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MANAGEMENT RIGHTS - Job classification

Wednesday, February 14, 2018 @ 8:39 AM  

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Appeal by five grievors from a Federal Court judgment dismissing their application for judicial review. The appellants were employed in Halifax as Information Technology client service representatives with the Department of National Defence. In 2008, a position in another locale with the same job title and same CS-01 job classification received a new work description and was reclassified to CS-02. Following a job content grievance, the appellants' work description was amended, but their positions remained classified CS-01. The appellants sought reclassification of their positions to CS-02. In 2012, a Classification Consensus Report prepared by Classification Evaluation Officers concluded that the appellants' positions should remain classified at the CS-01 level. The appellants filed a grievance. In 2016, a Classification Grievance Committee maintained the classification of the appellants' positions at the CS-01 level. A Deputy Minister's delegate accepted the Committee's recommendation. The appellants sought judicial review. The Federal Court ruled that the Committee's lack of analysis on the issue of the position's internal relativity did not constitute a reviewable error. The appellants appealed to the Federal Court of Appeal.

HELD: Appeal allowed. The submission that the failure to upgrade the appellants' Halifax positions from CS-01 to the CS-02 level of the comparator position contravened the general requirement to maintain internal relativity was central to their grievance. The Committee’s reasons, when read as a whole, did not permit a reviewing court to understand why the Committee reached its conclusion. The Committee stated it could not discern a significant difference between the duties and responsibilities of the two positions, yet denied the grievance without further analysis of internal relativity. The Committee’s failure to address its contradiction with respect to internal relativity was not within the range of options under the reasonableness standard. The judicial review decision was set aside, the Committee's decision was quashed, and the matter was remitted to the Committee for redetermination.

Morrisey v. Canada (Attorney General), [2018] F.C.J. No. 62, Federal Court of Appeal, R. Boivin, D.J. Rennie and J.B. Laskin JJ.A., January 25, 2018. Digest No. TLD-Feb122018005