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LABOUR RELATIONS BOARDS - Standing - Standard of review - Correctness

Tuesday, May 08, 2018 @ 8:37 AM  

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Application by the Union for judicial review of the Alberta Labour Relations Board’s decision. The Board determined that the Union did not have standing to challenge the constitutionality of section 12(1)(f)(ii) of the Public Service Employee Relations Act as it did not represent excluded employees. It declined to grant the Union standing on the basis of public interest. The Board went on to determine that the impugned provision, which excluded system analysts from the bargaining unit, did not violate s. 2(d) of the Charter as the provision did not prohibit systems analysts from making representations to the employer, NAIT, on working conditions.

HELD: Application dismissed. Because a constitutional issue was involved and because the issue of standing was so inextricably linked to the constitutional question, the standard of review respecting the standing issue as to whether the Union had standing as of right was correctness. The issue of whether the Union should have been granted standing under the public interest exception was reviewable on a reasonableness standard. The Board’s decision to deny direct standing to the Union was correct. It was the excluded employees’ right to associate that s. 2(d) of the Charter protected. The Union had no standing to assert collective rights on behalf of the excluded employees. The Board’s decision to not grant the Union public interest standing was reasonable.

Alberta Union of Provincial Employees v. Northern Alberta Institute of Technology, [2018] A.J. No. 372, Alberta Court of Queen's Bench, D.C. Read J., March 27, 2018. Digest No. TLD-May72018004