RAILWAY OFFICE OF ARBITRATION
& DISPUTE RESOLUTION
CASE NO. 3949
CANADIAN PACIFIC RAILWAY COMPANY
The interpretation of Article 75 regarding the application of On The Job Training.
JOINT STATEMENT OF ISSUE:
Derkson and Chapman, selected for the Locomotive Engineer Training program,
held positions on the Trainman’s Common Spareboard at
FOR THE UNION: FOR THE COMPANY:
(SGD.) D. OLSON (SGD.) D. E. FREEBORN
GENERAL CHAIRMAN FOR: DIRECTOR, LABOUR RELATIONS
There appeared on behalf of the Company:
D. Corrigan – Labour Relations
R. Bay – Manager, Running Trades
G. Squires – Trainmaster, Brandon
D. Freeborn – Manager,
A. Azim Garcia – Director,
appeared on behalf of the
M. A. Church – Counsel,
D. Olson –
D. Fulton –
B. Weisgerber – Local Chairman,
AWARD OF THE ARBITRATOR
pertinent to this grievance are not in substantial dispute. Grievors Dean Chapman
and Dale Derkson of
It is common
ground that neither trainee Chapman nor trainee Derkson could hold, by the
exercise of their seniority, work as a conductor at their home terminal. The
The dispute between the parties concerns the interpretation of a number of provisions of article 75 of the collective agreement. That article provides, in part, as follows:
75.01 The term Trainperson/Yardperson is in recognition of the Interchangeable Rights Agreement.
75.02 To be eligible for training, a Trainperson/Yardperson must have at least two years of cumulative service in Road and/or Yard Service.
75.03 After being scheduled for training, Locomotive Engineer Trainees shall be required to work in Road Service at their home terminal, including Road or Common Spare boards, when and where their seniority entitles them to do so.
75.04 Upon completion of the initial classroom and technical portion of the Locomotive Engineer Training Program, trainees whose seniority permits them to hold work as a Conductor at their respective home terminal, will return to that position. They will perform the duties of Conductor and when those duties permit, and they are working with a qualified trainer, they will receive on the job training to become qualified as a Locomotive Engineer.
75.05 The Company in consultation with the
75.06 When seniority does not permit a Trainee to hold work as a spare or regularly assigned Conductor at their respective terminal, as outlined in Clause 75.03, when required they will train as an additional employee in the locomotive and will be compensated at the rate established in the same manner as outlined in Clause 75.12.
75.07 The Company reserves the right to train Locomotive Engineers on a one-to-one basis at its discretion.
75.08 Unless as expressly provided in Clause 75.04, once training has commenced in the initial mechanical and rules instructions classes, trainees will not be required to work as a Trainperson or Yardperson during the training period. Time engaged during the training period shall not interrupt the candidate’s continuous employee relationship.
The parties are not in dispute as to the application of article 75.04. They agree that when an employee has completed the classroom and technical portion of the training program, if that employee’s seniority allows them to hold work as a conductor at their home terminal they are to assume that position and when assigned as a conductor they are, while on duty, to perform on-the-job training (OJT) to become qualified as a locomotive engineer.
concerns employees whose seniority does not allow them to hold work as a
conductor at their home terminal, as is the case with trainees Chapman and
has considerable difficulty with the
On what basis
can it be argued, after some eleven years of the application of the language of
article 75 of the collective agreement in accordance with the Company’s
interpretation, that in fact employees who do not fall under article 75.04 as
able to hold conductors’ positions must be trained on a one-on-one basis,
presumably as of right? Firstly, from a purposive basis, it is difficult to
appreciate why the distinction would be drawn between senior employees able to
hold conductors’ positions and more junior employees who do not have sufficient
seniority to do so, for the purposes of being excluded from the option of doing
on-the-job training as opposed to one-on-one training. In that regard it should
be appreciated that employees at locations such as
When close attention is paid to the language of article 75 which deals with one-on-one training, it is clear that that cannot be claimed as a right. Firstly, the categorical language of article 75.07 confirms that the Company has an absolute right to determine whether it will or will not train locomotive engineers on a one-on-one basis “… at its discretion.” When that language is paired with the phrase “when required” in article 75.06 dealing with employees being assigned as an additional employee in the locomotive for one-on-one training, it is difficult to draw the conclusion that it was intended that all employees who cannot exercise the seniority to hold conductors’ work must be trained on a one-on-one basis.
In the context of the foregoing provisions the Arbitrator is compelled to accept the argument of the Company that there is no language within the provisions of article 75 which would expressly or, in my view implicitly, prevent the Company from assigning employees in the position of the grievors to work as conductors for the purposes of pursuing on-the-job training in furtherance of their eventual qualification as locomotive engineers.
reference is had to the overall context of article 75 of the collective
agreement, it is instructive to note that article 75.11 contains a chart which
represents the seven phases of locomotive engineer qualification. Phase 3,
which follows the initial mechanical rules instruction and two week one-on-one
training is described as follows: “Working On The Job. Training with a
qualified locomotive engineer instructor (max 18 months).” While Phase 5 makes
reference to “unique training where applicable.”, there is nothing in the chart
to suggest that one-on-one training is the method to be used for employees on
common spareboards. Article 75.11(e) also notes that the
Where all of
the elements are considered, the Arbitrator has substantial difficulty
In the result,
I cannot find that the