Today, the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) has taken the first step in its legal challenge against Bill C-59, the legislation that is gutting the collective bargaining rights of federal public service workers.
The PSAC filed its constitutional challenge to Bill C-59 in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice.
“The Supreme Court has confirmed that the right to collective bargaining is a protected right under the Charter – and we are defending that right through all legal means at our disposal,” said Robyn Benson, PSAC National President.
Bill C-59 gives the Conservative government the power to amend certain provisions in federal government collective agreements to remove sick leave and impose a short and long-term disability plan outside of collective agreements. The Bill will circumvent the Public Service Labour Relations Act as well as ongoing negotiations.
The PSAC is requesting the Court to immediately declare that Bill C-59 is in direct violation of our members’ Charter rights by:
- Denying employees’ right to good faith bargaining by giving the employer the unilateral authority to establish all terms and conditions related to sick leave, including establishing a short-term disability program and modify the existing long-term disability program
- Allowing the Treasury Board to nullify terms and conditions in existing collective agreements without any consultation with bargaining agents; and
- Giving the employer the authority to override many provisions of the PSLRA, including the statutory freeze provisions that maintain the status quo while the parties are engaged in collective bargaining.
More updates will follow as the case progresses.