Canadian Labour Reporter

May 22, 2017

Canadian Labour Reporter is the trusted source of information for labour relations professionals. Published weekly, it features news, details on collective agreements and arbitration summaries to help you stay on top of the changing landscape.

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8 Canadian HR Reporter, a Thomson Reuters business 2017 ARBITRATION AWARDS May 22, 2017 made the call allegedly advised the parent that her family's history had been discussed during a staff meeting at the school. The memory of a previous in- cident involving her daughter at the school was still emotionally painful for the parent. She reported the call was "in- tentionally hurtful and upsetting to her and that (Allen) gave her the impression that the school did not take the significance of the previous event involving her family seriously," according to the termination letter dated Oct. 15, 2015 The termination was made af- ter an investigation by the school principal, D'Arcy Deacon. It ref- erenced an email that the parent claimed was provided by Telus showing Allen's number on a list of phone calls made to the par- ent's home on Sept. 9. When confronted with this information on Sept. 11, Allen at first said she didn't remember making a call to anybody. "I'm 98 per cent sure I didn't," said Allen. The principal followed up with the parent and asked her to contact Telus to get a list of who called her home the night in question. She forwarded an email to the principal later that day. It was reportedly from Telus and showed Allen's number as having reached the parent at 4:12:37 p.m. On Sept. 15, another meet- ing with Allen took place. She was provided with the name of the parent and again asked if she made the call. She again denied the accusation. Allen was suspended and sent home. Later, she called Deacon and told him that after she spoke with Telus, the company stated it did not track home phone calls and therefore there was no way a rep- resentative would have been able to provide the list of calls to a cus- tomer. After a final meeting, Allen was dismissed. The union, Cana- dian Union of Public Employees, Local 401 grieved the decision on Oct. 16. Cindy Bennett, senior secu- rity investigator at Telus, testified that the email forwarded to the school reportedly from the par- ent was counterfeit. "Telus does not retain records of incoming calls to landline numbers or lo- cal call records on landlines," she wrote in a memorandum provid- ed for the arbitration hearing. As well, Bennett listed a num- ber of other issues that indicated the email was not legitimate, such as formatting issues with the text and no customer interaction was recorded when the parent said she called the company. Arbitrator Arne Peltz upheld the grievance. "The parent lied about the Telus email, which was the single most important piece of evidence in the case. The email was a fake," said Peltz. "However, the inabil- ity to find the grievor's evidence wholly credible does not consti- tute proof of the employer's al- legations against her. Moreover, my finding that the parent lied about the Telus email leaves me in grave doubt about the veracity of her allegations." But Allen did not attempt to lie about the allegations during the investigation as the employer al- leged, said Peltz. "The employer sought to char- acterize the grievor as evasive, deflecting and deceptive, but I have largely rejected this sub- mission. There was nothing to suggest why the grievor would have breached established policy on confidentiality and phoned the parent. Despite voluminous evidence and examination, there is a vacuum on the question of why she did it, if indeed she is guilty." Reference: B.C. Public School Employers' Association, Board of Education of School District No. 85 (Vancouver Island North) and Canadian Union of Public Employees, Local 401. Arne Peltz — arbitrator. Peter Csiszar for the employer. Natasha Morley for the employee. April 19, 2017. Wardrobe worker sanctioned after on-set disturbance ALLEGATIONS OF racism against an actor by a worker in the wardrobe department of a televi- sion production company were given as a reason to deny the em- ployee future work with the em- ployer. Dudley Wright had 18 years' seniority in the movie and TV production industry in Ontario when an encounter with a former colleague escalated into threats of violence. On Nov. 11, 2014, Wright was working in the wardrobe depart- ment on the set of a television se- ries called Reign. Richard Veltri, a background actor, went to receive his costume for the day when he came upon Wright. Veltri, who is white, said he was refused a costume by Wright, who is black, who then loudly said: "This guy tried to abuse me on an- other set." Wright then said: "This guy talks big because he has a union behind him. If I saw him in public, it'd be different." Veltri then responded: "I would love to see you in public." Six or eight times that day, ac- cording to Wright, Veltri directed various martial arts poses his way, which made Wright feel threat- ened. The day went downhill from there, according to Veltri, as Wright continued to make him feel uncomfortable by making loud comments about alleged rac- ist behaviour directed toward him in the past. Veltri notified his agent the fol- lowing day, which brought the incident to the attention of the union. The employer was notified and it hired Gillian Shearer to investi- gate the allegations. Previous interactions were re- ported between Wright and Vel- tri on the sets of television shows Copper and Pompeii. They met again on the set of Pixels, a movie, and Veltri report- ed Wright for his behaviour after another costumer collapsed and had to be taken to a hospital. The employer on the Pixels set gave Wright a cease-and-desist letter regarding his behaviour. The union, International Alli- ance of Theatrical Stage Employ- ees, Moving Picture Technicians, Artists and Allied Crafts of the United States, its Territories, and Canada, Local 873, grieved the decision on May 15, 2015, to not allow Wright further access to any work with Reign II Productions. Arbitrator Elaine Newman dis- missed the grievance. "There is no evidence that he acknowledges his angry work- place behaviour toward others, that he has reflected on that be- haviour in any way, or that he has personally taken steps to learn how to modify or control that behaviour. There is no evidence that he takes personal responsibil- ity for his behaviour at work," said Newman. During the arbitration hearing, Wright exhibited anger manage- ment issues toward Shearer re- garding another incident on an- other set that he claimed showed racism was directed his way. "When Wright approached Shearer on the street during this hearing, he said to her, 'You think it was OK for that guy to throw my food in the garbage? I hope you find it OK what happens in this case,'" said Newman. "It is disturbing to note that this is a case in which Wright is accused of being aggressive with co-workers, angrily confront- ing them, violating their personal space, using his words to intimi- date and make them uncomfort- able and failing to use established processes for voicing his con- cerns. In this very case — in which his behaviour is being examined in detail — and in which he pro- fesses his innocence of all allega- tions, he demonstrated similar conduct." Reference: Reign II Productions and International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, Moving Picture Technicians, Artists and Allied Crafts of the United States, its Territories, and Canada, Local 873. Elaine Newman — arbitrator. Jonathan Maier for the employer. Ernie Schirru for the employee. April 24, 2017. < Support worker pg. 1

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