A union has lost a request to suspend a Ministry of Labour
Director's order allowing a school board to establish a
multi-workplace joint health and safety committee.
The Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act requires
a joint health and safety committee at each workplace where twenty
or more workers are regularly employed. The default rule under the
OHSA is that each workplace should have its own committee. However,
the Minister of Labour or his or her delegate has the power to make
an Order permitting one joint health and safety committee to cover
The Peel District School Board received an Order from a Ministry
of Labour Director permitting it to establish and maintain a
multi-workplace joint health and safety committee according to
certain "terms of reference".
The Canadian Union of Public Employees challenged the MOL
Director's multi-workplace Order at the Ontario Labour
Relations Board, and asked the OLRB to suspend that Order pending
the outcome of the appeal.
The OLRB refused to suspend the Order, deciding that the OLRB
"appears to have no jurisdiction to deal with anything but an
inspector's order", not an Order of the Minister of Labour
or an MOL Director. As such, the OLRB had no authority to suspend
the multi-workplace Order.
This decision shows that when one workplace party asks the
Minister of Labour to permit a multi-workplace joint health and
safety committee, the time for parties to make submissions is
before the Minister (or MOL Director) makes his or her decision.
Effectively, there is no appeal to the OLRB.
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