Ground Ambulance Services Act

Link to law: http://nslegislature.ca/legc/statutes/groundam.htm
Published: 2016-01-05

Ground Ambulance Services Act

CHAPTER 2 OF THE ACTS OF 1999 (2nd Session)

An Act to Provide for
the Continuation of Ground Ambulance
Services in the Province

Short title

1 This Act may be cited as the Ground Ambulance Services Act. 1999 (2nd Sess.), c. 2, s. 1.

Interpretation

2 (1) In this Act,
(a) "Arbitration Board" means the arbitration board appointed pursuant to Section 6;
(b) "bargaining unit" means all full-time and regular part-time Emergency Medical Technicians and Ambulance Attendants employed by EMC Emergency Medical Care Incorporated but excluding those persons excluded by subsection 2(2) of the Trade Union Act as set out in Labour Relations Board decision No. 4619 dated May 4, 1998;
(c) "collective agreement" means the decision of the Arbitration Board, any signed agreement in writing made between the Employer and the Union containing terms or conditions of employment of the employees that the Union and the Employer agree in writing, before the issuance of the decision of the Arbitration Board, shall form part of the collective agreement and any amendments made in accordance with Section 18;
(d) "employee" means a member of the bargaining unit;
(e) "Employer" means EMC Emergency Medical Care Incorporated;
(f) "issues" means wages, hours of work, pensions, vacation allotment, eligibility of meal allowances and any other issue that the Union and the Employer consent to submit to the Arbitration Board;
(g) "Minister" means the Minister of Health;
(h) "Union" means the Nova Scotia Government Employees Union, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia referred to in Labour Relations Board decision No. 4619 dated May 4, 1998;
(i) "work stoppage" means any strike or lockout.
(2) Except as otherwise provided in this Act, words and expressions used in this Act have the same meaning as in Part I of the Trade Union Act. 1999 (2nd Sess.), c. 2, s. 2.

Application of Act

3 Subject to Section 17, this Act applies until the expiration of the collective agreement. 1999 (2nd Sess.), c. 2, s. 3.

Supervision and management of Act

4 The Minister has the general supervision and management of this Act. 1999 (2nd Sess.), c. 2, s. 4.

Prohibition

5 (1) On the coming into force of this Act,
(a) the Employer shall not declare or cause a lockout or continue a lockout declared before the coming into force of this Act;
(b) no officer or representative of the Union shall declare or authorize a strike or continue to authorize a strike declared before the coming into force of this Act; and
(c) no employee shall strike or continue a strike declared before the coming into force of this Act,
until the expiration of the collective agreement.
(2) On the coming into force of this Act, the Union and each official or representative of the Union shall give notice of this Section to the employees whom it represents and shall direct the employees to return to work immediately.
(3) No person shall in any manner impede or prevent, or attempt to impede or prevent, any employee from complying with this Section or counsel any employee not to comply with this Section.
(4) No employee shall, without lawful excuse, fail to continue or resume the duties of the employee's employment with the Employer.
(5) The Employer and any person acting on behalf of the Employer shall not, without lawful excuse, refuse to permit or authorize, or direct or authorize another person to refuse to permit or authorize, any employee from continuing or resuming the duties of that person's employment as required by this Section.
(6) This Section applies in addition to the requirements of the Trade Union Act for a work stoppage. 1999 (2nd Sess.), c. 2, s. 5.

Arbitration Board

6 (1) The Arbitration Board consists of three persons and shall be established in the following manner:
(a) the Chair of the Arbitration Board shall be selected by the Union and the Employer no later than fourteen days after the coming into force of this Act and appointed by the Chair of the Labour Relations Board (Nova Scotia);
(b) the Union shall appoint a Union Nominee to the Arbitration Board no later than seven days after the coming into force of this Act and shall inform the Minister and the Minister of Labour forthwith, in writing; and
(c) the Employer shall appoint an Employer Nominee to the Arbitration Board no later than seven days after the coming into force of this Act and shall inform the Minister and the Minister of Labour forthwith, in writing.
(2) Where the Union does not appoint its nominee pursuant to clause (1)(b), the Employer does not appoint its nominee pursuant to clause (1)(c) or the Union and the Employer do not select the Chair of the Arbitration Board pursuant to clause (1)(a), the Chair of the Labour Relations Board (Nova Scotia) shall, within seven days of the time set out in clauses (1)(a), (b) or (c), make the necessary appointment. 1999 (2nd Sess.), c. 2, s. 6.

