Wednesday, December 2, 2020

At the end of a saga extending for more than seven years, the fate of the Brenda Levy grievance has finally come to its end; the Ontario Superior Court confirms the conclusions of the three (3) Arbitration awards favorable on all counts to the APS position. 

Unanimously, the three judges hearing the judicial review applications brought before them by the CBC in an attempt to override previous favorable awards concluded: « … we would dismiss the three applications, as the decisions of the Arbitrator were reasonable. »  Judges Swinton, Favreau and Gomery, ONTARIO SUPERIOR COURT OF JUSTICE DIVISIONAL COURT.

Constructive Dismissal

The employer had previously lost in the three successive awards rendered over the years during the grievance that was originally filed on May 15, 2013. First, the arbitrator rejected CBC’s preliminary objections on the arbitrability of the grievance. Second, the parties debated the legality of the termination and lastly, the arbitrator had to determine what compensation Brenda Levy was entitled to. The Court found that Arbitrator Brault was right in declaring that Ms. Levy had been the object of an artificial layoff to cover up a dismissal. The words of Arbitrator Serge Brault were to the effect that the plaintiff had been the victim of a disguised (constructive) dismissal and not a layoff. « Force est donc pour le Tribunal de conclure que la plaignante a été victime d’un congédiement déguisé imposé en contravention de sa convention collective et de ses droits et non l’objet d’un licenciement. » Serge Brault, Arbitrator.

Full and Total Compensation

The Superior Court also endorsed The Arbitrator’s decision to fully compensate Ms. Levy for all of the losses incurred as the result of the injustice committed against her, in addition to awarding an amount for damages. In total, the amount including interests tops the four-hundred-thousand-dollar mark for the seven years of losses incurred. The Union on its part is awarded a sum of fifty thousand dollars for legal fees disbursed.

Legalistic Approach to Labour Relations

APS is far from tooting its horn for this impressive victory.  Once again, we were dragged in the meanders of judicial maneuvers which seem to be a trademark for the employer. The Brenda Levy case could have been resolved a long time ago. The propensity to resort to legal proceedings is a costly deterrent for sound and efficient labour relations. Let’s hope this example will serve as a lesson.

This latest news is a follow-up to the story posted under the section « Our successes »  titled:

Defending members: a crucial task / The true story of a drawn-out battle