Notice to Bargain

In the circumstances of a new certification, where no collective agreement exists, collective bargaining will commence when either the union or the employer provides written notice to the other party requiring it to begin collective bargaining.

Where a collective agreement is already in place, either party may, at any time within the four months immediately preceding the agreement’s expiry date, require by written notice that bargaining commence. Notice must also be delivered to the Labour Relations Board.

In either case, according to section 47 of the Labour Relations Code, bargaining must begin within 10 days of the service of notice. Although this commencement period is mandated by the Code, given the typical practice of the parties in a workplace setting, this 10 day commencement period is usually not enforced.

If neither party provides notice to begin bargaining, then the code provides that the notice is deemed to have been given 90 days prior to expiry of the agreement.

Information provided by Ryan Anderson, an employment lawyer with Mathews Dinsdale & Clark LLP. The information provided in this article is necessarily of a general nature and must not be regarded as legal advice. For more information about Mathews Dinsdale & Clark LLP, please visit