Arbitration Awards

Stewards may find these summaries of Arbitration Awards helpful. Last updated: October 6, 2010.

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Health Services and Support Community Subsector Association and HEABC (December 24, 2010) #1012

The Community Bargaining Association filed a policy grievance alleging that the employer's refusal to pay the prescribed fees for members' criminal record checks (pursuant to the Criminal Records Review Act) is a violation of Article 30.8 of the Collective Agreement which states that the employer will reimburse an employee for the cost of a criminal record check required by the employer as a condition of continued employment. The employer argued that the relevant article applied only when an employer required the employee to undergo a criminal record check as a condition of continued employment but did not apply in the present case where the checks are required by legislation. The arbitrator agreed with the employer and relied on the 1998 bargaining history which showed the parties had considered and rejected language that would have included a reference to the payment for criminal records cheques required by legislation. 

BCGEU and Gov't of BC (December 20, 2010) #1013

The union filed a grievance regarding the employer's decision pursuant to a Memorandum of Understanding to treat the radio communications technician and the superintendent radio communications technician positions as "field status employees" rather than stationary employees on travel status for meal allowance purposes. The arbitrator found that the radio communications technician position was properly designated as a field status employee but the superintendent position should not have been changed from stationary employee status as they are normally required to carry out their duties on a day-to-day basis at their headquarters. 

Andrea Rachel and HEU/BCGEU - EI Board of Referees (March 4, 2010)

The Unions filed a representative appeal of the Commission’s decision that the Bill 29 settlement payments from government to members were earnings for EI purposes. The majority found the payments were earnings but recommended the Commission should waive the overpayment. The minority found that the payments did not arise out of employment and allowed the appeal. The Unions will file an appeal to the Umpire level of review.

Highways Service Area 11 and 20 (Mainroad and Interior Roads) Settlement Summary

In 2002 after the Liberal government came to power they informed highways maintenance contractors that unless labour costs were cut by 10% as of April 1, 2004 there would be no successorship in the next round of contracts. The union entered into negotiations, opening up collective agreements to find the required 10% and in exchange the union got successorship and long-term, 10-year contracts. In two service areas (11 [Mainroad] and 20 [Interior Roads]) the maintenance contracts did not expire until 2006. The union learned in late 2005 that instead of getting the 10% cut in funding in those areas on April 1, 2004, the employers did not get any cuts until the fall of 2006. All of the collective agreement savings between April 1, 2004 and the fall of 2006 went into corporate profits for Mainroad and Interior Roads.

The union filed grievances against both employers for recovery of the members' money that had contributed to the windfall profits of the companies for that period.

After several days of hearing on both files, the union entered into settlement negotiations. The Ministry was also at the table, as they accepted some responsibility in the matter. With the assistance of union staff, the union was successful in negotiating a lump sum payment of $5,000 for each Mainroad regular employee affected, including those who had left Mainroad employment and a smaller amount for each auxiliary. The union also got them back their modified work week for this year. In Interior Roads, the union got the same amount, but because Interior Roads had lost the contract and were no longer in the service area, the Ministry picked up a half share of the final settlement costs. Total amount of the settlement was over half a million dollars. The union believes that this is the largest grievance settlement the union has achieved.

Tagged in: Settlements

Andrea Rachel and HEU/BCGEU - EI Board of Referees (March 4, 2010)

The Unions filed a representative appeal of the Commission’s decision that the Bill 29 settlement payments from government to members were earnings for EI purposes. The majority found the payments were earnings but recommended the Commission should waive the overpayment. The minority found that the payments did not arise out of employment and allowed the appeal. The Unions will file an appeal to the Umpire level of review.

Tagged in: Settlements

BCGEU and Mainroad East Kootenay – (June 30, 2010) – #1006

The member was a road foreman (RF) who worked in an RF1 position.  He moved to an RF4 position and shortly after the move, the employer reclassified his position as an RF2.  The Union grieved the reclassification and successfully argued the position was properly classified as an RF4 position and the member should receive the increase in pay on a retroactive and ongoing basis. The Union called evidence to establish the member was performing the same duties as other RF4s and the same duties as the previous employee in that position.

Tagged in: Seniority

Gateway Casinos (Starlight Seniority Issue) (September 1, 2010) - #1008

The Employer opened a new casino and brought together two groups of workers from different work locations.  There was an unresolved issue regarding the determination of seniority between the Riverboat Casino workers and the Royal Towers Casino site (which had been closed for 2 years). The Union provided separate independent legal counsel to the two groups to resolve the seniority issue.  The arbitrator provided guidance to the parties which will dovetail the classification seniority dates for all members.

Tagged in: Seniority

HEABC and BCGEU – BCLRB No. B44/2010 (March 10, 2010)

The Board dismissed the Employer’s section 99 application for review of the arbitrator’s award dated September 22, 2009. The arbitrator had determined that the Employer was responsible for the mileage costs incurred by health care workers who were using their vehicles on behalf of and at the request of the Employer. This award resulted in a significant financial remedy for many of our health care members.

Tagged in: Payment Issues

BCGEU and Emcon Services (June 27, 2010) - #1007

The member was issued a fine for operating a commercial vehicle with a load exceeding the legal weight requirements. The Union grieved the Employer’s failure to reimburse the member for the cost of the fine.  The grievance succeeded. The arbitrator found there was nothing in the collective agreement that allowed the Employer to impose a monetary fine on an employee and it was not an appropriate action within the proper scope of the Employer’s disciplinary powers.  There was evidence the Employer had paid for tickets in the past and the Employer did not provide a scale for workers at the loading site.

Tagged in: Payment Issues

BCGEU and Communities Addiction Resource Society – August 9, 2010 - WCAT award

A recreation activity worker in a residential care home was assaulted by a resident and suffered a severe psychological condition.  She was initially assessed at 40% of total disability. The WCB reduced her award to 20% deciding that she had a pre-existing condition. On appeal, the Union successfully argued for reinstatement of the 40% and an additional 3% which results in additional monthly payments for the member.

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