Ruling about VSSA, Appendix B, and Seniority

Public Service Alliance of Canada v. Treasury Board (Canada Border Services Agency)
2011 PSLRB 132

Before: Linda Gobeil Decision Rendered: November 17, 2011 Original Language: English Subject terms: Policy grievance – Seniority – Work schedule Collective agreement – Policy grievance – Variable shift scheduling arrangements (VSSAs) –

Whether seniority provisions applied VSSAs negotiated before the signing of the collective agreement – Meaning of “implemented”

The bargaining agent filed a policy grievance alleging that the employer had violated Appendix B of the collective agreement by not applying seniority to all VSSAs implemented after the signing of the collective agreement – the employer maintained that Appendix B of the collective agreement did not apply to VSSAs already in force at the time of the signing of the collective agreement – the adjudicator held that Appendix B applied only to new VSSAs implemented after the signing of the collective agreement or to those that were in force but were the subject of consultation between the parties as per the terms set out in Appendix B – those VSSAs that were merely “cycled through” or renewed after the signing of the collective agreement did not trigger the application of the seniority clauses related to years of service – the parties first had to engage in the discussion process specified in certain clauses of Appendix B before the rest of it could apply – Appendix B clearly stated that it applied only to VSSAs “implemented” after the signing of the collective agreement – the detailed protocol outlined in Appendix B must be followed before a new VSSA can be implemented in accordance with the collective agreement – the collective agreement did not provide any transitional measures, and none could be inferred.

Grievance dismissed.

Representation from the union:


If you feel that you are not being treated in a just and fair manner in the workplace, you should discuss the issue with your supervisor, or you can contact your union steward for advice.


If you need to meet with your supervisor, a steward can accompany you. During the meeting, the steward acts as an observer or provides you with support, as required. The steward ensures your rights are respected.
Depending on your situation, a grievance or other form of complaint (written or verbal) can be filed. The union steward assists you in deciding which course of action to take and helps you with the wording.


A grievance is a formal process that follows specific guidelines. The grievance procedure is defined in Article 18 of your Collective Agreement.
Grievances are important. A number of them raise issues that form the basis of union demands during collective bargaining.
With thanks to CIU HQ Branch which served as a base for this.

Indidual Grievance Transmittal Form: (Treasury Board Site)
Manitoba Grievance Chart: PDF File | 2 Feb 2011

Annual Leave Grievance wording: Word File
Care and Nurturing:  Word file

More topics that will appear here in the future: Clarkson decision and "H" ing, scheduling and operational requirements, leave, overtime offerings, ongoing cases of interest
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