In September 2012, 65 individual grievances were filed by members at the Winnipeg Airport Authority Inc. regarding the right of an employee to be paid both a shift premium and a weekend premium for the same hours worked on a weekend during the evening and/or night.
The employer argued that members were not entitled to collect both a shift premium and a weekend premium as the employer deemed this as pyramiding. This was despite the wording in the collective agreements which clearly stated that the weekend premium was in addition to any other premiums.
Unfortunately the grievances we were denied and was forwarded for arbitration. The arbitrator ruled in the Union’s favour citing that payment of both premiums did not violate the prohibition against pyramiding contained in the collective agreements.
No surprise that the employer was dissatisfied with this outcome and requested a judicial review of the decision. A judicial review is where a court of law is asked to rule on the appropriateness of the administrative agency or tribunal’s decision.[i]
The review was granted citing that the arbitrator failed to apply the correct legal principles in interpreting the collective agreements. It was deemed that this decision was below the reasonableness standard of a possible, acceptable outcome defensible in fact and law.
UCTE/PSAC appealed the judicial review. On September 15, 2015 the appeal was heard by a 3 judge panel who determined to reinstate the original arbitrator’s award in its entirety with costs in favour of the union.
The full decision is attached here. Please note that it is only available in English.
[i] Duhaime’s Law Dictionary http://www.duhaime.org/LegalDictionary/J/JudicialReview.aspx