British Columbia  -  Non-Construction
How to File a ULP Complaint

Introduction

At this time there is no "Employee Advisor or Ombudsman" funded by taxpayers or union dues to help you address concerns about a Union in British Columbia. If you have a problem with a Union's actions, that your Employer cannot address with the Labour Relations Board of British Columbia and the Union, you are expected to take it up with the Union or go to the BCLRB on your own, or with a lawyer. Generally, Employees are discouraged from approaching their Employer regarding a Union's actions.

Similarly, British Columbia regulated Employers are discouraged from offering assistance to you if you have concerns with the Union's actions. While they may not, in most situations, pay legal fees of the Employees, there are times that Unfair Labour Practices (ULP) against a Union could be raised by an Employer. These situations are unusual so please read Question 1 of our British Columbia Unfair Labour Practices FAQ's - in fact print and read all nine of the ULP FAQ's.

While there are many sections of the British Columbia Labour Relations Code about Unfair Labour Practices, most relate to the relationship between Employers and the Union. We will only be addressing those between Employees and the Union. The Union will provide significant help to Employees who want to file a ULP against the Employer and LabourWatch does not attempt to duplicate the excellent information and resources available to Employees from Unions.

Get the Forms

The BCLRB has a form specifically for Employees to file a ULP. LabourWatch has included that form in this "How To Guide".

Given the difficulty the average Employee may have with any legislation such as the British Columbia Labour Relations Code, completeing the Form will require that you know which section of the British Columbia Labour Relations Code you are saying has been violated. We have included the excerpts from the Code at the end of this document.

Our "How To Guide" is only meant to address situations where you believe a Union has violated the British Columbia Labour Relations Code regarding a Union's conduct towards Employees it is trying to unionize or with unionized Employees the Union actually represents.

Complete the Forms

The first few sections of the Form are easy, requiring primarily names, addresses, phone and fax numbers. If you feel that filing a ULP it is too complicated please contact one of the Employee Advisors in your area - see the Contacts section of our website. The form has limited space so attach extra pages if you need to.

You will be required to state the section of the British Columbia Labour Relations Code that you claim has been violated, you will find the complete list at the top of the Form 5 attached, and a detailed list at the end of this document.

Each of these sections should be reviewed before completeing your ULP complaint.

Timing the Filing of Your ULP Complaint

The BCLRB states that an Unfair Labour Practice Complaint should be filed no later than 90 days from "the date on which you knew, or in the opinion of the Labour Board ought to have known", of the incident(s) leading to the complaint. In an organizing campaign, file your ULP as soon as possible as it may affect the organizing campaign. Same in a decertification campaign.

Deliver Your Forms

You must deliver the Forms to the BCLRB. The BCLRB's website offers a comprehensive, explanation of when and how to deliver your forms.

You can send your decertification documents (your application, the individual forms and a copy of the collective agreement) by fax, hand-delivery, courier or registered mail. But, the best way is to hand-deliver them or courier them.

Usually, we'd say fax your documents, but the rules say that if you fax your documents you still need to courier or hand-deliver the originals within 3 days.

What Happens Next?

If the BCLRB upholds a Complaint, it may order a remedy that is not aimed at punishing the party that committed a violation, but rather at putting the affected employees in the position they would have been in had the violation not occurred. The remedies could include compensation to the employee for lost pay, reinstatement of the employee, or revocation of disciplinary action taken. It could lead to the rejection of the Union's applcation for certification or an application will not be voted on because there are not enough legitimate cards for the Union to obtain a vote.

Updated: 2006-09-04
Advancing Employee Rights
Federal or Province
Caution

In most cases you will select the province where you work.

However, select "Federal and Territories", if any of the following apply:

  • You live in Northwest Territories, Nunavut or Yukon.
  • You work as a federal civil servant anywhere in Canada.
  • You work in one of the following industries:
    • airports or air transportation
    • broadcasting - radio, television or cable television
    • telecommunications
    • banking
    • fisheries (but only if your business relates to the protection and preservation of fisheries as a natural resource)
    • shipping and navigation (including loading and unloading vessels)
    • grain handling
    • uranium mining and processing
    • certain federal crown agencies
  • You work in one of the following industries AND (a) your activities connect one province to another OR (b) extend beyond the limit of one province:
    • air transport
    • canals
    • ferries, tunnels and bridges
    • highway transport of good or passengers
    • railway transport of goods or passengers