Salary Protection Decision Status

We are pleased to confirm that the PSAC-UPCE finalized a longstanding dispute regarding the interpretation of Salary Protection, affecting primarily article 31.07 of the PSAC-Canada Post Collective Agreement on September 25th, 2019. On our last count, this decision should positively impact 26 members who were considered to be “red circled” by the corporation. 

The road that led to this victory was not without its challenges. We thank the PSAC, our staff, and our members for their amazing work and support throughout this process.  We would like to officially thank and acknowledge Cornelia Scheuermann, UPCE Local 00121 (London) President, for the crucial role she played in this victory and her unwavering belief, from her initial grievances, that the outcome of the decision was our right within the Collective Agreement. 
As summarized by the PSAC;

“The grievance dealt with Canada Post employees whose jobs had been downwardly reclassified. The employer argued at arbitration that these employees were not entitled to receive increments and revisions of their former group and level, based on its interpretation of Article 31.07, which reads, “Downward reclassification notwithstanding, an encumbered position shall be deemed to have retained for all purposes the former group and level.” PSAC argued that “for all purposes” meant that the employer needed to pay the affected employees the increments and revisions of their former group level. Arbitrator Brunner agreed with PSAC, stating that the article was clear and unambiguous. He ordered Canada Post to compensate affected employees as a result of the employer’s erroneous application of the article.
The employer judicially reviewed the decision.
The judicial review hearing took place at the Ontario Divisional Court on June 12, 2019. At the hearing, the employer argued that the arbitrator’s decision was not reasonable, and that he breached procedural fairness when he cited legal sources in his decision that the parties had not raised during the hearing.
A panel of 3 judges from the Divisional Court ruled unanimously and resoundingly that the employer’s application for judicial review should be dismissed. After hearing the employer’s submissions, the judges told PSAC they did not even need to hear the union’s arguments. They made their decision on the same day orally from the bench. They held that Arbitrator Brunner’s interpretation of the collective agreement was reasonable, and that he did not breach procedural fairness when he referred to jurisprudence not raised at the hearing. The Court dismissed the employer’s application for judicial review, which means that the arbitrator’s decision stands.”

In solidarity,
UPCE National Executive