AH - 172












(the “Company”)








(the “Union”)




Article 6.05 of the Collective Agreement





SOLE ARBITRATOR:     Jean Cournoyer



There appeared on behalf of the Company:

                                D.W. Flicker



And on behalf of the Union:

R.      Skelly



A hearing in this matter was held at Montreal, Quebec, on the 17th day of August, 1978.

                The collective agreement at article 6.05 provides as follows:


“Except as otherwise provided in Article 6.04 duty rosters covering two-week periods will be posted and will show employees’ tours of duty or reporting locations, except for those employees whose tours of duty are designated as relief, in which case only the rest days will be shown.  Where starting times are shown on the duty roster they shall be the same for each day of the week.  Duty rosters will commence at 0001 hours on Sunday up to and including 2359 hours on the second Saturday thereafter and will be posted forty-eight hours in advance of the commencement of the two-week period.”


                On a duty roster posted at Quebec City, Quebec, which came into effect October 2nd, 1977, constable Byrne is indicated as working from 1700 hours to 0100 hours on October 15th, the second Saturday after October 2nd.


                It is the Union’s position that this roster violates the above article 6.05, in that the roster commences on October 2nd after 001 hours but goes beyond 2359 hours on the second Saturday thereafter.


                It is the Company’s position that there is no violation of article 6.05 of the collective agreement.


                In the exchange of correspondence prior to the bearing, the above positions are more precisely explained.


                Mr. John Collins in a letter to R.A. Jolly, on November 18th, 1977, states the following:


“Article 6.05 stipulates that duty rosters will commence at 0100 hours on Sunday up to and including 2359 hours on the second Saturday thereafter.  It does not stipulate that shifts or tours of duty will conclude at 2359 hours on the second Saturday.”


                Mr. Doucet, in a letter, dated December 6th, 1977, to Mr. Machan referring the above statement says:


“We find it difficult to understand how Mr. Collins is able to separate shifts and/or tours of duty from the duty rosters and say they are not one and the same thing.  Without shifts and tours of duty shown as per article 6, the Duty Roster would not be complete.  Therefore, if the roster is not complete without shifts and tours of duty shown thereon, it is logical to assume that the roster must terminate in total at 2359 hours on the second Saturday as stated in section 6.05.”


                Mr. Machan in is reply to Mr. Doucet on December 22nd 1977, says:


“It is the Company’s position that the intent of this clause is to ensure that the duty roster shows all shits or tours of duty which commence during that two week period.  It is not the intent of this clause to restrict all tours of duty exclusively to the two week period.  If the Association’s contention was correct then theoretically, and employee on a 1600 assignment on the second Saturday could not work overtime, since such overtime would extend his tour of duty beyond 3259, yet article 7 specifically recognized that an employee can be required to work overtime continuous with his regular shift.”


                As a result of these position the matter was referred to arbitration and the parties having failed to agree on the choice of an arbitrator, the Minister of Labour, the Honorable John Munro, appointed the undersigned to decide on the grievance.


                A hearing took place in room 284 at Windsor Station on august the 17th 1978.  Mr. D.W. Flicker acted as counsel for the company and Mr. R. Skelly acted as counsel for the Association.


                The Association submitted the following exhibits:


V-1:        the collective agreement;

V-2:        the written correspondence on the grievance;

V-3:        a series of duty rosters covering periods from September 18th 1977 to October 15th 1977;

V-4:        a duty roster observed in the Montreal area;


                The Company submitted the following exhibits:


C-1:        Duty Roster

                Montreal April 28 - May 4 1974;

C-2:        Duty Roster

                Montreal February 29 - March 6 1976;

C-3:        Duty Roster

                Montreal March 7 - March 13 1976;

C-4:        Duty Roster

                Edmonton July 27 - August 9 1975;

C-5:        Duty Roster

                Edmonton July 19 - July 26 1975;

C-6:        Duty Roster

                Edmonton June 29 - July 12 1975.


                Witnesses gave evidence that in the case of Montreal an arrangement had been made satisfying C.P.R. and the policeman involved to have shift start at 2300 on one day and end at 700 on the following day, and evidence was also given that no such mutually satisfactory arrangement had been made in Quebec City.


                It is to be noted that  the duty rosters in Quebec and in Edmonton show that starting time as well as the finishing time all of them start on a Sunday but some of them finish on the Sunday at 0100 some on the Saturday.


                Before arriving at a decision, it is important to establish the meaning of a certain number of expressions used by the parties in their collective agreement; it is certainly to define a Roster, Tours of duty and Day.


