The Status of the Artist Act (SAA) was enacted in 1992 and the Canadian Artists and Producers Professional Relations Tribunal (CAPPRT) came into full operation in 1995. The SAA gives legal recognition and protection to collective bargaining by independent self-employed artists and federally regulated producers. The ability to bargain collectively is critical to artists and producers in the face of a continuously changing and challenging marketplace. Over the years, artists and producers have developed scale agreements in order to improve working conditions and compensation for artists, provide stable and predictable professional relations and qualified talent pools for producers, and build a strong Canadian presence in international cultural markets. For the past 18 years, the Canadian Artists and Producers Professional Relations Tribunal have been proud to play a role in the evolution of the professional relations between artists and producers.
The Jobs, Growth and Long-Term Prosperity Act, which received Royal Assent on June 29, 2012, includes amendments to the SAA that would abolish the CAPPRT and transfer its duties and responsibilities to the Canada Industrial Relations Board (CIRB). These amendments will take effect in early spring, at a specific date determined by Order in Council. Staff members of CAPPRT and CIRB have been working together to ensure a seamless transfer of all duties and responsibilities of the SAA and ensure that services to the communities under the SAA will continue uninterrupted.
The CIRB is an independent, representational, quasi-judicial tribunal responsible for the interpretation and administration of Part I (Industrial Relations), certain provisions of Part II (Occupational Health and Safety) of the Canada Labour Code, and soon the administration of Part II of SAA. The current Chairperson of the CIRB, Mrs. Elizabeth MacPherson, is a former Executive Director and General Counsel of CAPPRT. She has worked extensively with labout relations and has a depth of experience in Canada’s cultural community.
The CIRB’s mandate is to contribute to and promote a harmonious industrial relations climate in the federally regulated sector through the impartial, effective and appropriate administration of the rules of conduct that govern labour and management in their representational and bargaining activities. Its expertise and composition allow it to deal effectively with the complexities of labour relations issues of all types. The CIRB will be responsible for all regular activities under the SAA, such as granting and renewing certification orders to artists' associations and dealing with complaints of unfair labour practices.
To ease in the transfer of responsibilty for the SAA, Diane Chartrand, Executive Director and General Counsel of CAPPRT will take on the role of Deputy Executive Director and Senior Director of Policy and Planning at the CIRB in early April.