©b69r AD HOC 130
IN THE MATTER OF AN ARBITRATION
BETWEEN: NORTHERN ALBERTA RAILWAYS
AND: BROTHERHOOD OF RAILWAY AND AIRLINE
CLERKS, SYSTEM BOARD NO. 15
AND IN THE MATTER OF A CLAIM BY CERTAIN EMPLOYEES FOR
REFEREE: J.F.W. WEATHERILL
A hearing in this matter was held at Montreal on December 15, 1977.
©u5rD. Du©u7rquette, for the union.
©u13rM.M. Yorston, for the company.
©b51r A W A R D
The Joint Statement of Issue agreed to by the parties in this matter
is as follows:
Joint Statement of Issue
1. On or about February 19, 1973, an office of the Northern
Alberta Railways was relocated from 10012 Jasper Avenue,
Edmonton, Alberta to 13025 St. Albert Trail, Edmonton,
2. As a result of the aforesaid office relocation, the place
of employment of Messrs. MacNaughton, Swanson, Gibson,
Hanasyk, McNalley and Ellstock changed from 10012 Jasper
Avenue, Edmonton, Alberta to 13024 St. Albert Trail,
3. On March 12, 1973, the Union claimed, on behalf of
Messrs. MacNaughton, Swanson, Gibson, Hanasyk, McNalley
and Ellstock, twenty-five dollars ($25.00) per month each
for a period of twelve months following the aforesaid
4. The Company denied the claim.
5. The Union alleges that the Company, in declining the
claim, has violated the provisions of Article VII, Clause
7 of the Supplemental Agreement on Job Security -
Technological, Operational and Organizational Changes
executed May 20, 1971.
6. The Company denies the Union's allegations.
Article VII of the Job Security Agreement of May 20, 1971 deals with
the matter of relocation expenses. Clause 7 of that article is as
7) If an employee, who is eligible for moving expenses, does
not which to move his household to his new location, he
may opt for a monthly allowance of $25.00, which will be
payable so long as he remains at his new location for a
maximum of 12 months from date of transfer to his new
location. An employee claiming under this clause may
elect within such 12 month period to move his household
effects, in which case the amount paid out under this
clause shall be deducted from the relocation expenses
In the instant case, the employees for whom this claim is brought did
not wish to move their households, following the relocation of their
offices, described in the joint statement. They claim the right to
elect and to receive the optional payment referred to in clause 7.
The issue is whether they are " eligible for moving expenses" within
the meaning of Article VII.
The matter of eligibility for relocation expenses (i.e., eligibility
for "moving expenses" as referred to in clause 7) is dealt with in
clause (a) of article VII. Clause (a) is as follows:
(i) must have been laid off or displaced, under conditions
where such lay-off or displacement is likely to be of a
permanent nature, with the result that no work is
available at his home location and, in order to hold
other work on the railway, such employee is required to
(ii) must be engaged in work, which has been transferred to a
new location and the employee moves at the instance of
(iii) must be affected by a notice which has been issued under
Article VIII of this Agreement and he chooses to relocate
as a result of receiving an appointment on a bulletined
permanent vacancy which at the time is not subject to
notice of abolishment under Article VIII of this
Agreement and such relocation takes place in advance of
the date of the change, provided this will not result in
additional moves being made;
2) In addition to fulfilling at least one of the conditions
set forth above the employee:
(i) must have three years' cumulative compensated service as
defined in clause 7 of Appendix "C";
(ii) must be a householder, i.e., one who owns or occupies
unfurnished living accommodation. This requirement does
not apply to paragraphs (3), (4), (5) and (6) of Clause
(b) of this Article.
(iii) must establish that it is impractical for him to commute
daily to the new location by means other than privately
Clause (a) (1) sets out three requirements, at least one of which
must be met by an employee claiming to be eligible for relocation
benefits. In the instant case, it is clear that sub-clause (i)
cannot be relied on by the employees, since they were not laid off or
displaced, but simply moved from one work location to another.
Further, sub-clause (iii) cannot be relied on, since this was not a
case in which a notice under article VIII of the Job Security
Agreement was issued.
The question whether or not sub-clause (ii) may be relied on is more
difficult. There was, as is clear from the joint statement, a
relocation of the office in which the grievor worked. After the
relocation, the employees reported to the new office, rather than the
old. Whether the new office was in a "new location" within the
meaning of the Job Security Agreement, and whether the employees
"moved" at the instance of the company are matters which are not so
clear. If by "location" reference is made to a particular point
within a municipality, then of course a new location was involved in
this case. If, on the other hand, "location" refers to a
municipality or a reasonably broad geographical area, then there was
no new location involved, the office being within the boundaries of
Edmonton in this case. Further the employees did not "move" in the
sense of moving their households or residences, although they did
move their work locations within the municipality.
When sub-clause (ii) is read in the context in which it appears, and
in relation to the other sub-clauses in question, it seems clear to
me that the terms "new location" and "moves" must be read having in
mind the sort of benefits which the article provides, which reveal
the purpose for which those terms are used. Such "relocation
benefits" are described in clause (b) of article VII and involve,
quite clearly, reimbursement in respect of expenses incurred in
moving a household from one community to another. The same
conclusion clearly appears from a consideration of clause (a) (1)
(i), set out above, where reference is made to an employee's "home
location", and clause (b) (6) (c) (i) where reference is made to
the sale of homes "in the municipality", being clearly a reference to
the municipality from which employees have been "relocated."
Accordingly, it is my view that on a proper reading of the agreement,
the condition set out in sub-clause (a) (1) (ii) of article VII has
not been met in this case, and the employees concerned are not
eligible for relocation benefits. The relocation of the company's
office within the boundaries of Edmonton did not involve the sort of
relocation of employees for which benefits are provided under article
Even if it had been shown that the employees concerned met at least
one of the conditions set out in sub-clause (a) (1) of article VII,
it would still have to be shown that they met all three of the
conditions set out in sub-clause (b) (2). It is acknowledged that
conditions (i) and (ii) therein were met. It has been shown,
however, that the new office location is served by public transport,
on two lines. One of these, the municipal line, takes passengers to
a point adjacent to the company's yard and about 8/10 of a mile by
private road from the office, or about 4/10 of a mile by a direct
route across yard trackage. At least in inclement weather, it is my
view such access cannot really be described as "practical". The
other line, however, an inter-city line, stops in front of the new
office location, and while this may require employees to cross a busy
thoroughfare, and while it may also involve transfers from other
lines and perhaps higher fares, it is not, I think, "impractical"
within the meaning of sub-clause (a) (2) (iii) of article 7.
In any event, as has been indicated above, I do not consider that the
relocation of the office in question was one which led to the
employees becoming eligible for relocation expenses under the job
Accordingly, the grievance must be dismissed.
DATED at Toronto, this 16th day of January, 1978.
J.F. W. weatherill