This case involved a challenge to the Hospital’s misuse of the reassignment provisions of the Collective Agreement (Article 9.08(A)(b)). The Hospital wished to use the reassignment provisions to avoid layoffs. However, rather than first reass1gmng employees with the least seniority within the classification identified for redeployment, the Hospital began the reassignment process by targeting those with the most seniority. Further, rather than allowing reassigned employees to select from available vacancies in order of seniority, the Hospital placed employees into positions based on scheduling considerations alone.
The Board of Arbitration, chaired by Arbitrator Michelle Flaherty, declared that the Hospital was required to meet all the requirements of Article 9.08(A)(b), which means first reassigning those with the least seniority, as per Article 9.08(A)(b)(I) and allowing those employees to select from available vacancies in order of seniority as per Article 9.08(A)(b)(VI).
The Board of Arbitration further ordered that the Employer must provide employees who are in receipt of layoff notices with all information necessary to exercise their bumping rights, including complete and accurate seniority lists and information about classifications, as well as further relevant information upon request.
This Award confirmed that the reassignment provisions of the Collective Agreement cannot be used to avoid the critical seniority protections that not only govern the reassignment process, but which underpin redeployment as a whole.