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Questions on the CBA negotiating process

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02-19-2004, 07:04 AM
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Puck
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Questions on the CBA negotiating process

I was just wondering on the decision making process for the 2004 CBA. It must have been mentioned earlier in one of the posts but I wouldn't know where to start looking.

Who decides for the owners? Does the owners' negotiating committee have the power to agree to a settlement? Who decides on the offers. Is it a majority that decides or do they need 2/3rds of the elected negotiating committee or 2/3rds of a vote later by the owners to actually accept and sign a settlement?

Same for the union...who decides what? I suppose at the end, the union's negotiating committee proposes to the membership that they accept and then they vote?

I have another question. I just need someone to confirm that this process will take effect under US labor laws? I checked in Canada and the NHL CBA seems to be under a multi-province yet provincial jurisdiction. This means that if any problem arises, each team rep would have to resort to calling the Ministry of Labour in the province where the club resides and not with the new Canada Industrial Relations Board or the Labour Program at HRDC.

I read somewhere that Bob Pulford and the players had threatened the owners in the sixties with going to the Canada Labour Relations Board for acceptance. But somewhere along the line, the Canadian federal labour program seems to have divested itself of federal responsibility on the matter. When the NHL hq moved from Montreal to New York, I figure they then fell under US Labor laws. But I'm not sure....


Last edited by Puck: 02-19-2004 at 07:09 AM.
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02-19-2004, 07:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Puck
I was just wondering on the decision making process for the 2004 CBA. It must have been mentioned earlier in one of the posts but I wouldn't know where to start looking.

Who decides for the owners? Does the owners' negotiating committee have the power to agree to a settlement? Who decides on the offers. Is it a majority that decides or do they need 2/3rds of the elected negotiating committee or 2/3rds of a vote later by the owners to actually accept and sign a settlement?

Same for the union...who decides what? I suppose at the end, the union's negotiating committee proposes to the membership that they accept and then they vote?

I have another question. I just need someone to confirm that this process will take effect under US labor laws? I checked in Canada and the NHL CBA seems to be under a multi-province yet provincial jurisdiction. This means that if any problem arises, each team rep would have to resort to calling the Ministry of Labour in the province where the club resides and not with the new Canada Industrial Relations Board or the Labour Program at HRDC.

I read somewhere that Bob Pulford and the players had threatened the owners in the sixties with going to the Canada Labour Relations Board for acceptance. But somewhere along the line, the Canadian federal labour program seems to have divested itself of federal responsibility on the matter. When the NHL hq moved from Montreal to New York, I figure they then fell under US Labor laws. But I'm not sure....
I think you have it right for the players. If the negotiating team gets an offer that they think is worth considering, they'll put it to the players to vote on.

I'm not certain, but I think the owners have put a lot of their negotiations in the hands of Bettman. I remember hearing that he can accept a deal on the behalf of the owners, and that the owners need 2/3rds majority to remove him of that power. I only remember hearing this is in passing, so don't quote me on it.

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02-19-2004, 01:41 PM
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Yes, I heard the NHL owners had given Bettman a mandate but I dunno what it is. I'm sure if I google NHL + CBA, I'll be filtering sites for a week and then some. That's why I asked here.

As for the Labour Code question, I suppose I will try my luck again with the Workplace Info Directorate at the Labour Program and see what they come up with. They're the ones who told me about the NHL agreement being under provincial jurisdiction in Canada, which didn't make much sense to me. I figure an international contract would come under federal jurisdiction...but you know Canada eh ......

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02-19-2004, 03:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Puck
Yes, I heard the NHL owners had given Bettman a mandate but I dunno what it is. I'm sure if I google NHL + CBA, I'll be filtering sites for a week and then some. That's why I asked here.

As for the Labour Code question, I suppose I will try my luck again with the Workplace Info Directorate at the Labour Program and see what they come up with. They're the ones who told me about the NHL agreement being under provincial jurisdiction in Canada, which didn't make much sense to me. I figure an international contract would come under federal jurisdiction...but you know Canada eh ......
Of course it makes sense. We are not USA North. We have our own laws and constitution.

The Canadian NHL teams are under provincial jurisdiction like 99% of employers in Canada since that is provided for in our constitution and has been since 1867- it is under the category of powers given to the provinces under property and civil rights in a province.

Their are certain limited workplaces under federal jurisdiction (e.g., banking, broadcasting and interprovincial or international transportation, federal public servants - generally those are considered works for the general advantage of Canada and it does not encompass NHL hockey teams) which are governed by the Canada Labour Code, which is administered by the Canada Industrial Relations Board.

The Canucks are under the jusidiction of the British Columbia Labour Relations Board (LRB) as are the other Canadian teams under their respective provincial labour regimes.

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02-19-2004, 06:23 PM
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You make it like 'of course it makes sense' Wetcoaster. But look at your examples. Transportation, broadcasting, all economic activities that cross provincial borders. These are federal jurisdiction. The kicker for me was the fact that the NHL/NHLPA agreement was international in scope, so I figured surely the contract came under the federal arm. Nope.

I don't have the exact figures but in the US, approximately 90% of collective agreements fall under federal jurisdiction. In Canada, 90% of agreements fall under provincial jurisdiction.

It is just a different outlook on things. After the Civil War, the US has tended to centralize powers centrally within their federation. In Canada, the federal government has tended to give the provinces more power, in large part at the behest of Quebec. The Confederation is not as centralized as it is in the US. This is good or bad depending on your point of view. As a Canadian, I like our decentralized Confederation. That doesn't mean I'm not surprised that the NHL agreement is not federal jurisdiction like it is in the US, if only because it is international in scope.

Thanks for confirming my surprising discovery that the contract is not federal jurisdiction in Canada. Now all I need is confirmation of the Bettman mandate for the negotiations.....


Last edited by Puck: 02-19-2004 at 06:34 PM.
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