There are many questions and objection to why RCLS Material Change Agreements on CP Rail contains language that restrict separation benefits to engineers who have worked in the affected terminal one year prior to the retirement date.
This document has been put together to address those concerns. It is a compilation of past agreements and arbitration that have dealt with material changes.
The current language used for most material changes has evolved from
the 1978 VIA Agreement dealing with the rationalization of passenger train service.
VIA 1978 Special Agreement
Article F - separation allowance
F.1 an employees adversely affected by the implementation of changes under the Regulations who:
B)is under sixty years of age, is eligible for early retirement, and
(i) would be laid off at his home location; or
(ii) would be required to relocate in order to hold employment,; or
(iii) by electing for a separation allowance, would prevent another employee in his seniority group at that location with two or more years of service from being laid off;...
CN/CCROU C-Only Memo of Agr. 1991:
Article 12) In order to be eligible for early retirement opportunities at a particular terminal, a protected freight employee must have been assigned to that terminal for a period of at least two years at date of the early retirement opportunities are awarded.
AD HOC 319 dealing with CN Job Abolishments Vancouver Intermodal Facility
BLE position was to bank separation opportunities and make them only available to L.E. at Vancouver. Company's position; no justification for banking attrition opportunities. The arbitrator sided with the Company and stated this about material change;
"Plainly, the purpose of the provision is not to bestow windfall benefits on employees who, in fact, have suffered no adverse consequences on the occasion of a material change. In the case at hand, it is common ground that no locomotive engineers at Vancouver have in fact lost work, or potential earnings as a result of the implementation of Vancouver Intermodal facility. ... in what purpose basis, therefore, can it be suggested that the parties would have intended the conferring of gratuitous benefits on employees who are not in fact adversely impacted by a material change?
AD HOC Arbitration February 1995 CN/CCROU Material Chg. implementation
of belt pack in flat yard;
In addressing separation opportunities, the arbitrator agreed with the Company on opportunities will be created only when there is a surplus of employees at that location but left the formula and language to the parties to develop.
Banking early retirement credits; "The arbitrator can see no difficulty with banking them, to the extent that doing so would make them available to employees when an actual surplus is established, such banking to continue for a fixed period of years, to be agreed to."
CN RCLS Agr. Oct. 3, 1995:
CCROU employees, LE. given preference
Appendix B, Sept 27, 1995, dealing with awarding of attrition opportunities:
1)Retirement opportunity to L.E. who have worked at the location for a period of at least 2 consecutive years:
a)To the terminal directly affected by the implementation of belt pack, if unused;
b) To the seniority district, if unused;
c)The opportunity will revert to the original terminal affected.
2) ...Based on a surplus of employees a guaranteed number of opportunities afforded the BLE. Accordingly, the Company will provide a guarantee of 50% of the positions abolished with first preference to the L.E. at the affected location.
Sept 27, 1995 Appendix D:
Notwithstanding the provisions of App. B;
1)bulletin issued for 15 days to the seniority district concerned;
2)preference to given to L.E at the affected location, and then to L.E. on the seniority district.
6) Opportunities not use will revert to the initial terminal affected and re-advertised each change of timetable;
8) Unless otherwise agreed opportunities subsequent to the 50% guarantee being achieved shall be bulletined only to the terminal concerned and not to the seniority district.
April 27 1999 (PS-202W) CN Bulletin for Belt Pack Retirement Deferred
Separation or Severance;
Calgary, Thunder Bay, Winnipeg, Kamloops, Prince George.
3) ...Retirement opportunities shall be provided to locomotive engineers who have worked at a location for a period of at least two consecutive years.
October 7, 1999 CN Revised RCLS Agreement;
1)First preference for attrition opportunities will be afforded to eligible L.E. at the home station affected.
2) Opportunities the remain, after all eligible L.E. have been offered such credits, will thereafter cease to be available to employees covered by the collective agreement.
8) The benefits identified in (1) above will be offered only when it can be determined that the utilization of RCLS will result in a surplus of employees with 2 or more years service at the location of implementation.
CP Rail Ontario South RCLS Material Change Agr. Oct. 1995
Article 6.1 (a) Early Separation plan as outlined herein will be made available to employees who have worked continuously at the affected terminal or outpost terminal for at least one year as a Council represented employee immediately prior to the date of IMPLEMENTATION.
(No banking provision)
Vancouver Terminal RCLS Material Change (1996);
Early Separation; 50% to engineers, banked, other 50% only if surplus of employees. Must work in terminal one year prior to severing. First agreement on CP Rail to allow banking of benefits.
If banking was not allowed then benefits would have been allocated as per Toronto Agr.
CP/CCROU Collective Article 38.02(5) (1997)Note;
Employees who voluntary transfer to a terminal on their seniority district where a surplus of employees exists shall be restricted from applying for C-Only attrition at that terminal for a period of six months. Clause inserted 1999 Negotiation account furlough Board rules.
E&N Material Change (1998);
Benefits limited to employees named in agreement, working on this line when notice of material change was served on union.
Mayfair Material Change (1999) Closure of Mayfair Intermodal Facility in Vancouver Terminal. Adversely affected employees one year prior to agreement date. No Banking.
Brooks Sub Material Change (2002) Moving 40 engineer's jobs from Calgary to Medicine Hat. Benefits limited to engineers working in Calgary one year prior to agreement date. No Banking.
As it can be clearly seen all agreements have some type of restriction to protect benefits to adversely affected employees at the specific location of the change.
The Vancouver Terminal RCLS Agreement was the first such agreement to allow banking of benefits. This was a stride forward for unions. If these benefits had not been banked then they may in fact have been offered on the seniority district after the directly affected employees had an opportunity to bid. In fact if this had been done in 1997 very few engineers in BC would have been old enough to bid the opportunity, thereby opportunities lost.
It was this in mind that the union evolved the provisions from past agreements for the one year prior to the agreement date to one year prior to retirement date. In short the benefits that were restricted to only those persons at the terminal at the time of change have now been opened to all people in the seniority district if they wish to feel some adverse affect by relocating to the affected terminal.
BLE Division 320
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