Arbitrator finds imposed discipline “excessive in all the circumstances”

For the second time this year, an arbitrator has rolled back discipline imposed on a CUPE Local 1594 member who was wrongly accused by the Regina Public Library of insubordination and dishonesty.

In a decision released May 9, 2014, Arbitrator Kenneth A. Stevenson, Q.C. found that the discipline meted out to an employee charged with briefly bringing down the SILS system – a 10-day unpaid suspension and 4-month disciplinary demotion – was “excessive in all the circumstances.”

The Arbitrator replaced this discipline with a 5-day unpaid suspension, noting the Grievor had a clean disciplinary record over her 38 years of service. Mr. Stevenson also noted that the Grievor likely misunderstood the direction given to her and said the matter was an isolated incident.

In reaching this decision, Mr. Stevenson also found that the Grievor was “neither dishonest nor insubordinate during the investigation meeting. There is no evidence that she had any dishonest or deceitful intent or that she was defiant of a direct order. While she may not have accepted responsibility for her conduct, I cannot say that she lied or intentionally mislead RPL in any material manner.”

The arbitration award notes that the decision on the specific disciplinary penalty was made by the Library Director and CEO, in consultation with the Deputy Library Director, Manager, Human Resources and legal counsel.

On January 29, 2014, an Arbitration Board reversed a three-day suspension on a CUPE Local 1594 member.

To view the complete arbitration decision click here.