Scope of the public service labour relations act

AuthorChristopher Rootham
 
is book is about labour and employment law in t he federal public service.
erefore, the rst question that must be answered is: what is the “feder al public
service”? e term “public ser vice” is dened in both t he Public Service Labour
Relations Act (PSLRA) and the Public Service Employment Act by reference to
certain s chedules of the Financial Administration Act (FAA). e entire “public
service” is comprise d of positions in or under Schedules I, IV, and V of the FAA .
e “public service” is then d ivided into two parts: the “core public administ ra-
tion” (those positions in or under Schedule s I and IV of the FAA), a nd “separate
agencies” (those positions in or under Schedu le V of the FAA). e chapters that
follow are about both the core public admi nistration and the separate agencies.
e “core public administration” is comprised of va rious departments of the
federal public serv ice, as well as certa in agencies, boards and com missions that
are listed in Sche dule IV and considered part of t he core of the federal public
service. e depa rtments (in Schedule I) and other agencies , boards, and com-
missions that comprise t he “core public administr ation” are set out at the end of
this chapter.
“Separate agencies” are t hose agencies, boards, or commis sions that the
Governor in Council has desig nated in Schedule V to the FA A. ey are als o
listed at the end of this ch apter. Although there are signica nt legal consequences
Public Serv ice Labour Relations Act , S.C. , c. , s.  [PSLRA], s. () “public service ,”
Public Service Employment Act, S.C. , c . , ss.  & , s. () “public service ,” and
Financial Administration Act, R.S.C. , c. F- [FAA].
PSLRA,ibid., s. () “core public admi nistration,” and FA A,ibid., s. ().
PSLRA,ibid., s. () “separate age ncy,” Public Service Employment Act, above note , s.
() “separate agency,” and FAA ,ibid., s. ().
56           
to listing a n agency, board, or commission unde r Schedule IV or Schedule V, the
choice of whether to consider an agency, board, or commission to be part of the
core public administration or a separate agency is within the sole discretion of
the Governor in Council. e G overnor in Council may, at any time, move agen-
cies, boards, or com missions to and from Schedules IV and V — i n other words,
create and then disband sepa rate agencies.
e FAA also governs entities set out in Schedu le III of that Act — namely,
crown corporations. Crown corporations are corporations wholly and directly
owned by the Crown (Her Majesty in Rig ht of Canada). A corporation is whol ly
owned if all of t he issued and outstanding share s of the corporation, other t han
shares necessar y to qualif y persons as directors, a re held by the Crown (or in
trust for the Crown), or if al l the directors of the corp oration, other than ex of-
cio directors , are appointed by the Gover nor in Council or by a mi nister of the
Crown with the approva l of the Governor in Council. Crown cor porations can
also be whol ly owned subsidia ries of other crow n corporations. Whi le crown
corporations are ultimately accountable to Parliament, they are not gover ned
by the PSLRA or Public Service Employment Act. Instead, they are subject to t he
Canada Labour Code and are not covered in this book (except for directors or
other ocers who are appointed by Order in Cou ncil).
e core public admin istration employed approxim ately , people as
of  March . Canada Revenue Agency — the la rgest separate employer
— employed approximately , permanent employees in –, a nd an
additional , temporary employees duri ng peak tax ling sea son.
In the executive branch of t he federal government, there is only one “employer,
and that is Her Majesty the Que en in Right of Canada. However, as a general
rule, Her Majesty doe s not exercise her functions of employer herself or through
esedierencesareexplainedbelowinthischapter.ese dierences a re explained below in th is chapter.
FAA, ab ove note , s. ().
Ibid., s. ().
Ibid., ss. () and ().
Ibid., s. .
Canada Labour Code, R.S.C. , c. L-, s. ().
PublicServiceHumanResourcesManagementAgencyofCanada,Public Serv ice Human Resources Mana gement Agency of Canada, Employment Equity
in the Federal Public Ser vice, –, online: w ww.hrma-agrh.gc.c a/reports-rap-
ports/dw nld/EE-_e.pdf.
 Canada Revenue Agency,Canada Revenue Agency, Annual Report to Parliament –, online: www.cra-arc .-/performance-e/ar_-_htmlTOC-e.html.
 Gingras v. Canada, []  F.C.  at para.   (C.A.) [Gingras].
57Chapter Three: Sc ope of the Public Servic e Labour Relations Act
the Governor in Council. I nstead, she has delegated the exercise of her powers of
employer to various entities in t he federal public service.
For those employees employed in t he core public admin istration, Her Maj-
esty has delegated her powers as employer to the Treasury B oard. e Treasury
Board is a committee of the Que en’s P rivy Council, presided over by the president
of the Treasury Board. e Treasur y Board is also comprised of the mi nister of
nance and four other members of t he Queen’s P rivy Council — essentia lly, four
other cabine t ministers.  e actual work of the Treasury Boa rd as employer is
done by the Treasury Board Secreta riat. e Treasury Board Secret ariat is the
administr ative arm of the Treasury Board. According to t he Treasury Board Sec-
retariat’s Report on Plans a nd Priorities –,
e mission of the Treasur y Board of Canada Secretariat i s to ensure that the
rigorous stewards hip of public resources achie ves results for Canad ians. is
x setting pe rformance expec tations and stand ards for public sector ma nage-
x establishi ng and leading strategie s to support the horizontal ma nagement
of operations acros s government;
x assessing de partmental, a gency, and Crown corporation per formance
against expectations;
x assessing gover nment operations, progra ms, and serv ices at the depart-
mental and whole-of-govern ment level, and advising t he government on
ways and means to a llocate and reallo cate resources to achieve govern-
ment priorities and objec tives;
x supporting t he Treasury Board’s role as employer by conduct ing labour
relations and compens ation operations, and t hrough the strateg ic man-
agement of public serv ice pension and benets policies a nd programs;
x providing assu rance of probity and value for money w ith respect to public
investment s;
x reporting fede ral expenditu res to Parliament throug h the Public Accounts
of Canada; and
x supporting the P resident of the Treasury Board, the Treasur y Board, and
Cabinet system a s a central agency of government .
For all practica l purposes, the Treasur y Board Secretariat is t he “employer” for
those persons employed in the core publ ic administration. erefore, mos t people
 FAA, ab ove note , s. .
 Treasury B oard Secretar iat,Treasury Board Secretariat, Report on Plans and Pr iorities, –, onli ne: www.tbs-/TB S-SCT/TBS-SCTr_e.asp.

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