Arbitration Board Impartiality

Posted by Johannes Schenk on May 23rd, 2006 — Posted in Labour Law

Labour arbitrations are frequently heard by a panel consiting of a neutral chair, and a nominee each for the employer and the union. So, just how partial does the nominee get to be? Or put another way, how impartial does the nominee have to be? This issue is examined in Canadian Union of Public Employees Local 408 v. Chinook Health Region, 2006 ABQB 316. The case gives a good summary of decisions on nominee impartiality and holds that under Alberta legislation nominee independence is no longer a key issue to be considered. The suitability of a nominee is now considered on the basis of the nominee being, “directly affected by the difference or having been involved in an attempt to negotiate or settle the difference.”

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