An employee's lack of knowledge of safety laws was a proper
consideration in his employer's decision to deny him a
promotion, a labour arbitration board has decided.
The employee, a unionized mechanic with the City of Moncton,
applied for the position of Service Foreman-Mechanical. His
application was unsuccessful. A coworker with less seniority won
the position. The employee filed a grievance under the collective
The issue was whether the employee had the qualifications to do
the job. One of the listed qualifications was "Knowledgeable
in the Occupational Health and Safety Act and
Regulations". The interview committee determined that he did
not possess adequate knowledge of the Occupational Health and
Safety Act and Regulations and that this was a requirement.
The arbitration board noted that the employee did not even testify,
at the arbitration hearing, as to his level of knowledge of that
Act and the Regulations; as such, the arbitration board was unable
to conclude whether he had the necessary knowledge.
The arbitration board noted that the union had vetted and
approved the list of job qualifications prior to the job having
been posted. The arbitration board decided that the employee had
also failed to prove that he had some of the other listed
qualifications including supervisor experience and knowledge of
certain computer applications.
The arbitration board closed by stating:
"There is no question in the mind of the Board the grievor
was and is an extremely competent mechanic who may very well have
been a competent foreman. However, he did not provide adequate
evidence, to support his contention of his capability to perform
the job at the time of bulletining. This is indeed
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