CANADIAN RAILWAY OFFICE OF ARBITRATION
CASE NO. 1033
Heard at Montreal, Tuesday, February 8th, 1983
CANADIAN NATIONAL RAILWAY COMPANY
CANADIAN BROTHERHOOD OF RAILWAY, TRANSPORT AND GENERAL WORKERS
Claim of the Brotherhood that the position of Car Service Clerks be reclassified from Level "F" to Level "H".
JOINT STATEMENT OF ISSUE:
Three positions of Car Service Clerks at MacMillan Yard are presently classified at Level "F".
The Brotherhood claims that much of the time occupied by the employees involves TRAC's and YIS procedures and, accordingly, the positions should be reclassified from Level "F" to "H".
The Company declined to reclassify the positions.
FOR THE EMPLOYEES: FOR THE COMPANY:
(SGD.) TOM McGRATH (SGD.) BRIEN NOBLE
National Vice-President FOR: Director, Labour Relations
There appeared on behalf of the Company:
D. W. Coughlin – System Labour Relations Officer, Montreal
G. B. Blundell – System Labour Relations Officer, Montreal
M. J. Mason – Servocentre Operations Officer, Montreal
R. J. Schnitzler – Manager Carload Movement Centre, Toronto
G. Gysel – Employee Relations Officer, Montreal
T. Novak – Carload Supervisor, Toronto
And on behalf of the Brotherhood:
T. N. Stol – Representative, Toronto
AWARD OF THE ARBITRATOR
Article 21.7 of the Collective Agreement is as follows:
21.7 No change shall be made in agreed classifications or basic rates of pay for individual positions unless warranted by changed conditions resulting in changes in the character of the duties or responsibilities. When changes in classification and/or basic rates of pay are proposed, or when it is considered that a position is improperly classified or rated, the work of the positions affected will be reviewed and compared with the duties and responsibilities of comparable positions by the proper officer of the Company and the Regional Vice-President of the Brotherhood, with the object of reaching agreement on revised classifications and/or rates to maintain uniformity for positions on which the duties and responsibilities are relatively the same.
The issue in this case is whether the three Car Service Clerk positions in question had changed to the extent that they were improperly classified. These positions have been classified for some time at Level "F", and it is contended that they should be classified at Level "H". It is said that the work of these positions now includes many of the duties and responsibilities of Car Control Clerks, classified at Level "H". In particular, reference is made to the requirement that the Car Service Clerks in question be involved in YIS (Yard Inventory System) and TRACS (Traffic Reporting and Control System) procedures, which tasks are also performed by Car Control Clerks.
It is true that the Car Service Clerks now use machines (computers) which are used in YIS and TRACS procedures. What is involved, however, is a change in the equipment used to perform what are essentially the same tasks as those formerly performed. A change in equipment used may or may not indicate a significant change in the level of the job performed. In some cases, a change in equipment used might require that the job be placed at a higher wage level. It is quite possible, in other cases, that a change in equipment would lead to a job being classified at a lower level.
In the instant case, the Car Service Clerks use equipment which is also used by employees in certain higher-rated jobs. They do not, however, use that equipment to perform all of the functions performed by those in the higher-rated jobs. The use of computers has required the acquisition of certain skills, but it has at the same time made the job easier, eliminating certain manual operations formerly performed. The job does not require the same range of skills, nor the exercise of the same level of responsibility, as the higher rated job. While some knowledge of YIS and TRACS procedures is now required, that knowledge is much less (apparently in the order of ten percent), than that required of the higher-rated jobs.
It may be noted that there are other jobs which require (again, limited) knowledge of TRACS procedures, and which are rated at Level "E". It would not follow from that that the jobs here in question should be downgraded. No more does it follow that they should be upgraded. Viewed as a whole, the jobs in question cannot, on the material before me, be considered to be at the same level of difficulty as those of Car Control Clerk, or others rated at Level "H".
For the foregoing reasons, the grievance is dismissed.
(signed) J. F. W. WEATHERILL