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122 3rd Avenue North
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
S7K 2H6
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Regina, Saskatchewan
S4P 3V2
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Practice Note – Reconsideration Applications

 

Background:

The Saskatchewan Labour Relations Board (“Board”) is responsible for adjudicating certain disputes under The Saskatchewan Employment Act (“Act”). Section 6-114 of the Act provides that a Board decision is binding and conclusive of the matters stated in the decision. However, subsection 6-115(3) gives the Board the authority to reconsider any matter. Applications for reconsideration under this provision are the subject of this practice note.

Making an Application for Reconsideration:

Applications for reconsideration must comply with section 20 of The Saskatchewan Employment (Labour Relations Board) Regulations, 2021 (“Regulations”).

An application for reconsideration must be filed with the Board and served on all of the other parties named in the decision or order, within 20 days after the date of the decision or order with respect to which reconsideration is sought.

In addition to providing the information required by section 20 of the Regulations, the application needs to indicate whether the applicant proposes to proceed with the first stage of its application by written submissions only, or whether it also proposes to make oral submissions.

Section 24 of the Regulations provides any party served with the application with 10 business days within which to file a Reply (Form 21) with the Board. The Reply should also address the issue of whether the respondent asks that the application proceed by way of written submissions only or whether it proposes that oral submissions also be made.

Hearing Applications:

The Board’s approach to reconsideration applications is well established. The process for review is a two stage process. Unless the Board orders otherwise, when it schedules the application for determination, the first stage will be heard and determined first, in advance of the second stage.

At the first stage, an applicant needs to satisfy the Board that its decision should be reconsidered because one or more of the six applicable grounds have been established.

The six grounds were first articulated by the Board in Remai Investment Corporation (o/a Imperial 400 Motel) v. Saskatchewan Joint Board, Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union & Sharon Ruff, [1993] 3rd Quarter Sask. Labour Rep. 103, and continue to be applied:

  1. If there was no hearing in the first instance and a party subsequently finds that the decision turns on a finding of fact that is in controversy and on which the party proposes to adduce evidence.
  2. If a hearing was held, but certain crucial evidence was not adduced for good and sufficient reasons.
  3. If the order made by the Board has operated in an unanticipated way, that is, has had an unintended effect on its particular application.
  4. If the original decision turned on a conclusion of law or general policy that was not properly interpreted.
  5. If the original decision is tainted by a breach of natural justice.
  6. If the original decision is precedential and amounts to a significant policy adjudication that the Board may wish to refine, expand on, or otherwise change.

After considering argument at the first stage, if the Board is satisfied that the decision should be reconsidered, at the second stage the Board will undertake a review of the decision on the grounds established. At the second stage, additional evidence may be relevant.

Reference Material:

Guidance for a party planning to bring an application for reconsideration may also be found in various decisions of the Board including:

Saskatchewan Government and General Employees’ Union v Quint Development Corporation, 2018 CanLII 68440 (SK LRB).

Amalgamated Transit Union, Local 615 v City of Saskatoon, 2018 CanLII 127679 (SK LRB).

SEIU-West v Deck and Saskatchewan Health Authority, 2019 CanLII 57387 (SK LRB).

United Steel, Paper and Forestry, Rubber, Manufacturing, Energy, Allied Industrial and Service Workers International Union (United Steelworkers) v Farooq Azam Arain and Comfort Cabs Ltd., 2019 CanLII 79296 (SK LRB).

Reliance Gregg’s Home Services, A Division of Reliance Comfort Limited Partnership v United Association of Journeyman and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipefitting Industry of the United States and Canada, 2019 CanLII 120618 (SK LRB).

This practice note is intended to provide general guidance concerning the current policy of the Board with respect to applications for reconsideration. It is not a legal document, and should not be viewed as a ruling by the Board or an official interpretation of The Saskatchewan Employment Act. Specific inquiries should be directed to the Registrar of the Labour Relations Board at (306)787-2406. Applicants are also directed to the Act, Regulations and previous decisions of the Board, that may be found on its website at http://www.sasklabourrelationsboard.com/ or at www.canlii.org.

DATED at Regina, Saskatchewan, July 13, 2021.