SHP - 45

IN THE MATTER OF AN ARBITRATION

BETWEEN

THE RAILWAY ASSOCIATION OF CANADA

(the "Company")

AND

DIVISION NO. 4, RAILWAY EMPLOYEES' DEPARTMENT, A.F.ofLC.I.O.

(the "Union")

RE: APPLICATION OF RULE 23.11 OF WAGE AGREEMENT NO. 16

 

SOLE ARBITRATOR: J. F. W. Weatherill

 

 

APPEARING FOR THE UNION:

J. W. Asprey

A. Manocchio

 

APPEARING FOR THE COMPANY:

J. E. Cameron

 

 

A hearing in this matter was held in Montreal on October 11, 1977.

 

AWARD OF THE ARBITRATOR

The Joint Statement of Fact and Joint Statement of Issue in this matter are as follows:

Joint Statement of Fact

During the month of September 1976, the Company resumed issuing bulletins for vacancies or new positions at Angus Shops. In doing so, the information contained on the bulletins issued within Angus Shops was compiled so as to compare with the information contained on bulletins issued to locations outside of Angus Shops.

Joint Statement of Issue

It is the position of the Union that the Company's method of issuing bulletins within Angus Shops is in violation of Rule 23.11 of Wage Agreement No. 16.

It is the position of the Company that the method of issuing bulletins for vacancies or new positions within Angus Shops is in accordance with the provisions of Rule 23.11 of Wage Agreement No. 16.

This grievance relates particularly to five job bulletins issued in October and November, 1976, to employees in the Company's Angus shops. To, take one example of the bulletins in question, Bulletin No. 22, issued on October 28, 1976, was as follows:

Bulletin No. 22 W.M. 284

ANGUS SHOP October 28th, 1976

The following positions are hereby bulletined for application in accordance with Rule 23 of the memorandum of agreement between the Railway Association of Canada and the Railway Employees Department, Division No. 4, AFL/CIO. Applications for these positions will be received at General Foreman's Office up to and including November 5th, 1976

LOCATION OF POSITIONS Loco Machine

TYPE OF POSITION Machine NO. OF POSITION 1

RATE As per schedule

ASSIGNED HOURS OF WORK 0800 to 1600 hours

DAYS OFF Saturday and Sunday

MEAL PERIOD 20 minutes

NATURE OF WORK Machinist

OR ANY OTHER Machinist DUTIES THAT MAY BE REQUIRED.

* * * * * *

Bulletin N. 22

USINE ANGUS le 28 octobre, 1976

Par ce bulletin, les positions suivantes sont ouvertes aux applications en vertu du règlement 23 conclu entre l'Association des Chemins de fer du Canada et la section des Employés du Chemin de Fer Division No. 4, AFL/CIO.

Les applications pour ces positions seront acceptées au Bureau du Contremaître Général jusqu'au 5 novembre, 1976

LOCATION DES POSITIONS Loco Machine

GENRE DE POSITION Machiniste NOMBRE DE POSITION 1

TAUX A L'HEURE Selon la horaire

HEURES DE SERVICE ASSIGNÉES 0800 a 1600 heures

JOURS DE CONGÉ Samedi et dimanche

PÉRIODE DE REPAS 20 minutes

NATURE DU TRAVAIL Machiniste

AU D'AUTRES Machiniste TACHES CONNEXES ATTRIBUÉES

The Union contends that this bulletin, like certain others issued at the location in question, did not comply with the requirements of article 23.11 of the collective agreement. That article provides as follows:

23.11 When vacancies occur for which replacements' are required, or new jobs are created or J. E. Cameron 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 23.29, the local committee to be consulted. (See miscellaneous letters of understanding).

The Union contended that proper bulletins have been issued at other locations, and, on other occasions, at the Angus shops. For example, the following bulletin was considered as meeting the requirements of article 23.11:

Bulletin No. 65 W.M. 284

ANGUS SHOP April 26, 1977

The following positions are hereby bulletined for application in accordance with Rule 23 of the memorandum of agreement between the Railway Association of Canada and the Railway Employees' Department, Division No. 4, AFL/CIO.

Applications for these positions will be received at General Foreman's Office up to and including

May 3, 1977

LOCATION OF POSITIONS Traction Motor Dpt.