                The dictionaries give us definitions of the word “Roster”:


Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary:

1-a) a roll or list of personnel; esp: one that gives the order in which a duty is to be performed

b)      the persons listed on a roster.


Merriam Webster Dictionary:

1: a list of personnel; also: the persons listed on a roster, 2: an itemized list.


The Standard Dictionary International Edition:

1: a list of officers and men rolled for duty; also: a list of active military organizations, 2: any list of names.


The Oxford Universal Dictionary on historical principles:

1: a list or plan exhibiting the order of rotation or turns of duties and service, of officers, men, and bodies of troops, 2: a list or table exhibiting the names of a set of persons, esp: as taking turns of duty.


                “Tour of duty”.  Beside the natural meaning of this expression its use by the parties indicates the meaning that they, themselves, wanted to give to it.


In article 6.10:


…Whenever possible an employee will be informed not later than the end of his previous tour of duty as to any changes.


In article 6.11:


It will be the responsibility of any employee absent on account of illness or injury or an annual leave or leave of absence to contact his departmental office prior to return to duty in order that he may be informed of his tour of duty.


In article 6.06:


Employees may be taken from their tours of duty as shown on the duty rosters…and shall be returned as soon as possible to their assigned tours of duty shown on the current roster.


In article 6.09:


Except where employees are taken from their tours of duty as provided in Article 6.06, when starting times are to be changed, at least twenty-four hours’ notice will be given the employees affected.


In article 7.09:


Employees required to work in excess of two hours’ overtime continuous with their regular tours of duty shall be allowed a twenty-minute meal period as soon as practicable without loss in pay.


In article 12.04.02:


…will be notified not later than the completion of his shift or tour of duty immediately preceding such holiday…


In article 12.04.03:


…must be entitled to wages for at least twelve shifts or tours of duty during the thirty calendar days…


In article 12.08:


…rate applicable to the position in which such employee worked his last tour of duty prior to the general holiday.


In article 12.12:


Shifts or tours of duty commencing between 12:00 midnight on the eve of the general holiday and 11:59 p.m. on the night of the general holiday, both times inclusive, shall be considered as work on that holiday




In article 7.01:


…time worked on proper authority on any day in excess of eight hours, exclusive of meal period, shall be considered overtime.


In article 6.01:


…eight consecutive hours’ services shall constitute a day’s work…


In article 6.05:


…in which case only the rest days will be shown.  Where starting times are shown on the duty roster they shall be the same  for each day of the week.


In article 6.08:


A system of rotating shifts and assigned rest days will be established by the Company except where impracticable.


                It seems to the arbitrator that the definitions given to the word “Roster” indicate to us that it is a list of men placed in the order of their taking turn in the performance of duty.  The roster is designed to indicate to each man when  and where he is going to be on duty during a certain period of time.


                The word “Tours of duty” has been used in three senses by the parties.  It sometimes stands for “shift” or period during which duty is to be performed and it sometimes stands for the place at which duty will be performed and sometimes for the place and period at which duty will be performed.  The first meaning must be given to the expression in articles 6.05, 6.10, 7.09, 12.04.02, 12.04.03 and 12.08.  The second meaning must be given to the expression in articles 6.06, 6.09 and 12.12.  In article 6.10 and 6.11m the expression refers equally to the period as well as the place when and where duty is to be performed.


                The word “Day” is very seldom used alone and therefore its definition is always qualified.  In fact, the only definition we have is that of a day’s work (6.01) and one is brought to conclude that a rest day in articles 6.05 and 6.08 will be the opposite of a day’s work and that would be 8 consecutive hours during which one would have worked but is resting.


                Used alone like in article 7.01, the meaning would revert to the period of time extending from 0.001 to 23.5909.


                The arbitrator finds that article 6.05 obliges the Company to post rosters indicating the place where duty will be performed and the starting time of said duty and nothing forces the company to indicate finishing time.  Article 12.12 indicates very clearly the possibility of tours of duty commencing between 12:00 midnight and 23:59 p.m., therefore it would not be proper to construe article 6.05 as prohibiting the company to start a shift at 23:00 on any day of the week, including the last day of the period covered by the Roster.  The roster maintains its main objective of making any constable aware of his whereabouts during the period of two weeks.  The fact that it goes beyond the period in the case where the Company included the finishing time does not change the nature of the obligation of the Company which is to have its constables know 48 hours in advance of the commencement of the two week period what they will do and where they will do it during the period commencing at 0001 hours on Sunday up to and including 2359 hours on the second Saturday thereafter.


                In view  of the foregoing the grievance is dismissed.



Montreal, October 18th