PSAC launches court action against Bill C-4

The PSAC has taken the first step in its legal challenge against Bill C-4, the legislation that has gutted the collective bargaining rights of federal public service workers.

On March 24, 2014 the union filed its constitutional challenge to Bill C-4 in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice. The challenge focuses on the following key areas:

  • Essential services, which challenges the changes made to the Public Service Labour Relations Act (PSLRA) that give the employer exclusive right to decide what are “essential services” and which workers perform them.
  • Dispute Resolution, which challenges the amendments made to the dispute resolution mechanisms under PSLRA where unions were free to choose a conciliation/strike process or binding arbitration. The amendments now restrict their choices. Bill C-4 also ensures that arbitration boards are no longer independent.
  • Freedom of Association and Freedom to Strike, which argues that Bill C-4 violates the fundamental rights of federal public service workers guaranteed under the Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

More updates will follow as the case progresses.