The Employee Labour Relations Support Program is designed for employees who are unionized or may soon become unionized who want to understand and exercise their rights and responsibilities under Alberta’s labour legislation.
The Employee Labour Relations Support Program is supported by staff in the Labour Relations Policy and Legislation unit.
We can provide information, assistance, and if required, legal support, related to union matters, such as:
- union certification
- union decertification
- your rights as a unionized employee
Certification refers to a union becoming a bargaining agent for a unit of employees. If employees decide to be represented by a union, they can form their own trade union or join an existing union.
The Alberta Labour Relations Board (ALRB) is responsible for the application process involving union certification.
- To become certified, submit an application to the Alberta Labour Relations Board.
- The ALRB will conduct a vote by secret ballot if the application meets requirements set out in the Labour Relations Code.
- If a majority of employees vote in favour, the union becomes their certified bargaining agent.
Learn more about the certification process (PDF, 360 KB).
Unions can be decertified when employees, unions and employers apply to the ALRB to have their bargaining rights revoked. The ALRB is responsible for the application process involving union decertification.
The ALRB can also revoke bargaining rights on its own initiative in some cases.
Learn more about the decertification process (PDF, 260 KB).
If you're a unionized employee and are having an issue with your employer, contact your union first for assistance and information.
Information is available on our website.
If you still have questions on union certification, decertification or workplace organizing campaigns, fill out the following form:
Alternatively contact the Employee Labour Relations Support Program for information at:
Other supports and resources
Depending on the type of information you need, the following organizations may also be able to help you.
Alberta Labour Relations Board
The Alberta Labour Relations Board is an independent and impartial tribunal responsible for:
- administering the Labour Relations Code in dealing with disputes between employers and trade unions (and employees represented by trade unions)
- interpreting and applying the legislation governing collective bargaining including:
- how and under what conditions a trade union may claim the status of exclusive bargaining agent for a group of employees
- how the employer and union must bargain to reach or renew a collective agreement
- what kinds of union and employer conduct is prohibited
- when the parties may have recourse to a lawful strike or lockout
If you are a unionized employee having an issue with your employer, contact your union first for assistance. If your union isn't providing the help you need, contact the Alberta Labour Relations Board.
Unions have a duty to fairly represent all employees in a bargaining unit.
- Employees or former employees who feel their union hasn't fairly represented them can file a complaint with the Alberta Labour Relations Board within 90 days of the actions or circumstances causing the complaint.
- Complaints filed after the 90-day period must include reasons for filing late.
Learn more about the Duty of Fair Representation (PDF, 349 KB).
If you're not currently unionized, Employment Standards can answer questions related to paying earnings, minimum wage, hours of work and rest, general holidays and general holiday pay, and termination.
Occupational Health and Safety
Alberta Occupational Health and Safety provides information related to reporting serious injuries and incidents (available 24/7), refusing dangerous work and filing a complaint.
Workers' Compensation Board
The Workers' Compensation Board provides information and supports related to workplace injury claims and return-to-work planning.
Alberta Human Rights Commission
The Alberta Human Rights Commission has information related to human rights in the workplace for employees, employers, trade unions and occupational associations when they are representing employees.
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