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Q&As


The following questions relate to the collective bargaining process at Dalhousie University. They are categorized by faculty, staff and students.

If you have a question that is not included below, send it to Ask Us. Please review the question guidelines before submitting your question.

As negotiations progress, will the university community be updated?

Yes. Dalhousie will provide updates to the university community through this web page as negotiations progress. These updates will be factual and respectful of the collective bargaining process and our obligations under the Nova Scotia Trade Union Act.

 

How will Dalhousie’s communications on this website affect collective bargaining?

Collective bargaining is part of the life cycle of a collective agreement. The information posted on this website will assist the university community in understanding the process as it unfolds without interfering with the collective bargaining processes.

 

What happens if the employer and the union are unable to conclude a collective agreement through the collective bargaining process?

If the parties are unable to reach agreement, either party (or both) may request the appointment of a conciliation officer by the Minister Labour and Advanced Education.

 

What is the role of a conciliation officer?

The role of a conciliation officer is to assist the parties in reaching an agreement. The conciliation officer acts as a neutral third party and helps both parties work towards a mutually satisfactory solution and a new collective agreement. It is important to note that a conciliation officer does not have the authority to bind the parties or impose a new agreement on them. A conciliation officer is only able to make recommendations based on observations and guide the parties through the process.  At the end of the conciliation process, the conciliation officer must provide the minister with a report indicating whether the parties reached agreement.

 

What happens if the conciliation process is unsuccessful?

If the Conciliation officer determines that an agreement will not be reached, he/she declares an impasse. The law then requires the Conciliation officer to file a confidential report with the Minister of Labour and Advanced Education. This report is referred to as a ‘No Board Report’. A 14-calendar-day countdown period begins at 12:01 am on the day following the filing of the report.

The Conciliation officer may request the parties to attend a meeting during the countdown period in a further attempt to reach a settlement and avoid a work stoppage (strike or lockout).

If the parties are unable to reach a settlement, the following conditions must be met before either party may engage in a legal work stoppage:

  • The 14-calendar-day countdown must have expired; and
  • Written 48 hours’ notice of intention to strike by the union or lockout by the employer must be received by the Minister. The 48 hours’ notice can occur within the 14 calendar day countdown.

 

Further questions

If you have any further questions about the collective bargaining process, we encourage you to consult the FAQs that have been prepared by the Department of Labour and Advanced Education.

All external communications regarding negotiations are being handled by the communications and marketing department. If you have any questions you may submit them to labour@dal.ca.