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Ministry of Labour

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250 213-8637


What to know about the Labour Relations Code review panel

Member biographies:

Michael Fleming, chair:

Fleming was called to the bar in 1989. He has more than 25 years of experience as an impartial third party, adjudicating and resolving disputes in a wide range of sectors in B.C. and the Yukon, including the public service, Crown corporations, education, transportation, construction, television and film, forestry, pulp and paper, and manufacturing. He has extensive experience in designing and implementing dispute resolution processes involving multiple parties. Fleming has held a number of positions with the Labour Relations Board, including vice-chair from 1997 until 2002 and associate chair of both adjudication and mediation between 2002 and 2012. Since then, he has been an arbitrator and mediator.

Sandra Banister, K.C., panel member and representative of worker and union interests:

Banister has practised labour law and civil litigation for more than 40 years. She has represented clients from both the public and private sectors and has appeared at all levels of court in British Columbia, labour arbitrations, the British Columbia Labour Board and the Human Rights Tribunal. Her ability and achievements in the legal profession were acknowledged when she was designated Queen’s Counsel in 2011 and she is recognized in the Best Lawyers peer review. Banister regularly volunteers with organizations providing ongoing legal education. She is a speaker at many seminars and conferences. She designed the British Columbia labour law course at the Canadian Labour Congress winter school, where she has taught since 1985.

Lindsie Thomson, panel member and representative of employer interests:

Thomson is managing partner for the law firm Harris & Company, where she has practised labour and employment law for more than 25 years. Thomson’s practice is a mix of day-to-day advice to employers on labour, employment, and human rights issues, as well as representation of employers in labour arbitrations, labour relations board hearings, human rights tribunal proceedings, employment standards proceedings, and in appeals to the B.C. Supreme Court and Court of Appeal. Thomson is recognized for labour and employment, and education in Best Lawyers in Canada. She is a recommended lawyer for labour relations (management), employment law and workplace human rights in the Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory. She regularly speaks on labour, employment and human rights law to employer audiences. 

What to know about the Labour Relations Code review in 2018

Informed by the review in 2018, the Province made substantial amendments to the Labour Relations Code in 2019 and 2022. Highlights include:

Protection from contract flipping:

Extended successorship protection to re-tendering of service contracts in specific areas such as:

  • building cleaning/janitorial services;
  • security services;
  • bus transportation services;
  • non-clinical services in the health-care sector; and
  • food services.

Union certification:

  • Provided the Labour Relations Board with broader discretion to impose union certification when an employer is found to have unduly interfered with the certification process.
  • Shortened the requirements for the time between an application for union certification and an employee vote from 10 days to five business days.
  • Re-introduced the single-step certification process to enable workers to join a union when a clear majority of employees indicate they want to.


  • Modified the open periods in which one union can raid another: 
    • For collective agreements of three years or less, raids may occur in the seventh or eighth month of the last year of the agreement.
    • For collective agreements of more than three years, raids may occur in the seventh or eighth month of the third year of the agreement, and in each subsequent year. 
  • Allowed workers in the construction sector to switch unions in July and August of each year to reflect the seasonal nature of the work.

Education as an “essential service:”

  • Removed references to education as an “essential service” for labour relations purposes to recognize the constitutional rights of teachers to strike.