Public Service Alliance of Canada and Treasury Board


  • Before: P. Chodos
  • Appearances:  B. Done, for the Applicant; R. Snyder, for the Respondent
  • Decision Rendered: 1997-06-25

Subject terms:

Employee status - Membership in the bargaining unit - Section 34 of the Public Service Staff Relations Act - Paragraph (k) of definition of "employee" in section 2 of the Act - Student employment program - applicant was the bargaining agent for all employees in the programme administration bargaining unit - evidence established the existence of a Federal Summer Student Employment Program (FSSEP) - students hired pursuant to this program had to be in attendance full-time at an educational institution to which they were returning in the fall - the duration of the program was from April to September and prior to 1997 students were scheduled to work for approximately 30 hours per week - there have been certain changes to the program effective 1997 including an increase in hours of work to 37 1/2 hours per week - National Revenue, Customs and Excise, and the Treasury Board entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) authorizing the department, among other things, to "hire students (full or part-time) to assist in meeting seasonal fluctuations in workload and peak periods" - in 1996 approximately 86 students were working for the department during the summer - fewer than 20 of these students were utilized during the academic year - they were scheduled to work 12 hours per week during the academic year, primarily on weekends for peak traffic hours - bargaining agent alleged that these latter students were employees who fell within the bargaining unit - employer claimed that they were employed pursuant to a student employment program within the meaning of paragraph (k) of the definition of "employee" in section 2 of the Public Service Staff Relations Act (PSSRA) which came into force on June 20, 1996, and therefore were excluded from the definition - Board concluded that they had not been employed pursuant to the FSSEP as that program clearly did not authorize the hiring of students beyond September - neither did the MOU constitute a student employment program - nowhere in the MOU did it purport to be a student employment program - rather it was in the nature of a financial management and control document - accordingly, some of the students employed by the department during 1996 were not subsumed by paragraph (k) - it will be necessary to determine which students were employees within the meaning of the definition contained in section 2 of the PSSRA.

Application allowed.