Liability of Union for costs

7 The Union shall pay one hundred per cent of the costs relating to the appointment of its nominee and the exercise of that nominee's duties under this Act. 1999 (2nd Sess.), c. 2, s. 7.

Liability of Employer for costs

8 The Employer shall pay one hundred per cent of the costs relating to the appointment of its nominee and the exercise of that nominee's duties under this Act. 1999 (2nd Sess.), c. 2, s. 8.

Recovery of costs

9 All costs incurred by the Minister of Labour relating to the appointment of the Chair and the exercise of the Arbitration Board's duties under this Act are debts due to the Minister of Labour and may be recovered as such in the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia as follows:

(a) one half from the Employer; and

(b) one half from the Union. 1999 (2nd Sess.), c. 2, s. 9.

Powers of Arbitration Board

10 (1) The Arbitration Board has, with such modifications as the circumstances require,
(a) for the purpose of the mediation referred to in clause 11(a) [11(1)(a)], all the powers, privileges, immunities and duties of a mediation officer pursuant to subsection 40(2) of the Trade Union Act; and
(b) for the purpose of the arbitration referred to in clause 12(a) [12(1)(a)], all the powers, privileges, immunities and duties of an arbitrator or arbitration board under subsections 43(1) and (4) of the Trade Union Act.
(2) The decision of the Arbitration Board is final and conclusive and not open to question or review. 1999 (2nd Sess.), c. 2, s. 10.

Duties and further powers of Arbitration Board

11 (1) The Arbitration Board
(a) may, before December 20, 1999, endeavour to mediate all issues and bring about agreement between the Union and the Employer in respect of any issues; and
(b) shall report to the Minister on the resolution of the issues.
(2) Where the Arbitration Board determines that mediation should continue beyond December 20, 1999, the Board may request that the Minister extend the time for mediation. 1999 (2nd Sess.), c. 2, s. 11.

Duty to hear and report

12 (1) The Arbitration Board shall, before December 20, 1999, where it is unable to bring about agreement in respect of any remaining issues,
(a) hear the Union and the Employer on any remaining issues, arbitrate those issues and render a decision in respect thereof; and
(b) report to the Minister on the resolution of the issues.
(2) Where the Arbitration Board determines that additional time is necessary to complete the arbitration, the Board may request that the Minister extend the time. 1999 (2nd Sess.), c. 2, s. 12.

Effect on mediation and agreements

13 Nothing in this Act shall be construed so as to limit or restrict the Union and the Employer from attempting to resolve any issues or make any agreements, and any of the issues that are resolved by agreement or mediation and reduced to writing before the issuance of the decision of the Arbitration Board shall no longer be considered by the Arbitration Board pursuant to clause 12(a) [12(1)(a)] and shall form part of the collective agreement. 1999 (2nd Sess.), c. 2, s. 13.

Procedure

14 (1) In the conduct of proceedings before the Arbitration Board and in rendering a decision pursuant to clause 12(a) [12(1)(a)], the Union and the Employer shall notify the Arbitration Board within forty days of the coming into force of this Act if they intend to call oral evidence at the hearing.
(2) If the Union and the Employer do not intend to call oral evidence, the hearing shall be conducted by way of written brief, such briefs containing the only evidence in the hearing.
(3) The Union and the Employer shall exchange written briefs and shall provide the briefs to the Arbitration Board not less than seven days before the hearing.
(4) The Arbitration Board shall complete the hearing no later than December 20, 1999, and shall render its decision within thirty days of the completion of the hearing.
(5) The Arbitration Board shall hear the submissions of the Employer and the Union and decide the matter on the basis of evidence presented and the written and oral arguments of the Union and the Employer.
(6) Where the Arbitration Board determines that additional time is required to complete the hearing referred to in subsection (4), the Board may request that the Minister extend the time for completion of the hearing. 1999 (2nd Sess.), c. 2, s. 14.

