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Les Leyne: Premier David Eby takes on lawyers — again

The B.C. NDP government has introduced a one-page bill that bestows the right to join a union on the 350 lawyers who work for government. There’s a catch. It herds them into a union the government prefers, the Professional Employees Association, rather than allowing them to form their own.

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Date de parution : 2023-05-06
'Unfair labour practice': B.C. government accused of blocking union bid by its own lawyers

Lawyers for the B.C. government say the province has ended negotiations with them ahead of legislation they claim aims to block their right to form their own union.

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Date de parution : 2023-05-04
N.B. prosecutors say recent sexual assault stay is evidence of resource shortage

New Brunswick’s justice system is reaching a crisis point. Urgent calls have been made to address the provincial criminal justice system after a decision was made to stay a sexual assault case due to the lack of prosecutors. According to the New Brunswick Crown Prosecutors Association, the judge’s decision, made in Moncton last Friday, is directly linked to the shortage of resources.

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Date de parution : 2023-03-01
Delays prompt judge to stay charges against man accused of sexual assault
Delays prompt judge to stay charges against man accused of sexual assault

Charges were stayed in Moncton provincial court Friday against a man accused of sexual assault, with the judge agreeing with the defence that the accused had waited too long to be tried. Meanwhile, New Brunswick Crown Prosecutors Association, representing Crown attorneys, saying staffing shortages in their ranks are at crisis levels.

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Date de parution : 2023-02-24
Government lawyers in B.C. fight for right to form their own union following newly tabled bill
Government lawyers in B.C. fight for right to form their own union following newly tabled bill

The B.C. Government Lawyers Association (BCGLA) is speaking out against the newly tabled Bill 5, which will allow government lawyers interested in unionizing to join the Professional Employees Association (PEA) for government-licensed professionals, but does not allow them to form their own union.

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Date de parution : 2023-02-11
B.C. government lawyers fight for right to unionize on their own terms
B.C. government lawyers fight for right to unionize on their own terms

Lawyers who work for the B.C. government writing legislation, providing legal advice and representing government in civil litigation want the right to join a union of their choice. The B.C. Government Lawyers Association said that 75 per cent of the government’s 350 lawyers had signed cards asking that the association be allowed to represent them as its proposed new union.

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Date de parution : 2022-11-21

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Labour officials, N.S. government to meet to discuss Bill 148


Controversial law from former Liberal government imposed wage pattern

Labour legislation from the former Liberal government of Stephen McNeil touched off massive protests at Province House as it was being passed. Courts are now having their say on the bills. (Jean Laroche/CBC)


Representatives with organized labour and the Nova Scotia government will meet to discuss how to address outstanding issues with a contentious piece of legislation used to impose wage restraint.


Bill 148, passed by the former Liberal government to impose wage patterns and remove a lump-sum retirement benefit known as the long-service award, continues to be tied up in court. Last month, the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal declined to rule on whether the bill is constitutional.


At that point, major union leaders asked the Nova Scotia Federation of Labour to get a meeting with the province to discuss potential next steps. On Thursday, Labour Relations Minister Allan MacMaster told reporters the meeting will soon happen.


"I'm not going to say anything more on that today, other than to say that we want to have a good line of communication," he said. "We want to be fair. We are dealing with legislation that we were handed."


Danny Cavanagh, president of the federation of labour, said he would meet with union leaders following the meeting with MacMaster to determine how they want to proceed.


"We're going to go into the meeting and see where things go," he said in an interview.


"I'm not making any assumptions one way or the other."


There is added motivation for this meeting following a judge's ruling this week on another piece of controversial Liberal legislation from the time of former premier Stephen McNeil.


Bill 75, which imposed a contract on teachers in 2017, was determined by a judge to be "vengeful," "terribly wrong" and unconstitutional. Premier Tim Houston said his government will not appeal that ruling. He told reporters on Thursday that his government is in talks with the teachers' union about remedies following the ruling.


Houston acknowledged there could be financial implications for that ruling, and whatever comes of talks about Bill 148. Labour costs make up a significant portion of the provincial budget, he said.


"People who are working in Nova Scotia should be fairly compensated and, where they're part of a union, that should come as a result of a union negotiation," said Houston.


MacMaster stressed that neither piece of legislation has any bearing on ongoing contract talks with unions.


"Our government wants to be different than the last government. We don't want to be seen as antagonistic with labour."


Houston promised during last summer's provincial election that, if elected, the Tories would repeal Bill 148. More recently, they've backed away from that idea.