Competitive Process at HRSDC Policy Grievance Dismissed

September 24, 2013

In a decision rendered September 4, 2013, adjudicator Michael Bendel dismissed the policy grievance filed in June 2012 by the Canadian Association of Professional Employees (CAPE) concerning a competitive staffing process at Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC). The grievance alleged that the competitive process in question contravened the letter and spirit of the provisions of the Work Force Adjustment Directive (WFAD).

CAPE filed the grievance following a competitive staffing process organized by HRSDC in May 2012. HRSDC had forced CAPE members holding EC-7 and EC-8 positions to compete for 59 new EC-7 positions created to replace 110 EC-7 and EC-8 positions that had been abolished in the wake of federal government budget cuts.

In this policy grievance, CAPE sought a declaration from the adjudicator that the employer had breached the WFAD and failed to treat the affected employees equitably.

The adjudicator did not agree with CAPE’s arguments, however, and the grievance was dismissed. In the adjudicator’s estimation, the evidence, including testimonies from the Local representatives, did not allow him to decide if the process employed by HRSDC was unfair. The adjudicator also pointed out that the employer had consulted with the union in accordance with the provisions of the WFAD. However, the decision points out serious questions regarding the role of Local representatives and the use of a petition to communicate with the employer

While the Association does not agree with the decision, and after having reviewed all the elements of the decision, CAPE has decided not to seek a judicial review, and the decision is therefore final. Click here to consult the full text of the decision.