Decision on Hours of Work Policy Grievance

Tuesday, February 7, 2023

On January 13th 2023, the Federal Public Sector Labour Relations and Employment Board denied the policy grievance the AJC filed in March 2020 on Normal Hours of Work which was referred to adjudication in January 2021. The full text of the decision can be read here.

This was not the result that we wanted, but there are some positive take-aways. While the adjudicator found that there was no violation of the Collective Agreement, she pointed out gaps in the Collective Agreement that we will seek to address with the Employer.  Two such gaps are the absence of a definition of “excessive hours” for the purposes of management leave and the absence of clear, consistent guidance on when managers should grant management leave and how much they should grant.  The adjudicator said that the AJC and the Employer need to address these gaps in collective bargaining.

Addressing these gaps will be a priority for the AJC in collective bargaining.  For example, in the AJC’s view “excessive hours” simply means hours worked above normal work hours (7.5 hours per day).  The AJC will be seeking clear and consistent guidance for managers for the granting of management leave.  These issues will also be further explored in our continued discussions with the Employer.

We are currently reviewing our options to determine if we will request a judicial review of the Board’s decision or pursue other avenues.

On the issue of management leave, the AJC currently has 2 policy grievances that have been referred to adjudication. These have not yet been scheduled for a hearing by the FPSLREB. 

In addition to these and in order to keep the pressure on the Employer and departments who have notoriously required our members to regularly work excess(ive) hours, we are currently exploring creative options that will be engaging you, the membership, in concrete shows of solidarity, now that we have the benefit of disclosure arising from the recent adjudication decision.

Stay tuned on ways you can help support your union get a more favorable outcome and potential fix to the long-standing issue of inconsistent and unfair application and interpretation of management leave.