Canadian legislation governs what the Union can do and how it can act. For Government of Yukon employees, the appropriate legislation is the Yukon Public Service Labour Relations Act. For non-government workers, it is the Canada Labour Code. Both restrict the Union by law to the grievance and arbitration/adjudication process for resolving disputes. Collective Agreements are required to be negotiated in keeping with this legislated framework.
The Union cannot break the law without serious implications. The grievance and arbitration/adjudication process must follow the steps outlined in legislation and in the appropriate Collective Agreements. Grievances can take a significant amount of time, with no guarantees of success. In general, the principle of ‘obey now, grieve later,’ must be followed meaning employees are expected to obey direction while the grievance process plays out. Employees who do not obey direction could face disciplinary action.
The Union is exploring all legal options available to address concerns with the Government’s announcement. The Union supports vaccination and encourages all members to vaccinate but we have identified shortcomings and possible implications for members who cannot or choose not to vaccinate. More information will be shared as it becomes available.