Collective Bargaining

Committee Name: Collective Bargaining Committee

Mandate/General Purpose:
The mandate of the Collective Bargaining Committee is to negotiate renewals of the MRSA/MRU collective agreement, utilising available and appropriate resources, and the Labour Relations Code to obtain the most fair and favourable outcome for MRSA members. The Collective Bargaining Committee is accountable to the MRSA Executive and membership. Any proposed agreements, which have been agreed to in principle by the committee, will be presented to the membership for ratification. The Committee is required to provide thorough communication to the membership to allow for proper consideration of any tentative agreement, or access to any of the available legal processes, to conclude negotiating a collective agreement.


● Chair: Labour Relations Officer (LRO)
○ The Chair is authorised to sign the agreement in principle, delegated by the President.
● Maximum of five (5) MRSA members.
○ MRSA members are appointed by the Executive following a call for expressions of interest.
○ One position will be held by a member of the Executive.
○ The LRO may provide recommendations to the Executive regarding the composition of the committee.
■ Recommendations will be to encourage diversity and in the broad interests of the bargaining unit.
○ Should vacancies arise during a round of bargaining, the Executive will reserve the right to appoint an alternative member(s).
● The Operations Administrator (OA) may provide additional administrative support and guidance to the committee, on an as needed basis.
● Length of term is for the duration of the bargaining process.

Roles and Responsibilities:

● Meetings are scheduled as per the collective agreement, and on an as needed and agreed to basis with MRU.
● This committee has the ability to access budgeted funding for Collective Bargaining, Mediation and Training.
○ Additional funding for access to other legal processes as per the Labour Relations Code may be available dependent upon Officer or Executive approval, as per MRSA policy.
● Decisions of the committee are made generally through consensus, however, should consensus not be reached, a majority of the voting committee members may authorise a decision.
○ The LRO and OA are non-voting members, but may be relied upon for advice, research and guidance.

Specific responsibilities:
● To research all appropriate and necessary information regarding collective agreements, employment terms and conditions, and economic factors which may have an impact on collective bargaining.
● To survey members for input and to determine the mandate for collective bargaining
● To provide regular updates to the Executive and Membership regarding the bargaining process.
● To participate in collective bargaining with the MRU Board of Governors (BoG) as per the Collective Agreement and the Labour Relations Code with the goal to conclude bargaining.
○ The committee shall keep in mind that the legal obligation in bargaining is to agree to improvements that have the most improvement to the majority of persons. Committee members ought to remove self-interest from consideration. Individual circumstances are certainly important to consider however, the goal is to seek the most improvement for the most people.
○ Consideration must be given to potential issues of discrimination, and how particular conditions of employment may affect groups within the bargaining unit.
● To provide fulsome communication to the Executive and membership if there are significant issues to concluding negotiations, in order to assess and determine how to proceed up to and including access to the process of legal strike.
● To communicate fulsome information to MRSA members regarding any proposed tentative agreement, for the purpose of ratification.
● To prepare and support the ratification process for the MRSA membership, including information sharing and voting process.
● To support implementation of a new collective agreement.


● The Chair is required to provide regular informational updates to the Executive and membership, while respecting the confidentiality of the bargaining process.
● The Chair is required to provide an update for action to the Executive and membership when any tentative agreement is available for approval.
● The Chair is required to provide fulsome communications to the Executive and membership if there is a need to enter into mediation, or any other legal actions are proposed or taken.
● The Chair is responsible to provide recommendations to the Audit and Finance Committee for budgeting purposes. The MRSA currently budgets for various purposes for collective bargaining, which the committee may access upon need.
○ Budgeted surplus monies for the committee reverts to MRSA at end of year for addition to the defence fund.
● Minutes – the Chair of the MRSA Collective Bargaining Committee is responsible for proper record taking, as well as thorough administration of all bargaining processes.
○ The OA may assist with record keeping during bargaining and/or caucus sessions.
● Final authority to approve any collective agreement is as per the Labour Relations Code requirements, which is a vote of the entire membership and passes with a simple majority (50%+1) of the voting participants.

Level of Authority:

● Limited Agent: the committee can take some action with the board’s consent.
○ In this case, the Executive authorises the LRO to act as signing authority for any agreements in principle during the bargaining process, when agreement has been reached by the Collective Bargaining Committee.
○ The Executive authorises the committee to access budgeted funds, as per MRSA policy, as per the mandate of the committee.

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