Legislative changes aim to ensure essential public services during labour disputes

New Brunswick Government

New Brunswick has introduced legislative amendments that are intended to ensure essential services remain available during labour disputes.

In a release, Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour Minister Trevor Holder says the Public Service Labour Relations Act is 'outdated and ineffective'.

Officials say the amendments would allow the replacement of designated essential workers who are absent to ensure essential services are available, and allow changes to the work schedules of essential workers during a strike or lockout. 

In addition, strike votes would expire after one year, 72-hours notice would be required for strike action, and 24-hours notice would be required for a lockout.

Government says the Public Service Labour Relations Act regulates the organization, classification and unionization of the work in Parts I, II, III and IV of the public service, as well as the collective bargaining process between the employer, employees and their bargaining agents.