dec. 10, the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) announced its plan to join forces with the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada (PIPSC) and the Canadian Association of Professional Employees (CAPE) to launch a legal challenge against Bill C-4.

Tabled in October, Bill C-4 introduced sweeping changes to federal labour relations, such as giving the government the ability to declare its services as essential (and therefore limiting workers’ right to strike). As well, the legislation limits the use of arbitration for resolving disputes.

“Bill C-4 undermines the right to collective bargaining, eliminates important human rights protections, and will make every federal workplace less safe for its workers and the Canadians they serve,” PSAC said. “In order to defend the rights of their members, the unions will take joint action to challenge the constitutionality of Bill C-4, the legislation containing these dramatic changes, now being rushed through parliament.”

The unions agreed to pool resources ahead of the next round of collective bargaining with the Treasury Board in 2014.

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