All of the following must be in place prior to either a strike or lockout taking place.
Strike & Lockout Pre-Conditions:
Note: The following items are legally required, as per the Alberta Labour Relations Code. An Agreement can be made at any time throughout the following step, thus ceasing the progression of the process.
1. No Collective Agreement in Force *This has occurred*
(i.e. the current collective agreement must have expired). The MRFA Agreement expired on July 1, 2018 and was bridged.
2. Essential Services Agreement or Exemption Obtained *This has occurred*
An Essential Services Agreement outlines work which is deemed essential, and therefore cannot be interrupted in the case of job action being initiated by either party. Both parties jointly filed an Essential Services Agreement in late January, 2019. The Alberta Labour Relations Board approved the ESA on February 1, 2019.
3. Statutory Mediation
This is distinct from the Informal & Voluntary Mediation in which the parties engaged from September – November in order to facilitate bargaining.
4. Action from the Mediator:
After Statutory Mediation, the Mediator must either:
a. Decline to issue a report, or
b. Issue a report containing recommendations, delivered to both parties.
It is possible that a vote may be held on the Mediator’s recommendations or a vote on the final offer presented by the Board of Governors. This is not a legally required step but could occur based upon the outcome of Statutory Mediation.
5. 14-Day Cooling Off Period
Following the conclusion of the Statutory Mediation process (steps 3 & 4) a 14-day cooling off period occurs.
6. Alberta Labour Relations Board Supervised Strike Vote.
Upon successful strike vote, the affirmative vote remains valid for a 120 day period, allowing the progression to step 7.
7. Engage in Strike/Lockout.
*The bargaining teams may continue to bargain and reach settlement at any point throughout this process*