CIRB Decision - Union Leave

Published: July 31st 2015 | Source: TCRC West | Board Order no. 738·NB
CIRB found that the employer did breach section 94(1)(a) of the Code

Brothers & Sisters,

Please see the attached award from the CIRB that we received today regarding Union Leave and our complaint following our legal work stoppage. As you will read, the CIRB found that the employer did breach section 94(1)(a) of the Code. In its decision the Board found:

[28] The terms and conditions that existed and applied to members of the bargaining units when the union decided to exercise their right to strike, included the terms contained in the parties' Interim Agreement and extended by the Board's Order no. 738·NB. As the parties have not reached agreement on different terms related to union business leave, the employer is not in a position to unilaterally make changes to those terms anymore than it was free to do so prior to the parties acquiring the right to strike or lockout.

[32] To accept the employer’s proposition would amount to accepting that whatever was not agreed to during collective bargaining can be changed unilaterally by the employer during the mediation-arbitration process agreed to pursuant to section 79. The Board cannot accept this proposition as this is not the effect of section 79.

[34] In this case, the employer communicated a new policy on union business leave without regard to the terms and conditions that were in place as a result of the agreement reached pursuant to section 79 and the RTWA. The Board concludes that the employer’s letter of February 23, 2015 in which it unilaterally imposes new conditions for the request and approval of union business leave is a violation of section 94(1)(a) of the Code as it ignores the rights and the obligations of the bargaining agent in its representation of employees in what are key terms and conditions of employment.

[35] The terms of the Interim Agreement as attached to the Board's Order no. 738-NB must from the day of this decision, continue to apply until such time as the parties mutually agree to different terms governing union business leave or the arbitrator imposes different terms for union business leave. The Board’s order to this effect is attached to this decision and supercedes the Interim Order no. 754-NB that was issued on March 5, 2015.

Essentially, the Board found that the entire Interim Agreement, not just paragraphs 1 & 2, is now in effect until we agree on different terms or the Adams arbitration enacts different conditions.

As a further update, the latest complaint regarding managers performing bargaining unit filed April, 2015 is before a panel of the Board for its consideration. We can expect a decision soon.

We would like to thank TCRC National office for their support and Denis Ellickson of CaleyWray for his assistance in achieving this successful outcome.

In Solidarity,

Dave Fulton, General Chairman - CTY West
Greg Edwards, General Chairman - LE West
Bruce Hiller, General Chairman - CTY East
Benoit Brunet, General Chairman - LE East

cc: Mr. Douglas Finnson, President TCRC