Conciliation Services


Conciliation services are provided to employers and unions to assist them in reaching a collective agreement and avoiding a work stoppage.

Conciliation services are provided by a competent, well-trained staff of Conciliation Officers who promote objectivity and compromise and act as a catalyst in assisting parties to a collective agreement move away from their polarized positions. By meeting with the parties, jointly and/or separately, the Conciliation Officer helps them understand each other’s interests and find ways of resolving their differences. This intervention has a high success rate and is a significant factor in the avoidance of strikes and lockouts.

Application Process

When can I apply for conciliation services?

As per Section 98 of the Labour Relations Act (Act), either party can apply once notice to bargain has been given to the other party and collective bargaining has not begun within the timeframes of the Act or collective bargaining has begun and the parties have been unable to conclude a collective agreement.

How do I apply for conciliation?

Parties to collective bargaining may apply separately or jointly to the Minister responsible for Advanced Education, Skills and Labour. This request must include:

  • Name and address of the party making the request and the other party to collective bargaining.
  • A copy of the notice to commence collective bargaining.
  • A copy of the existing collective agreement.
  • Proposed amendments to the present collective agreement.
  • A statement of the progress made in collective bargaining and the difficulties encountered since the date of giving notice.

Decision-Making Process


Day 1: Application received at the Labour Relations Division.

Day 2: Upon receipt of the application at the Labour Relations Division, the request for conciliation services is reviewed.

Day 3-5: Subject to the required information being received, appointment letters are drafted, reviewed and forwarded to the employer and union.

Click here for details on the service standard.


Questions and Answers:

1. Is there a charge for conciliation services?

There is no charge for conciliation services.

2. What happens if the parties are unable to conclude a collective agreement during the conciliation process?

In the event a collective agreement is not achieved and the Conciliation Officer has determined that the parties are at a stalemate, he or she will submit a report to the Minister outlining the matters upon which the parties have agreed, the matters upon which the parties cannot agree and the advisability of appointing a conciliation board. This report triggers a 15 day count down for the union to be in position to take a strike vote and the employer to initiate a lock-out.

3. Does the Conciliation Officer have the authority to impose a settlement?

Conciliation Officers do not have authority to impose settlements.


Inquiries can be directed to (709) 729-2711.