Decision based on employer’s intention rather than independent interpretation of agreement

Federal court | Employment

PUBLIC SERVICE

Decision based on employer’s intention rather than independent interpretation of agreement

Employer extended appointment of person who was acting as interim team leader, while appointment process was ongoing. Employee filed complaint with Public Service Staffing Tribunal alleging interim team leader was getting unfair advantage of accumulating experience. Complaint was settled by employer agreeing to fill team leader positions from certain pools of candidates. Employer subsequently filled one temporary team leader position with someone from Canada Revenue Agency and filled two others internally. Employee filed grievance alleging employer breached settlement agreement. Employer dismissed grievance on basis that employee misunderstood employer’s intention and that corrective action could not be taken. Employee brought application for judicial review. Application granted; matter remitted for re-determination. Standard of review was reasonableness since interpretation of settlement agreement was taking place within staffing context. Decision was unreasonable since decision was based on employer’s intention rather than independent interpretation of settlement agreement. Additionally, reasons for decision were inadequate with respect to decision-maker’s jurisdiction to consider grievance. Court was not in position to determine whether this part of decision was within range of acceptable outcomes. Finally, decision did not provide any analysis or rationale to support conclusion that corrective action could not be implemented.
Taticek v. Canada (Border Services Agency) (Mar. 21, 2014, F.C., Cecily Y. Strickland J., File No. T-1934-12) 239 A.C.W.S. (3d) 382.

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