JH 18-089 Unifor (Policy re Island Days BTS-ON-18-01) and Bell Canada AWARD,,,,read the full award by clicking here
Many grievors may have received a communication from the employer in reference to the above noted Policy Grievance Award. This grievance and those held in abeyance have been dismissed as per Arbitrator James Hayes
1. This decision addresses a policy grievance about whether all Regular Full-
Time employees are entitled to have consecutive days of rest (CDORs) regardless of
their schedules within each two-week period of work.
2. At issue is the interpretation of Article 16.02(d) of the Collective Agreement.
This clause was amended in the most recent round of collective bargaining.
3. UNIFOR takes the position that the amendments were made, specifically, to
reverse a 2012 arbitration award (“Herman Award”) that interpreted the then-existing
provision to allow the Company to schedule single days of rest (colloquially
referred to as ‘island days’) without a guarantee of CDORs. Bell Technical Solutions,
2012 CarswellOnt 4012 (Herman).
4. The Union further takes the position that, if it is wrong in its interpretation of
Article 16.02(d), BTS is estopped from relying on the strict language of the provision
based on the bargaining history. UNIFOR submits that, because the Company
remained silent in negotiations on the amendments to Article 16.02(d), the Union can
rely upon that silence as signifying agreement to the Union’s position.
5. BTS responds that a plain reading of the Collective Agreement and its context
in the Collective Agreement indicates that CDORs are only guaranteed in the limited
circumstances where a Full-Time employee’s hours have been averaged over a two-week
period. The Company says that its interpretation is reinforced when compared
to the clarity of language used in granting Part-Time employees CDORs in Article
16.04(k). It further maintains that the Union has not made out the essential legal
elements required to ground an estoppel.
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