2009 PSLRB 73
Individual grievances – Referral to adjudication alleged breach of article 1 of the collective agreement – Jurisdiction – Preliminary objection – Whether grievances were adjudicable – Whether grievances alleged violation of collective agreement – Whether essential character of grievances was staffing – Whether article in issue created substantive rights
The grievors requested individual feedback and an opportunity for decision review under the Canada Revenue Agency’s (CRA) staffing program – the grievances made no reference to article 1 of the collective agreement but were referred to adjudication based on an allegation of a violation of article 1 by the employer – the grievors alleged that the employer had acted arbitrarily and in bad faith in denying them recourse – the employer objected to the Board’s jurisdiction to consider the grievances as they concerned its staffing program – the adjudicator held that the grievors had not cited article 1 in their grievances, had not modified the grievances at any subsequent level of the grievance process to clearly specify such an alleged violation and had not properly raised the issue – therefore, the doctrine in Burchill v. Attorney General of Canada,  1 F.C. 109 (C.A.), applied – article 1 of the collective agreement is a general clause, an introduction or preface, and it creates no enforceable rights for employees – the essential character of the grievances involved the CRA’s staffing program – section 209 of the Public Service Labour Relations Act precluded the adjudicator from taking jurisdiction.