TYPE OF POSITION Machinist NO. OF POSITION 1

RATE As per schedule

ASSIGNED HOURS OF WORK 0800 to 1600 hours

DAYS OFF Saturday and Sunday

MEAL PERIOD 20 Minutes

NATURE OF WORK Machinist (Shuttle machine)

OR ANY OTHER Machinist DUTIES THAT MAY BE REQUIRED.

* * * * * *

Bulletin No. 65

USINE ANGUS le 26 avril, 1977

Par ce bulletin, les positions suivantes sont ouvertes aux applications en vertu du règlement 23 conclu entre l'Association des Chemins de fer du Canada et la section des Employés de Chemin de Fer Division No. 4, AFL/CIO.

Les applications pour ces positions seront acceptées au Bureau du Contremaître Général jusqu'au 3 mai, 1977

LOCATION DES POSITIONS Moteurs a traction

GENRE DE POSITION Machiniste NOMBRE DE POSITION 1

TAUX A L'HEURE Selon la horaire

HEURES DE SERVICE ASSIGNÉES 0800 a 1600 heures

JOURS DE CONGÉ Samedi et dimanche

PÉRIODE DE REPAS 20 minutes

NATURE DE TRAVAIL Machiniste (Shuttle machine)

OU D'AUTRES Machiniste TACHES CONNEXES ATTRIBUÉES

The Union, contends that the job bulletins are insufficient in that they do not set out sufficient detail with respect to the job in question to permit employees to exercise a meaningful choice with respect to the vacancy. The Company's position is that employees in the shopcraft trades may be expected to perform any work in the trade for which they are qualified. These two positions are, in fact, not contradictory. The issue to be determined is, of course, whether the bulletins referred to comply with the requirements of article 23.11. That article requires the posting, "to employees in the classification at the seniority terminal where they are created", of "vacancies for which new jobs are required" or "new jobs in a classification in a craft".

In my view, this article calls for the posting of a particular vacancy, in the sense of a particular job of work to be done, and not simply the announcement of an increase in, or the continuation of the complement required in any classification. Thus, in the first example above cited, Bulletin No. 22, the description of the work available simply as that of "Machinist" is not sufficient, because of the wide, range of possible work to which it might refer. It may be, as the Company argues, that anyone classified as a "machinist" should be expected to perform any machinist's work, but the issue here is as to the sufficiency of a bulletin, and in that respect, however qualified a machinist may be, he may only be interested in applying on job bulletins referring to particular vacancies. The second example given, Bulletin No. 65, satisfies the requirements of the collective agreement in this regard, in that it indicates the particular sort of machinist's work which is being offered.

While article 23.11 requires, in my view, the description (in general terms), of the vacancy or job involved, there are certain comments which should be made, having regard to the arguments presented at the hearing, and to the general nature of this interpretation. One is that the sufficiency of the posting is to be determined having regard to the circumstances of each case. It is to be noted, for example, that the posting of a vacancy for a "Welder" in the Welding Department at Angus shops, and the description of the work as "welding" was considered by the Union to convey sufficient information to permit potential bidders to appreciate the nature of the work involved. Again, with respect to a job bulletin at the Weston shops on the Prairie Region, the posting of a number of "Machinist" positions in the Millwright shop, and the description of the work as that of "Millwright or any other Machinist duties that may be required", was considered adequate in that case. Where, however, significant details can be given as to the particular work involved, as in various other examples offered by the Union, that should be done.

It is further to be noted that the description or detailing of the particular work involved in a job bulletin does not in itself commit the Company to any sort of exhaustive or exclusive definition of the job. The Company's entitlement to assign work is not restricted to any greater degree by what is held in this award than it may already be by the provisions of the collective agreement (nor could it be, since this award does no more than indicate the application of article 23.11 to particular circumstances). Again, article 23.11 does not create "job ownership". The Union explicitly acknowledges that the Company may, where the requirements of operations necessitate, assign different work, to any employee holding a bulletined job, and that it may assign other employee to fill in, temporarily, for the employee so assigned.

What is in issue in this case, however, is simply the sufficiency of the job bulletins referred to. It is my award, for the reasons above set out, that those notices did not sufficiently comply with the requirements of article 23.11. No other relief is sought than this finding, since the jobs were filled by senior applicants who apparently had sufficient appreciation in fact of what jobs were involved.

DATED at Toronto, this 17th day of October, 1977.

J. F. W. Weatherill

Arbitrator