AD HOC 102















BOARD OF ARBITRATION: J.F.W. Weatherill, Chairman

W. Walsh, Union Nominee

S.E. Dinsdale, Q.C., Company Nominee



A hearing in this matter was held at Toronto on March 29, 1978.




1u8rJ. Hayes, for the union

1u10rJ.W. Healy, Q.C., for the company



1b69r A W A R D


In this grievance the grievor protests the company's failure to

appoint him to a temporary vacancy in the classification of 1u5rRadio

1u11rTechnician, Grade 5, which was posted on June 28, 1974.

The job posting notice was as follows:


Applications will be received from those duly qualified up to

and including July 7, 1974 covering position of one Radio

Technician, Grade 5, Lutes Mountain Radio Site, Moncton,

N.B., for a temporary period of approximately 4 months.

Rating as per schedule.


Entitlement to a posted job is governed by article 6, clause 4 of

the collective agreement, which provides as follows:

Applications to bulletined positions must reach the Regional

Manager issuing the bulletin not later than ten (10) calendar

days from the date of bulletin. Such positions will be

filled within thirty (30) days from the date of bulletin by

the appointment of the senior qualified applicant except as

hereinafter provided for in Clause 14.


Clause 14 is not material to the instant case. .Under the provisions

of clause 6, the position is to be awarded to the senior qualified

applicant. The grievor was the senior applicant, so the only

question to be determined is whether or not he was "qualified".

There is no doubt that, under a provision such as this, a person is

'qualified" for a job when he is capable of performing it with a

reasonable degree of proficiency without special training.

In fact, the position was awarded to a junior applicant. There is no

doubt that the junior applicant was qualified and it may be that if

the grievor were considered to be qualified, it would be said that

the successful applicant was "more qualified". That, however, as is

acknowledged, would be an irrelevant consideration. No sort of

competition is envisaged by clause 4. If the grievor was qualified

to perform the available work, then he was entitled to the job. The

company did consider the grievor's application according to the

proper standard, but concluded that he was not qualified. Whether

that conclusion was justified or not is what is in issue in this

case. Certainly the company did not seek to discriminate unfairly

against the grievor, who is highly regarded as a very capable


The job in question involves the servicing of various sorts of

electronic telecommunications equipment at Lute's Mountain, near

Moncton. In particular, Lute's Mountain is an important terminal for

microwave transmission in eastern Canada and the Radio Technician is

responsible for maintenance of the equipment at the terminal and at

certain repeater stations. As many as 1800 circuits would be

affected by a failure of the microwave transmission system. Assuming

that a person has the appropriate qualifications for training on such

equipment, (and it would appear that the grievor would so qualify) a

training period of some four to five months is usually required, the

training including self-study, classroom study, and on-site

instruction. A general knowledge of radio and electricity would be a

part of the background required of a trainee but it would not be

sufficient to permit a person to carry out the functions of the job

in question, in which even a relatively minor error might have very

serious consequences.

The grievor expressed confidence in his own ability to take over the

job and perform it satisfactorily, given a brief period of

familiarization with the equipment. The grievor has, in "fact,

performed satisfactorily as an Equipment Technician, a Plant

Technician and, at the time of the posting, in the combined job of

1u18rGeneral Technician, and has gained some familiarity with a wide range

of the company's equipment. He had, at the time, some ten years'

service as a Technician, and had done considerable study, at the

university level,in the field of electrical engineering. He has

worked in the classification of Radio Technician at the Hump Yard

Radio Shop, in Moncton. His general ability to learn the work in

question seems clear. In addition, he has worked on occasions at the

Lute's Mountain site, and has at 5 least seen the microwave and other

equipment involved, although he has had no direct responsibility for

its maintenance. On at least one occasion he was asked to deal with

a failure of microwave equipment at a repeater station. On that

occasion it would appear that no qualified person was available, and

when the grievor mentioned his lack of experience on such equipment

to his supervisor, he was assured that the company was confident he

could handle the situation, and indeed he did so. That he could rise

to the occasion in such circumstances is obviously to his credit, but

it does not establish his qualifications to perform the full duties

of the Radio Technician at the Lute's Mountain site.

The work on which the grievor was engaged at the time of the posting

was generally in the nature of bench repair and servicing of mobile

radio units - walkie-talkies, train radios and the like - and bore no

significant relationship to the work involved in maintaining the much

more complex equipment at the Lute's Mountain terminal. It may be

noted that while the grievor's experience in mobile radio work would

not of itself qualify him for the job at Lute's Mountain, by the same

token the Radio Technician there would not have been qualified to

perform mobile radio work without training, although in the latter

case a shorter period of training would be required.

Having regard to the complexity and importance of the equipment

involved at Lute's Mountain, we think it cannot properly be said that

the grievor, notwithstanding his general experience and knowledge,

his overall ability and his enthusiasm, was qualified to work there

as Radio Technician Group 5 with only a brief period of

familiarization. The company, on a fair assessment of the grievor,

determined that he was not "qualified" for the job at the time and we

cannot, on the material before us, conclude that that assessment was


For the foregoing reasons, it is our conclusion that no violation of

the collective agreement has been established, and that the grievance

must therefore be dismissed.

DATED at Toronto, this 15th day of May, 1978.