North American Association of Educational negotiators

Collective Bargaining Systems

This section provides Collective Bargaining Systems Information in the U.S. and Canada on teacher collective bargaining statutes and systems.  Follow this link for a review on Critical Preparations for Bargaining.  Follow this link for a description of teachers' union tactics used against school districts.


  • The National of State Legislatures created a Collective Bargaining and Labor Union Legislation Database. Current legislation on labor unions and collective bargaining is available in a searchable database. You can search all collective bargaining or labor union related bills by leaving the boxes blank or select specific topics from the topic list. [Includes Negotiations and Teachers/Schools categories.]             
  • The Education Commission of the States has a number of reports that give some basic information about collective bargaining in the U.S.  The most relevant reports are included below:
    • State Collective Bargaining Policies for TeachersThis ECS State Note provides data on collective bargaining in the states, including which states have such legislation, who is covered, the scope of coverage, impasse procedures and whether or not strikes are permitted. (Michael Colasanti, Education Commission of the States, January 2008)
    • Statewide Teacher Salary Schedules.  Report from Education Commission of the States.    Twenty-one states have statewide salary schedules. In most cases these schedules set minimum salaries for teachers throughout the states. Local districts are allowed to pay teachers more than these minimum amounts. (Compiled by Molly Burke, ECS, updated July 2005).
    • Summary Chart CB Scope of Bargaining 2004 compiled by NEA.  The chart is not intended as a complete summary of the case law.  Obtained from
    • Summary chart CB Laws 2005  2005 Update by NEA. 
    • Collective Bargaining Rights for Education Employees in the United States.  From the NEA, this 2003 chart identifies the type bargaining rights for K-12 teachers, community college and higher education faculty and support staff in the states.  It also identifies the method by which employees may organize, the dispute resolution process used and whether there is a right to strike. Source is reported to be: NEA Media Relations Outreach Specialist, Jasmine Lyons (  


  • THE CHARTER AND THE LAW OF WORK: A BEGINNER'S GUIDE.  September 25, 2012. By DAVID J. DOOREY, YORK UNIVERSITY. ABSTRACT: This essay explains how the Supreme Court of Canada has interpreted and applied the Charter of Rights and Freedoms to the law of work. It is intended as an introduction to this complex legal field for an audience unfamiliar with the Charter. Beginning with an overview of the Charter review process, the paper then examines the Court’s application to work law of Section 2(d) freedom of association, Section 2(b) freedom of expression, and Section 15 equality rights. The paper provides a snapshot of the state of the law as of summer 2012
  • Teacher Education in Canada.  May 2008. Society for the Advancement of Excellence in Education. By Robert Crocker and David Dibbon.  Helen Raham, Editor. "Although Canada produces approximately 18,000 new teachers every year, there has been surprisingly little systematic study of their preparation. This first baseline study of teacher education in Canada attempts to fill that gap, providing an overview of programs across 56 institutions and data obtained from surveys of representative samples of recent graduates, school principals and education faculty members."
  •  Canadian Provincial Bargaining Structure 2007  Published by the British Columbia Public employers Association, this report documents the collective bargaining structures in all of the Canadian provinces: Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Newfoundland & Labrador, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Ontario,  PEI, Saskatchewan, Quebec, and Yukon. 
  • Statues Governing Public School Teachers Collective Bargaining in Canada.  This website is maintained by the Government of Canada and provides a list of the titles of the collective bargaining statutes in each of the provinces. It does not have links to the relevant statutes, however.
  • Canadian School Boards Association.  CSBA's six members are provincial associations of school boards and trustees. They represent over 400 school boards serving more than four million elementary and secondary school students. CSBA advocates excellence in public education and promotes the value of locally elected school boards through collaboration, research and information sharing with other partners.

  • British Columbia:  A Province-Wide Collective Bargaining System
    • On July 27,1993 the Public Sector Employers Act (PSEA) established the Public Sector Employers' Council and employers' association for the public sector including K-12 public education.
    • On June 7, 1994 the Public Education Labour Relations Act (PELRA) established a single employers' association and a single union as the bargaining agents for all public schools in the province.
    • On July 29, 1998, the PELRA was amended to include support staff negotiations.
    • For more information see the Resource Manual from the British Columbia Public Employers' Association.
    • B.C. Labour Relations Board: Searchable index of collective agreements
    • Final Report for Collective Bargaining Options.  February 2, 2007.  Report of options by the Industrial Inquiry Commissioner, Vincent L. Ready submitted to the Ministry of Labour and Citizens' Services.

