September 7, 2006
The employee grieved the denial of leave with pay requests under "Other Paid leave" code 699 – for the pack and load days on July 5 and 6, 2004 as well as for the 2.5 hours on May 26, 2004 to finalize my House Hunting Trip claim as per NJC Directive – Relocation Section Article 18.104.22.168 "The employer shall provide the relocating employee and spouse or common law partner, if applicable, with the necessary leave to carry out all activities related to the relocation".
Bargaining Agent Presentation
The Bargaining Agent representative began her presentation by addressing the issue of the National Joint Council's (NJC) jurisdiction in this matter raised by the Department. She noted that in the second level reply, the Department stated that the grievor was not subject to the NJC Integrated Relocation Directive and therefore was not entitled to the Directive's provisions and that consequently, the NJC does not have jurisdiction in this matter.
She explained that the grievor is the spouse of a relocated employee and, in accordance with subsection 22.214.171.124, the Employer shall also provide the spouse (the grievor), who is also a Public Service employee, with the necessary leave to carry out all activities related to the relocation. She pointed out that as this subsection does come under the purview of the NJC, she believed that the matter falls within its jurisdiction.
She reported that before the grievor submitted his other paid leave request for the house hunting trip, he inquired about his entitlements under the NJC Integrated Relocation Directive (IRD) in an email to a Compensation Officer, on May 10, 2004. She noted that the Compensation Officer even explained that he would apply for this type of leave using the leave code 699 and referring to subsection 126.96.36.199 of the Directive. The grievor followed this advice.
Before the leave was approved or denied, the representative reported that the grievor was asked to substantiate his request. He did so on May 11, 2004, and thereafter his request was denied. In his letter dated May 13, 2004, he mentioned that he had contacted the Compensation Officer again and that she had reconfirmed that they frequently saw this type of leave having been approved.
She then mentioned that two weeks after submitting this letter to his director, the grievor's request was denied again. However, she reported that the following week for some reason, code 699 for the HHT was signed and approved by management.
In closing, the Bargaining Agent representative maintained that the leave requested by the grievor was in each case for activities related to the relocation. She stated that the leave was not requested under article 53 of the grievor's collective agreement; it was requested under subsection 188.8.131.52 of the Directive - code 699 as advised by the Compensation Officer. The Bargaining Agent further believed that the intent of the Directive is to grant reasonable time off with pay to a Public Service employee whose spouse (also a member of the Public Service) is transferred.
The Departmental representative stated that the employee is not entitled to the benefits of the NJC Relocation – IRP Directive as he is not being relocated. He further stated that the grievor's spouse was not an employee being relocated under the NJC IRP Directive, as she was relocated under the Canadian Forces (CF) – IRP as a result of her posting to city "B". He therefore submitted that the NJC Directive is not applicable.
He pointed out that to grant benefits of the NJC IRP Directive to the grievor would mean that the Relocation Committee would be applying the NJC Directive to a situation covered by the CF IRP, over which it has no jurisdiction.
Notwithstanding, he mentioned that if the Committee decided to take jurisdiction, the matter concerned the application of subsection 184.108.40.206 of the Directive. He reported that the grievor stated that he should have been granted "other paid leave" for the pack and load days and the finalization of his HHT trip claim. The Departmental representative noted that while leave was not granted under article 53 – "Leave with or without pay for other reasons" of his collective agreement, management did not deny the grievor the necessary leave, which is referred to in the Directive, to carry out the activities related to relocation.
In summary, the Departmental representative submitted that the grievance should be denied for lack of jurisdiction; and, alternatively, the grievance should be denied as the grievor was treated within the intent of the Directive.
Executive Committee Decision
The Executive Committee considered and agreed with the report of the Relocation Committee which concluded that since the relocation was completed under the Canadian Forces IRP and not the NJC Relocation IRP Directive the NJC lacked jurisdiction to deal with this grievance.