SHP - 7
IN THE MATTER OF AN ARBITRATION
RAILWAY EMPLOYEES’ DEPARTMENT DIVISION NO. 4
RE:THE BULLETINING OF A VACANCY FOR A LEAD HAND POSITION
SOLE ARBITRATOR: J. F. W. Weatherill
APPEARING FOR THE UNION:
J. H. Clark, and others
APPEARING FOR THE COMPANY:
J. A. McGuire, and others
A hearing in this matter was held in Montreal on October 12, 1972.
AWARD OF THE ARBITRATOR
In this grievance the Union alleges that the provisions of rules 14 and 23.11 of the collective agreement were violated when the Company failed to bulletin the vacancy for a lead hand position in the Governor Room at Ogden shops.
During the course of the year 1970, the employee who occupied the position of lead hand in the Governor Room at Ogden shops, was absent from work for some considerable period due to illness. In November of 1970, the Company advised that the lead hand would not be able to return to work. On November 10, 1970, after a discussion with the Union, the Company announced the appointment of Mr. M. Jozwiak as lead hand. The Union objected to this appointment arguing that the Company was required to bulletin the position of lead hand in accordance with the provisions of the collective agreement.
The provisions relied upon are the following:
14.1 When vacancies occur in positions, such as a leading hand supervising the work of a gang – men from the respective crafts will be promoted and the Committee shall be consulted before any appointment is made.
23.11 When vacancies occur for which replacements are required, or new jobs are created or additional staff is required in a classification in a craft for an expected period of 90 calendar days or more such vacancies or new jobs shall be bulletined for a period of not less than 7 calendar days to employees in the classification at the seniority terminal where they are created, and will be awarded to the senior employees, subject to Rule 23.20, the local committee to be consulted. (See miscellaneous letters of understanding.)
There is no doubt that the position of lead hand is a position within the bargaining unit and that the terms and conditions set out in the collective agreement apply to it in the same way as they would apply with respect to any other position. Article 23.11 of the collective agreement is a provision of general application and would apply with respect to vacancies occurring in lead hand positions as much as to vacancies in any other position. In the instant case there was clearly a vacancy in a lead hand position for which a replacement was required. It is the Company’s position that the procedure described in article 23.11 of the collective agreement did not apply in the case of this vacancy since the matter of appointment to lead hand position is dealt with in article 14.
Certainly specific provisions in the collective agreement relating to any particular subject matter will override general provisions which might otherwise apply to that subject matter. While article 23.11 deals generally with the matter of vacancy (and thus would apply in the instant case), article 14 deals specifically with vacancies in positions "such as a leading hand supervising the work of a gang". Thus this article applies specifically in the instant case. It does not appear, however, that there is anything in article 14 which could be said to "override" the general provisions of article 23.11. Rather, article 14 sets out certain special considerations applying to the matter of appointment of a lead hand. To give effect to those considerations involves no contradiction of or conflict with anything in article 23.11. Rather, article 14 simply specifies the group from which an appointment is to be made and the procedure to be followed but it neither expressly, nor implicitly relieves the Company from the obligation to bulletin such a vacancy as it is required to do by article 23.11.
For the forgoing reasons, it is my view that the grievance must succeed. It is accordingly my award that the lead hand position in question be bulletined and the position awarded in accordance with the provisions of the collective agreement.
DATED this 24th day of October, 1972.
(signed) J. F. W. Weatherill