Mandatory Provisions

Every collective agreement must contain provisions governing the dismissal or discipline of employees and the final settlement of all disputes by arbitration. Every agreement must also have a provision prohibiting strikes and lockouts during the life of the collective agreement. All collective agreements must also provide for a joint consultation process for the parties to deal with workplace issues that arise during the life of the collective agreement.

Where the parties do not bargain such provisions into the collective agreement, the code deems them to be there.


No agreement can be effective for less than one year, although the parties are free to agree to a longer term and frequently do so. Where an agreement purports to be for a term of less than one year, the code deems it to be for a term of one year from the date it comes into operation.

It is not uncommon for the term of a collective agreement to expire before a new agreement is reached between the employer and union. In such cases, the code provides that the terms of the collective agreement remain in effect after its expiry date until a new agreement is negotiated, a strike or lockout commences, or the union is decertified – whichever occurs first.

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