Service Employees International Union-West v. Saskatoon Regional Health Authority et al., (2015) 469 Sask.R. 175 (QB)

Judge:Dawson, J.
Court:Court of Queen's Bench for Saskatchewan
Case Date:February 24, 2015
Jurisdiction:Saskatchewan
Citations:(2015), 469 Sask.R. 175 (QB);2015 SKQB 61
 
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SEIU v. Saskatoon Health Authority (2015), 469 Sask.R. 175 (QB)

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Temp. Cite: [2015] Sask.R. TBEd. MR.041

SEIU-West (applicant) v. Saskatoon Regional Health Authority (respondent) and Catherine Zuck, Q.C. (respondent)

(2014 QB No. 337; 2015 SKQB 61)

Indexed As: Service Employees International Union-West v. Saskatoon Regional Health Authority et al.

Saskatchewan Court of Queen's Bench

Judicial Centre of Saskatoon

Dawson, J.

February 24, 2015.

Summary:

The union alleged that the grievor's employment had been terminated without just cause. The employer's position was that the grievor had been absent without leave. At the end of oral argument, the arbitrator asked whether the concept of "deemed quit" applied. Both parties responded that it did not. The arbitrator allowed the grievance on the basis that the grievor had "voluntarily resigned" and ordered the employer to adjust its records accordingly. The union applied for judicial review.

The Saskatchewan Court of Queen's Bench allowed the application, finding a breach of procedural fairness. The matter was remitted to the same arbitrator for redetermination after the parties had been given an opportunity to make further submissions.

Editor's Note: Certain names in the following case have been initialized or the case otherwise edited to prevent the disclosure of identities where required by law, publication ban, Maritime Law Book's editorial policy or otherwise.

Administrative Law - Topic 225

The hearing and decision - Right to be heard - What constitutes not being heard - The union alleged that the grievor's employment had been terminated without just cause - The employer's position was that the grievor had been absent without leave - At the end of oral argument, the arbitrator asked whether the concept of "deemed quit" applied - Both parties responded that it did not - The arbitrator allowed the grievance on the basis that the grievor had "voluntarily resigned" and ordered the employer to adjust its records accordingly - On the union's application for judicial review, the Saskatchewan Court of Queen's Bench set the award aside - The arbitrator breached the audi alteram partem rule, the right to be heard - While the arbitrator had properly framed the issues, she developed her own argument regarding voluntary resignation, which neither party had argued - The arbitrator relied on authorities not raised with either party and resolved the arbitration on that basis - The issue of voluntary resignation was not tested through the adversarial process - The arbitrator breached the duty of procedural fairness by not providing the parties an opportunity to address the jurisprudence on which she relied - After the arbitrator raised the issue of "deemed quit" and both parties rejected it, it was reasonable for each party to assume that such an issue would not be considered further - This put the union at a particular disadvantage - The matter was remitted to the same arbitrator for redetermination after the parties had been given an opportunity to make further submissions - See paragraphs 44 to 65.

Administrative Law - Topic 2266

Natural justice - The duty of fairness - What constitutes procedural fairness - [See Administrative Law - Topic 225 ].

Administrative Law - Topic 2493

Natural justice - Procedure - At hearing - Right to make submissions - [See Administrative Law - Topic 225 ].

Administrative Law - Topic 2668

Natural justice - Denial - Remedies - Remittal of award or decision - [See Administrative Law - Topic 225 ].

Arbitration - Topic 3668

The arbitrator - Duties of arbitrator - Procedural fairness - [See Administrative Law - Topic 225 ].

Arbitration - Topic 8417

Judicial review (incl. appeals) - Grounds - Misconduct - Breach of rules of natural justice - [See Administrative Law - Topic 225 ].

Labour Law - Topic 6522

Industrial relations - Collective agreement - Interpretation - Grievances - Duty of fairness - [See Administrative Law - Topic 225 ].

Labour Law - Topic 7060.1

Industrial relations - Collective agreement - Enforcement - Jurisdiction or powers of arbitrator or board - Power to consider question not specified in grievance to resolve grievance - [See Administrative Law - Topic 225 ].

Labour Law - Topic 7120

Industrial relations - Collective agreement - Enforcement - Arbitration - Judicial review - Natural justice - Denial of - [See Administrative Law - Topic 225 ].

Cases Noticed:

Affinity Credit Union v. United Food and Commercial Workers, Local 1400 et al. (2014), 438 Sask.R. 296; 608 W.A.C. 296; 2014 SKCA 70, refd to. [para. 2].

New Brunswick (Board of Management) v. Dunsmuir, [2008] 1 S.C.R. 190; 372 N.R. 1; 329 N.B.R.(2d) 1; 844 A.P.R. 1; 2008 SCC 9, refd to. [para. 42].

Canadian Linen and Uniform Service Co. v. Saskatchewan Joint Board, Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union et al. (2005), 266 Sask.R. 64; 2005 SKQB 264, refd to. [para. 43].

Cardinal and Oswald v. Kent Institution (Director), [1985] 2 S.C.R. 643; 63 N.R. 353, refd to. [para. 44].

Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Authority Inc. v. National Automobile, Aerospace, Transportation and General Workers Union of Canada (CAW-Canada) et al. (2002), 221 Sask.R. 79; 2002 SKQB 267, refd to. [para. 45].

Underwriters' Laboratories of Canada v. Office and Professional Employees International Union, Local 520, [1998] O.J. No. 6086 (C.J.), refd to. [para. 48].

Newfoundland Association of Public Employees v. Board of Education (Integrated) of Conception Bay South (1995), 132 Nfld. & P.E.I.R. 353; 410 A.P.R. 353 (Nfld. T.D.), ref to. [para. 49].

Counsel:

Heather Jensen, for the applicant;

Kevin Zimmerman, for the respondent, Saskatoon Regional Health Authority.

This application was heard by Dawson, J., of the Saskatchewan Court of Queen's Bench, Judicial Centre of Saskatoon, who delivered the following judgment on February 24, 2015.

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