A collective agreement is a legally binding document that outlines the terms and conditions of employment for a group of employees represented by a union. The Ontario Labour Relations Board (OLRB) is responsible for administering and enforcing collective agreements in Ontario.
Collective agreements generally cover a range of topics, including wages, hours of work, benefits, and working conditions. They are negotiated between the union and the employer, and are designed to ensure that both parties are aware of their rights and obligations.
In Ontario, the OLRB has the power to certify the bargaining rights of a union, to mediate negotiations between the union and the employer, and to resolve disputes that arise during the life of a collective agreement. The OLRB also has the power to enforce collective agreements, including the power to issue orders requiring an employer to comply with a collective agreement or to stop engaging in unfair labour practices.
One of the key benefits of a collective agreement is that it provides job security for unionized employees. A collective agreement typically includes provisions that protect employees from arbitrary dismissal, and that require the employer to provide notice and severance pay in the event of a layoff or termination.
Collective agreements also provide a mechanism for resolving workplace disputes. If an employee believes that the employer has violated the terms of the collective agreement, he or she can file a grievance with the union. The union will then negotiate with the employer to resolve the dispute, and if necessary, can bring the matter in front of an arbitrator.
In summary, a collective agreement is a key tool for protecting the rights of unionized employees, and for ensuring that both the union and the employer are aware of their rights and obligations. The OLRB plays a critical role in administering and enforcing collective agreements in Ontario, and is responsible for mediating negotiations, resolving disputes, and ensuring compliance with the terms of the agreement.