CANADIAN RAILWAY OFFICE OF ARBITRATION
CASE NO. 3135
Heard in Montreal, Wednesday, July 12, 2000
VIA RAIL CANADA INC.
BROTHERHOOD OF LOCOMOTIVE ENGINEERS
Joseph P. Steenson – Bennet Mechanical Comprehension Test.
JOINT STATEMENT OF ISSUE:
The Brotherhood contends that the Corporation has improperly administered and/or evaluated the Bennet Mechanical Comprehension Test taken by Mr. Steenson.
The Corporation denies the Brotherhood’s contention.
FOR THE BROTHERHOOD: FOR THE CORPORATION:
(SGD.) J. L. SHIELDS (SGD.) J. LAFLEUR
FOR: GENERAL CHAIRMAN FOR: DIRECTOR, LABOUR RELATIONS
There appeared on behalf of the Corporation (among others):
J. Lafleur – Counsel, Montreal
And on behalf of the Brotherhood (among others):
J. L. Shields – Counsel, Ottawa
J. Tofflemire – General Chairman, Toronto
AWARD OF THE ARBITRATOR
Mr. Steenson scored thirty-three, a failing grade on the Bennet Mechanical Comprehension Test. In explanation of that result no real mitigating factors are advanced save Mr. Steenson’s own suggestion that he had a "bad day", and should therefore be given another chance.
Regrettably, a tribunal of arbitration must require more than the pleading of a bad day as objective justification for a departure from a process of testing or examination which is agreed by the parties to constitute an appropriate objective means of assessing admission to a locomotive engineer training program. While external factors such as illness or an error on the part of the person administering the test may justify giving a candidate a second chance, mere compassion cannot be justification for such a result in any responsible testing system.
For these reasons Mr. Steenson’s grievance must be dismissed.
July 14, 2000 (signed) MICHEL G. PICHER