AH – 483
IN THE MATTER OF AN ARBITRATION
VIA RAIL CANADA INC.
BROTHERHOOD OF LOCOMOTIVE ENGINEERS
LOCOMOTIVE ENGINEER TRAINING SELECTION PROCESS
Sole Arbitrator: Michel G. Picher
Appearing For The Brotherhood:
James L. Shields – Counsel, Ottawa
John Tofflemire – General Chairman, Oakville
Scott W. Chamberlain – Counsel, Ottawa
Gilles Hallé – Canadian Director, Ottawa
W. G. Scarrow – Vice-President, UTU, Ottawa (observer)
Appearing For The Corporation:
E. J. Houlihan – Senior Manager, Labour Relations, Montreal
J. H. Lafleur – Counsel, Montreal
Melanie Bastien – Labour Relations Officer, Montreal
Chuck Harnish – Manager, Customer Service, Montreal
A hearing in this matter was held in Montreal on Monday, May 29, 2000.
The record reveals that in the period September of 1996 to June 30, 1998 the grievor, Ms. C. Herdman, recorded a substantial number of absences due to illness, totalling some ninety-three days. Of considerable concern was her tendency to book sick and return to duty on the same day, a practice which appears to be consistent with a degree of assignment shopping.
For reasons related in other awards within this series, the Arbitrator is satisfied that it is a legitimate consideration for the Corporation to weigh an employee’s record in respect of reporting for assignments as a significant element in the assessment of that individual’s entitlement to locomotive engineer training.
Upon a review of the file the Arbitrator cannot find that the Corporation’s decision to exclude Ms. Herdman from the locomotive engineer training program was taken in a manner that was discriminatory, arbitrary or in bad faith. It is clear that she has shown a questionable tendency towards excessive absenteeism, a legitimate consideration in identifying individuals for the critical responsibilities of work as a locomotive engineer. Her grievance must therefore be dismissed.
Dated at Toronto, June 6, 2000
(signed) MICHEL G. PICHER