Bisal et al v. Treasury Board (Veterans Affairs)

166-2-30176 to 30179 (2002 PSSRB 43)

  • Before: A. Bertrand
  • Appearances: Y. Michaud, for the Grievors; H. Newman, for the Employer
  • Decision Rendered: 2002-04-17

Subject terms:

Rate of pay – Pension Advocates – Whether extrinsic evidence admissible – Law Group bargaining unit – the grievors were pension advocates employed at Veterans Affairs Canada – their positions were classified at the LA-2 group and level and they were paid at a rate in the LA-2(I) scale – area advocate positions were also classified at the LA-2 group and level, but were paid at a rate in the LA-2(II) scale – over time, the duties of pension advocate and area advocate positions have became the same – the grievors sought to be paid the same as area advocates, at a rate in the LA-2(II) scale – in response, the employer decided to reorganize its workforce and that new area advocates would be paid at a rate in the LA-2(I) scale – in their 1990 collective agreement, the employer and the bargaining agent had introduced two scales of rates for employees in positions classified at the LA-2 group and level – that collective agreement contained a pay note stating that "[a]n employee whose position was classified at the LA-2 level on or after January 1, 1990, and who was paid on or after December 31, 1989 at a rate of pay in the LA-1 scale of rates, shall be paid in the LA-2(I) 'A' scale of rates, other than an employee who is appointed to a position to which the LA-2(II) scale of rates applies" – on December 31, 1989, pension advocates were paid at a rate in the LA-1 scale – another pay note stated that "[e]ffective January 1, 1990, an employee paid in the LA-2 scale of rates on December 31, 1989 shall be paid in the LA-2(II) 'A' scale of rates at the rate of pay which is immediately below the employee's rate of pay as of December 31, 1989" – on December 31, 1989, area advocates were paid at a rate in the LA-2 scale – those pay notes had not been reproduced in subsequent collective agreements – the grievors wanted to adduce extrinsic evidence to explain the ambiguity which they perceived in the collective agreement – the adjudicator found that there was no such ambiguity – the grievors argued that they were entitled to the same rate of pay as the area advocates, because they all performed the same duties – the employer responded that it exercised its managerial rights to reorganize its workforce, reviewed area advocate positions and decided that new area advocates would be paid at a rate in the LA-2(I) scale – the employer also grandfathered the rate of pay of existing area advocates – the employer added that the grievors could not point to any breach of the collective agreement – the adjudicator found that the grievors did not establish a violation of the collective agreement.

Grievances denied.

Cases cited:
Public Service Alliance of Canada v. Canada, [1987] 2 F.C. 471 (C.A.); Public Service Alliance of Canada v. Treasury Board, (1986) 76 N.R. 229 (F.C.A.).