Staff of the Non-Public Funds and United Food and Commercial Workers Union, Local 864 and Public Service Alliance of Canada
- Before: Y. Tarte
- Appearances: R. Fader, for the Applicant, R. Pink, for the Respondent UFCWU; A. Piché, for the Respondent PSAC
- Decision Rendered: 1998-11-04
Decision review - Appropriateness of the bargaining unit - Consolidation - New job evaluation plan - Employers obligation under the Canadian Human Rights Act (CHRA) - Section 27 of the Public Service Staff Relations Act (PSSRA) - by decision dated November 26, 1984, the Board certified the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) as bargaining agent for a unit comprised of all of the employees of the Staff of the Non-Public Funds, Canadian Forces (SNPF)"in the Administrative Support Category employed at the Canadian Forces Base, Gagetown, New Brunswick": 145-18-231; (1984) 6 PSSRB Decisions 3 - furthermore, by decision dated June 17, 1981 and amended on June 27, 1991, the Board certified the United Food and Commercial Workers Union, Local No. 864 (UFCWU) as bargaining agent for a unit comprised of all of the employees of the SNPF"in the Operational Category employed at the Canadian Forces Base, Gagetown, New Brunswick": 146-18-190 - SNPF applied under section 27 of the PSSRA for a consolidation of the bargaining units - SNPF argued that consolidating the bargaining units would allow it to implement a new job evaluation plan complying with its obligations under the Canadian Human Rights Act CHRA - SNPF also wanted to simplify the organizational structure at CFB Gagetown - the evidence established that SNPF had made no attempt to work with the two bargaining agents to resolve this issue because of the difficult relationship which had existed between them in the past - the bargaining agents opposed the application - they disputed SNPF's submission that the employer could not comply with its obligations under the Canadian Human Rights Act without the consolidation of the bargaining units and alleged that they could easily find bargaining solutions to the implementation of the proposed new job evaluation plan while maintaining the two bargaining units - UFCWU argued that administrative convenience is not a ground, in and of itself, to seek a review of the appropriateness of the bargaining units - PSAC argued that the current bargaining relationship was stable and that there was no need to interfere with it - in reply, SNPF submitted that neither UFCWU nor PSAC had argued that the proposed new bargaining unit would fail to permit satisfactory representation of the affected employees within the meaning of subsection 33(2) of the PSSRA - the Board found that subsection 33(2) of the PSSRA must find strict application in cases of new certification pursuant to section 28 of the PSSRA only - review applications for the consolidation of long-standing bargaining units must be approached with caution - strong and cogent evidence was required to justify altering an existing bargaining structure which appeared to have worked well over many years - the Board concluded that the application was premature, as SNPF had not made the necessary attempts to work with UFCWU and PSAC to implement a new job evaluation plan in the two existing bargaining units.