In this Award of Arbitrator Kelly Waddingham, the Ontario Public Service Employees Union Local 101 (“the Union”) grieved the failure by Windsor Regional Hospital (“the Employer”) to pay a schedule change premium after scheduling the grievor to be on call for the Thanksgiving weekend with less than 48 hours’ notice.
The Union argued that a plain reading of the collective agreement provided for the premium to be paid in the circumstances. The Employer argued that references to on call, referred to as stand-by duty in the collective agreement, were limited to a single section of the collective agreement and did not interact with the provision providing for schedule change premiums to be paid, unlike other provisions within the stand-by article.
The Union argued in reply that the parties could have used language to narrow or restrict the premium pay provision but did not do so, and that the stand-by provision did not need to explicitly refer to the premium pay provision in order to be effective.
The Arbitrator agreed with the Union’s position and allowed the grievance, noting that a plain reading of the premium pay provision did not result in an absurdity or conflict with other provisions of the collective agreement, and as a result, there was no reason to apply a narrower interpretation than the plain meaning of the premium provision.