  • Manitoba: Local-level Negotiations and Interest Arbitration
    • Since 2000, Manitoba teachers are covered by both the Labour Relations Act (LRA) and the Public Schools Act (PSA).  Teacher bargaining is specifically outlined in the PSA, in sections 100 to 103. 
    • Teachers do not have the ability to strike.  The final dispute resolution process is Interest Arbitration (PSA section 103).
    • Bargaining is conducted on a local basis, with 38 separate School Boards.
    • Other pertinent statutory frameworks for education in Manitoba are:
    • The Manitoba Association of School Trustees (MAST) provides Labour Relations Services to the 38 school boards.
    • MAST also has a number of documents in the News and Views section which are pertinent.  Historically, the documents set forth MAST'sposition regarding government introduction of legislation making changes to the Manitoba collective bargaining system.  There are position papers and submission relating to Bill 72 (1996) where a previous government introduced legislation limiting matters that could be negotiated but not arbitrated.  There are also submissions regarding Bill 42 (2000) and Bill 44 (2000) introduced by the government, removing any restrictions in negotiations.

  • Ontario : Local-level Negotiations and Province-Wide Unions

    • Under The Education Act local school boards are the employers of all employees and negotiate collective agreements with teachers, occasional teachers and support staff.
      • Teachers are represented for collective bargaining purposes by a provincial bargaining agent;
      • Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario ;
      • Ontario Secondary School Teachers Federation;
      • Ontario English Catholic Teachers Association (elementary and secondary); and
      • Association des enseignantes et des enseignantes franco-ontariens (elementary and secondary).
    • Negotiations take place at the local level with school boards but the provincial federations must sign off a locally ratified agreement before it can take effect.
    • Teachers have the right to strike and boards can lock out teachers.  Boards may impose terms and conditions on affected employees.
    • The process of bargaining is also controlled by the Labour Relations Act and includes a period of negotiations, conciliation, impasse, and strike/lockout position.  The Education Act provides that the Education Relations Commission may issue an school year of students in jeopardy advisement which usually leads to all-party consent for speedy back to work legislation.
    • The parties may use mediation and/or binding arbitration with mutual agreement.
    • The Ontario Ministry of Education’s Ontario Labour Relations Overview Oct 2006  presentation provides more detail of bargaining frameworks in the province (used with permission).
    • The Ontario College of Teachers - Licenses, governs and regulates Ontario's teaching profession in the public interest.

  • Quebec:   Provincial-level and Local-level Negotiations
    • In 1985 Bill 37 established two levels of negotiations for teachers and nonteaching professional and support staff: provincial and local levels.
    • Bill 37 established separate bargaining committees for:
      • French-language school boards;
      • English-language school boards;
      • CEGEPs;
      • Cree School Board; and
      • Kativik School Board.
    • Provincial level negotiations are intersectorial (regarding salaries, pension plans, parental rights, and regional disparities) and sectorial (regarding union preogatives, conditions of employment, workload and its organization, grievances and arbitration).
    •  Bill 37 identified 28 other areas that are the subjects for local-level negotiations and agreements.
    • The Management Negotiating Committee for English-Language School Boards (CPNCA) represents the interests of the nine English-language school boards in negotiations with unionized employees.  It also organizes and coordinates provincial-sectorial negotiations.  The CPNCA also influences those subjects discussed at the intersectorial (central) tables as well.

  • Saskatchewan: Provincial and Local Bargaining
    • The legislative framework for teacher collective bargaining was made by the The Education Act, 1995 which prescribes bargaining at the provincial and local levels by subject.
    • Provincial level bargaining encompasses eight (8) subjects: salaries of teachers, allowances for principals and vice-principals, sick leave for teachers,•  teacher pensions,  group life insurance for teachers, criteria for designating teachers to be out-of-scope,  duration of the agreement, and any matter which may be ancillary or incidental to any of the above seven matters or that may be necessary to their implementation (eg. salary increments).
    • Local level bargaining encompasses six (6) areas: duration of the local agreement, educational leave for teachers, sabbatical leave for teachers, substitute teacher salaries,  pay periods for teachers,  special allowances for teachers, and any matter which may be ancillary or incidental to any of the above six matters or that may be necessary to their implementation.
    • A complete description of the collective bargaining system has been provided by the Saskatchewan Schools Boards Association,Teacher Collective Bargaining in Saskatchewan.  
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