Negotiations 2011: FAQ 2

1. What is a No-Board Report?
2. What happens to our Collective Agreement during Conciliation?
3. Is Conciliation the same as Arbitration?

1. What is a No-Board Report?

If conciliation fails, the conciliation officer writes what is called a “no-board” report. At any point after the initial meeting, either of the parties can also unilaterally ask for a “no-board” report. If the conciliator feels he or she cannot effect an agreement or if either side calls for a no-board, the Ministry of Labour will issue a letter stating that a Conciliation Board will not be appointed (the so-called “no-board” report). Effectively, a “no-board” report indicates a failure to resolve differences between the two parties. After a “no-board report is issued, the parties must observe a sixteen-day period. During this time, they may continue negotiations. On the seventeenth day following this no-board report, a lockout or strike is legally possible. A no-board report does not mean a lockout or strike will occur; the decision to lockout or strike can be kept in abeyance until any point in time.

2. What happens to our Collective Agreement during Conciliation?
Our negotiated 3-yr collective agreement expired at the end of April 2011. We have been and are trying to reach a new agreement. As negotiations continue, there is a statutory freeze on existing terms and conditions. In effect, this means that our terms of employment remain the same. If, however, there is a no-board report, seventeen days following that report, the Employer is able to make unilateral changes to our terms and conditions of employment.

3. Is Conciliation the same as Arbitration?

No, conciliation should not be confused with arbitration, which is a quasi-judicial process where a third party assesses the parties’ positions and imposes a binding settlement. In order for arbitration to take place, both parties would have to agree to this process.
Until 2008, all Queen’s University -QUFA Collective Agreements included a Dispute Resolution Mechanism (DRM) article providing for arbitration on financial matters. In 2008, the Queen’s Administration refused to renew the DRM, and so the 2008-11 Agreement has no requirement for arbitration.

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