Labour law update - April 11, 2014

Progressive Labour Lawyer, Rick Engel, has represented SGEU since 1987, on a variety of legal matters, ranging from employee grievances to the Long-Term Disability Plan, and most recently, in challenging the changes to provincial labour laws.

Engel gave a speech at convention this afternoon outlining the current status of the Saskatchewan Employment Act (SEA) and discussed employment standards provisions dealing with hours of work, employment leave, minimum wage, employment notices and the impact the SEA will have on Labour Relations.

Engel also went over the implications of the new Occupational Health & Safety regulations, dealing with Summary Offence Ticketing. He closed with an overview of the Public Service Essential Services Act (PSESA), which violates workers' rights to freedom of association and freedom of expression guaranteed under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

The Supreme Court of Canada will be hearing the case filed by the Saskatchewan Federation of Labour in conjunction with SGEU and several other union in the matter of the constitutionality of the Government of Saskatchewan’s Bills 5, the PSESA, as well as Bill 6, which proposes  ammendments to the Trade Union Act on May 16 of this year.

Click here for Engel's presentation on the provisions of the SEA and PSESA, as well as the new OH&S regulations.

Rick obtained a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) from the University of Saskatchewan in 1982 and a Juris Doctor’s degree from Queen's University in 1983.  He is a partner in Gerrand Rath Johnson and was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 2004.

Since 1987, Rick has developed a highly concentrated practice in Labour Law.  He has been lead union counsel on a number of significant public sector lawsuits and appeals, including a current appeal in front of the Supreme Court of Canada on the right to strike. 

Rick is vigorously committed to a judicial process that recognizes the best interests of working people in Saskatchewan. He is married and has one daughter.  He is an avid sailor and an active participant in the Lake Diefenbaker Yacht Club.