AH – 506
IN THE MATTER OF AN ARBITRATION
VIA RAIL CANADA INC.
BROTHERHOOD OF LOCOMOTIVE ENGINEERS
RE: LOCOMOTIVE ENGINEER TRAINING SELECTION
GRIEVANCE RE INTERVIEW PROCESS – TRACY H. KLOHN
SOLE ARBITRATOR: Michel G. Picher
APPEARING FOR THE BROTHERHOOD:
Scott Chamberlain – Legal Counsel, Ottawa
J. L. Shields – Legal Counsel, Ottawa
John Tofflemire – General Chairman, Oakville
APPEARING FOR THE CORPORATION:
E. J. Houlihan – Senior Manager, Labour Relations, Montreal
Melanie Bastien – Labour Relations Officer, Montreal
APPEARING FOR THE OBSERVER:
Frank O’Neil – Labour Relations Associate, CNR, MacMillan Yard
A hearing in this matter was held in Montreal on November 29, 2000
AWARD OF THE ARBITRATOR
The grievor, Mr. Tracy Klohn, has been employed in the railway industry for some twenty-three years, and has been with VIA since 1987. There is no dispute that he has been a good employee over that time, and that he has demonstrated above-average work habits. He also scored remarkably well on the Bennett Mechanical Test, registering sixty-five of a possible sixty-eight points.
It is common ground that Mr. Klohn passed four of the five sections of the interview grid. However, the Corporation scored him as having twenty-eight of a necessary thirty-one points in the category of “ability to respond in emergency situations”. He has, therefore, been eliminated from locomotive engineer training by a margin of three points.
In the Arbitrator’s view a close examination of the grievor’s interview scores reflects a degree of unfairness, whereby in fact the grievor was docked three points. The first question under Section D, concerning the ability to respond in emergency situations, relates to procedures during a level crossing derailment. One of the possible answers is that the locomotive engineer is to maintain communications with the service manager to keep passengers updated as to what is happening. While it is arguable that that response might be expected, it does involve an understanding of the fact that duties previously performed by conductors were, after the introduction of NEPO, transferred to the On-Board Service Manager. The precise nature of the service manager’s duties, and in particular that portion of his or her duties which previously belonged to the conductor is not an area on which the interviewees have any experience or received any specific instruction. On balance, therefore, I am satisfied that it was unfair to expect the grievor to have any understanding as to whether the locomotive engineers were themselves responsible for communicating with passengers, or whether that obligation, previously discharged by conductors, had been assigned to the service manager. As the adjustment of that question would result in the awarding of three points to Mr. Klohn, the Arbitrator is satisfied that the grievance must be allowed.
The Arbitrator therefore directs that Mr. Klohn be advanced to locomotive engineer training. I retain jurisdiction in the event of any dispute with respect to any claim with respect to lost wages, benefits, expenses or seniority rights which might arise, or any other aspect of the interpretation or implementation of this award.
Dated at Toronto, this 15h day of December 2000
MICHEL G. PICHER