CapilanoU-Section 54 Notice – DTS

April 3, 2024

To: All MoveUP Members at CapilanoU

The employer has served the union a Section 54 notice on March 21, 2024. You can find it attached here. There was a lack of critical information that required further discussion with the employer to determine the potential impact on employees, delaying notice to affected employees.

What is a Section 54 notice?

Section 54 of the BC Labour Relations Code currently requires that employers provide at least 60 days of notice to a union if it intends to introduce a “measure, policy, practice or change that affects the terms, conditions or security of employment of a significant number of employees.” Section 54 requires the parties to discuss an adjustment plan. The Code does not currently require that parties agree to an adjustment plan.

Once the parties discuss, either can apply to the Mediation Division of the Labour Relations Board for the appointment of a mediator to assist with development of an adjustment plan where one is not reached. Following mediation, the named mediator may make recommendations for terms of an adjustment plan, if needed.

What initiative is the Employer pursuing that requires S54 notice?

The Section 54 notice provided by the employer outlines a training initiative but does not make any mention of any required staff reductions :

“The conclusion of the consultation was that the technology needs of the University community are not being met. Today’s students and faculty rely on digital solutions that support the evolving landscape of post-secondary education being available; many gaps to meeting this need have been identified, and those gaps need to be addressed.

Much of the current digital ecosystem implemented at CapU exists of legacy and end-of-life systems. As a result, CapU must engage in digital transformation efforts to uplift its systems, digital solutions and services. The University will first need to modernize its digital solutions to begin engaging in innovative teaching and learning practices as is being informed by the Digital Learning Framework.

The first step towards enabling the digital transformation initiatives is to identify and provide DTS employees with the appropriate training to support modernized systems using best practice processes.”


  • A current state analysis of the services and responsibilities of the organization structure that supports the digital ecosystem.
  • Updating the DTS department vision, purpose, and values through a one-day in-person workshop that will be scheduled for April 8, 2024.
  • A review and begin updating of workflows and processes required to support Illuminating 2030 and Envisioning 2030 goals in a half-day in-person workshop that will be scheduled for April 10, 2024.
  • A department-wide team member self-assessment. This will inform development of a comprehensive training plan for the DTS department that will support employees in obtaining the skills and knowledge required to support workflows/processes/solutions towards the 2030 digital roadmap. This will be a survey that team members can complete after the workshops.
  • We will be adopting a core systems philosophy to implement modern-day digital solutions that are interoperable for data integrity and information sharing purposes.”

Section 54 of the BCLRC was introduced as a companion to Section 53,  in furtherance of the purpose of the Code which is to “encourage cooperative participation between employers and trade unions in resolving workplace issues, adapting to changes in the economy, developing workforce skills and promoting workplace productivity”.

Section 54 requires notice communicated directly to the union, containing adequate, explicit and detailed description of the change for which notice is being given, including a reference to Section 54 of the Code, a description of the subjects to be discussed, and the time frame within which discussions should take place.

As there was no explicit mention of staff reductions, we wanted to ensure we understood the employer’s notice prior to communicating. In seeking further information on the possibility of staff reductions, the employer stated the following:

“Currently unknown are staff reductions to the department, as that will depend on departmental needs, staff options, and qualification requirements for positions. Stream three will inform any modifications and is outlined in the notice that was provided, for further reference.

The University is committed to supporting its staff, for those that have identified an interest and may have the capabilities of meeting the needs of the future state and digital transformation of the DTS department and understands that there may be staff who choose not to participate in the retraining or in the required changes of the DTS department, and we will work with the Union in providing options for these staff.”

Section 54 notice requires sufficient time and details for the parties to meet in good faith for meaningful discussions to endeavour to develop an adjustment plan. If the Employer reasonably knows that staff reductions are required, the notice needs to outline as much prior to the final decision on the matter so that the Parties are properly informed in these discussions.

These requirements of notice are mandatory, being intended to confer substantial rights on the Union. They are conditions precedent to any change of practice provided and thus, until these procedural requirements have been met, the change cannot properly be implemented if staff reductions are required.

Therefore, we have let the employer know that no notice of any required staff reductions has been provided and that the notice is more broadly related to a department restructuring and re-training initiative which falls under our technology change language in A24.01 and A24.02:


“Technological Change” shall mean:

(a) Definition

the introduction by the University of a change in its work, undertaking, or
business, or a change in its equipment or material from the equipment previously used by the University in its work, undertaking or business, or

(b) Introduction of Equipment

a change in the manner, method or processes in which the University carries on its work, undertaking, or business related to the introduction of that equipment or material.


(a) Introduction of Change

Where the University introduces or intends to introduce a technological change as defined in 24.01, which:

(i) affects the terms and conditions or security of employment of one or more employees to whom the Collective Agreement applies, or

(ii) alters significantly the basis upon which the Collective Agreement was negotiated,

the University shall provide the Union and affected employee(s), in writing, a minimum of thirty (30) days notice of such and at the time notice is provided, or as soon as possible thereafter, with the reasons in writing for the introduction of technological change and with as much information related to the technological change as possible.

(b) Training

The University agrees that, prior to implementing technological change, it will make reasonable training in the new technology available to affected employees. Employees participating in such training outside of their normal working hours will be compensated for that time at their regular rate of remuneration, or at the discretion of their Administrator, will receive compensatory time off.

(c) Failure to Complete Training

Where such training has been made available, failure to participate in, or successfully complete, the training will not prevent or delay the introduction of the technological change.

(d) Election Not to be Retrained

Where an employee elects not to be retrained or does not successfully complete the retraining, the provisions of Article 24.06(a), 24.06(b), 24.06(c), 24.06(d) will apply.”

What are the next steps?

The union is awaiting confirmation on a time to meet with the employer on April 5 to discuss the matter, including options for members who choose not to participate in the retraining or in the required changes of the DTS department as outlined in the Employer’s last response.

The employer has begun the process of setting up meetings with members on April 8 and April 10 for the previously mentioned workshops. Overtime provisions in our collective agreement will apply for any meetings scheduled outside of your regularly scheduled work day.

This will be a long process, but we’ll keep you updated as information becomes available and as we can continue our discussions with the employer.

We are here to support you through this process. You can reach out to job stewards in your department such as Eric Roberts, Darin Feist, Chris Shier and Ramel De Jesus. You can reach me at nbeausoleil@moveutogether.ca, or at 778 580 5191.

In Solidarity,

Nathan Beausoleil, Union Representative
Christy Slusarenko, Vice President of Combined Units

File Number: 24-CAPU-S54 Notice-DTS-
Union Label: NB/ks usw2009