Alberta Labour Relations Board dismisses union’s application for successorship in a transfer of business operations dispute

May 13, 2022

Alberta Union of Provincial Employees v Bethany Care Society and Mountain View Seniors’ Housing, 2022 15816 AB LRB

In a March 9, 2022 decision, the Alberta Labour Relations Board dismissed a successorship application under section 46 of the Labour Relations Code by the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees (“AUPE”), which sought to declare that Bethany Care Society (“Bethany”) was the successor employer to Mountain View Seniors Housing (“MVSH”) in relation to employees affected by the transfer of operations from MVSH to Bethany in 2021.

MVSH operates a number of seniors housing facilities in Alberta, including in Sundre and Olds (the “Lodges”). Alberta Health Services (“AHS”) previously contracted with MVSH to provide care services at the Lodges, and employed health care aides, licensed practical nurses, and registered nurses to perform that work. Some of these employees were represented by the AUPE.

The contract for care services between AHS and MVSH came to an end and was not renewed. AHS contracted with Bethany to provide care services at the Lodges instead. AUPE claimed that Bethany was a successor employer to MVSH, such that the affected employees would still be represented by AUPE and the collective agreement in place would continue to apply.

Bethany argued that only the “work” was transferred, and that this was not enough to constitute a successorship. No assets, equipment, inventory, or goodwill changed hands. Instead, Bethany argued that the situation was akin to a true subcontracting. The Board agreed, and dismissed AUPE’s application.

Jill Wilkie and Teri Treiber (Labour & Employment) represented Bethany in the successful proceedings.

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