Effect of decision

15 (1) The decision of the Arbitration Board pursuant to clause 12(a) [12(1)(a)] becomes effective within seven days of the date of the decision.
(2) The decision of the Arbitration Board shall not be retroactive.
(3) Nothing in subsection (2) shall be construed so as to limit or restrict the rights of the Union and the Employer to agree, in writing, before the issuance of the decision of the Arbitration Board
(a) that any term or condition of employment be retroactive; and
(b) to give the Arbitration Board jurisdiction to make an arbitration award retroactive in whole or in part.
(4) An agreement entered into pursuant to subsection (3) forms part of the collective agreement. 1999 (2nd Sess.), c. 2, s. 15.

Expiration of collective agreement

16 The collective agreement expires on March 31, 2002. 1999 (2nd Sess.), c. 2, s. 16.

Effect of collective agreement

17 The collective agreement constitutes a collective agreement for the purpose of the Trade Union Act as if it were a collective agreement created pursuant to that Act. 1999 (2nd Sess.), c. 2, s. 17.

Preservation of power to amend

18 Nothing in this Act shall be construed so as to limit or restrict the rights of the Union and the Employer to the collective agreement to agree to amend any provision of the collective agreement, other than a provision relating to the term of the collective agreement, and to give effect to the amendment. 1999 (2nd Sess.), c. 2, s. 18.

Offences and penalties

19 (1) Where the Employer contravenes Section 5, the Employer is guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction to
(a) a penalty of not more than ten thousand dollars; and
(b) in the case of a continuing offence, a further penalty of one thousand dollars for each day or part of a day during which the offence continues.
(2) Where the Union contravenes Section 5, the Union is guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction to
(a) a penalty of not more than ten thousand dollars; and
(b) in the case of a continuing offence, a further penalty of one thousand dollars for each day or part of a day during which the offence continues.
(3) Every individual who contravenes Section 5 is guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction to
(a) a penalty of not more than five hundred dollars; or
(b) where the individual was acting in the capacity of an officer or representative of the Employer or Union when the offence was committed, a penalty of not more than one thousand dollars,
and in the case of a continuing offence, a further penalty of one hundred dollars for each day or part of a day during which the offence continues. 1999 (2nd Sess.), c. 2, s. 19.

Application of Trade Union Act

20 Sections 79 and 80 of the Trade Union Act apply mutatis mutandis to a prosecution under this Act. 1999 (2nd Sess.), c. 2, s. 20.

Preservation of defence

21 For greater certainty, nothing in this Act shall be construed so as to restrict a person from raising a defence of due diligence in a prosecution for an offence under this Act. 1999 (2nd Sess.), c. 2, s. 21.

Prohibitions

22 (1) The Union and any person acting on behalf of the Union shall not expel or suspend an employee from membership in the Union or take disciplinary action against or impose any penalty on an employee by reason of the employee having performed an act that is required by this Act or having refused to perform an act that is contrary to this Act, and any such expulsion, suspension, action or imposition is deemed to be a contravention of clause 54(h) of the Trade Union Act.
(2) The Union and any person acting on behalf of the Union shall not discriminate against a person in regard to employment, a term or condition of employment or membership in the Union, or intimidate or coerce a person, because that person has testified or otherwise participated or may testify or otherwise participate in a proceeding under this Act, and any such discrimination, intimidation, coercion of imposition is deemed to be a contravention of clause 54(i) of the Trade Union Act. 1999 (2nd Sess.), c. 2, s. 22.

Conflict with Trade Union Act

23 Where there is a conflict between this Act and the Trade Union Act, this Act prevails. 1999 (2nd Sess.), c. 2, s. 23.

Regulations

24 (1) The Governor in Council may make regulations
(a) defining any word or expression used but not defined in this Act;
(b) respecting any matter or thing necessary to carry out effectively the intent and purpose of this Act.
(2) The exercise by the Governor in Council of the authority contained in subsection (1) is regulations within the meaning of the Regulations Act. 1999 (2nd Sess.), c. 2, s. 24.
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