SHP 289



Ontario Northland Railway


Brotherhood Railway Carmen of Canda







There appeared on behalf of the Union:

Brian Stevens General Chairman

André Bedard General Chairman



There appeared on behalf of the Company:

M.J. Restoule Labour Relations Assistant

R.G. Leach Chief Mechanical Officer



A hearing in this matter was held at North Bay, Ontario on January 3, 1990.




A claim by Carman V. Veltri for 8 hours' pay at the over-time rate.


Carman A. Schaffner was allowed bereavement leave for Sept. 29, 30 and October 3, 1988. The first two of the three shifts were protected by means of calling from the carmen's overtime list. The third shift fell within the reorganization of all shift assignments effective on October 3, 1988. Mr. Schaffner's new assignment was designated as 2400-0800 hours commencing October 3. The Company did not call overtime to fill the shift, rather the shift was worked fly carman trainee D. McCullagh.

The Brotherhood contends that the shift worked by carman trainee D. McCullagh was for all intent and purposes, the shift left vacant by Mr. Schaffner's bereavement leave and should have been awarded under the provisions of either Rule 23.12 or Rule 5 of the collective agreement. Since it was not, Mr. Veltri entered a claim for 8 hours' pay at the overtime rate.

The Company denies the Union's contention.

The Arbitrator has substantial difficulty understanding the basis of the Brotherhood's grievance in this case. It is common ground that carman Schaffner was entitled to and was granted bereavement leave for September 29, 30 and October 3, 1988. It is also not disputed that on October 3, 1988 the Company instituted, as it was entitled to, new shift assignments for all employees.

Under the old shift schedule carman trainee D. McCullagh was to work from 23:30 on October 2 until 07:30 on October 3. He was then scheduled, under the new shift assignments, to work on October 3 from 08:00 to 16:00. This resulted in an extra shift to Mr. McCullagh, but it is common ground that there is no violation of the collective agreement in that. It appears that back-to-back shifts or extra shifts can result from adjustments in shift assignments. For the purposes of this grievance there is no claim on the part of the Brotherhood that the scheduling of Mr.McCullagh, of itself, constituted a breach of the collective agreement.

What, then, is left? The Brotherhood asserts that the Company has unfairly manipulated the shift change to effectively deprive a bargaining unit member of an overtime opportunity, working in relief for carman Schaffner. There is no doubt that the shift change gave the Company the manpower necessary for the tour of duty in question. However, it must be emphasized that it had a right to implement the shift change, as it did, and that there is no suggestion of bad faith on its part. If the objective circumstances gave to the Company an advantage, in the sense that it did not need to incur overtime to cover work which previously would have been done by Mr. Schaffner, that does not of itself disclose any violation of the collective agreement. The implementation of the new shift assignments were, by the Union's own admission, not contrary to the collective agreement, nor was there anything irregular in Mr. McCullagh obtaining an extra shift. In the circumstances, because of the incidental and fortuitous effect of the shift assignment change, the Company found that it had no need to call upon overtime to replace Mr. Schaffner on the 24:00 - 08:00 shift of October 3.

No violation of the collective agreement is disclosed in the circumstances before the Arbitrator, and the grievance must therefore be dismissed.

DATED at Toronto this 12th day of January, 1990.

(sgd) M. G. Picher