Treasury Board and Public Service Alliance of Canada


  • Before: P. Chodos
  • Appearances: R. Dionne and H. Newman, for the Employer; A. Campbell and E. Henry, for the Bargaining Agent
  • Decision Rendered: 1997-03-03

Subject terms:

Designation of positions having safety or security duties - Library Science bargaining unit - Subsection 78.2(1) of the Public Service Staff Relations Act - parties reached agreement on all positions in the bargaining unit with the exception of three positions in the Federal Court of Canada - on a reference under subsection 78.2(1) of the Act the Board does not sit in appeal of the designation review panel's recommendations, but rather is required to make a determination de novo as to whether the positions that remain in dispute have safety or security duties - on a reference under subsection 78.2(1) of the Act the Board must distinguish between inconvenience to the public on the one hand and the safety or security of the public on the other - the designation process is an attempt to balance the right of employees to participate in what is otherwise a lawful strike against the need to protect the vital interests of the public - the duties of the positions should be viewed in the context of the organization in which they are found - Board acknowledged that in a modern civilized society the proper functioning of the court system is vital to the public interest - Board also accepted the proposition that the mandate of the Federal Court must continue to be fulfilled notwithstanding that any group of employees may be in a lawful strike position - the determination the Board must make is whether the performance of the duties of the three positions in question is necessary to achieve that mandate - the acceptance that a law library is an indispensable tool in the administration of justice does not necessarily mean that all or any of the librarians supporting that library are also indispensable - no cogent evidence that established that the withdrawal of the services of the three librarians would do anything more than inconvenience the users of the library - fact that the three librarians perform an extremely beneficial service and from time to time have contact with the Federal Court judiciary does not of itself enable the Board to conclude that the duties of the three positions are necessary in the interest of the safety or security of the public.

Positions not designated.