Saskatchewan Government and General Employees Union et al. v. Public Service Superannuation Board, (2015) 475 Sask.R. 1 (QB)

Judge:Kalmakoff, J.
Court:Court of Queen's Bench for Saskatchewan
Case Date:September 16, 2015
Jurisdiction:Saskatchewan
Citations:(2015), 475 Sask.R. 1 (QB);2015 SKQB 283
 
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SGGEU v. Superannuation Bd. (2015), 475 Sask.R. 1 (QB)

MLB headnote and full text

Temp. Cite: [2015] Sask.R. TBEd. OC.037

Employees Union ("SGEU") and Charles Peterson (applicants) v. Public Service Superannuation Board (respondent)

(2014 Q.B.G. No. 2545; 2015 SKQB 283)

Indexed As: Saskatchewan Government and General Employees Union et al. v. Public Service Superannuation Board

Saskatchewan Court of Queen's Bench

Judicial Centre of Regina

Kalmakoff, J.

September 16, 2015.

Summary:

The Public Service Superannuation Board dismissed the complaint of the Saskatchewan Government and General Employee's Union (SGEU) regarding Peterson's pension benefit entitlement. Peterson had worked at youth corrections facilities located outside urban centers ("youth camps"), and had received "camp differential" pay in addition to his regular remuneration for working camp shifts. SGEU had argued that the camp differential pay met the definition of "salary" in either s. 2(j)(i) or 2(j)(ii) of the Superannuation (Supplementary Provisions) Act, but primarily under s. 2(j)(ii), given that Peterson was receiving benefits under the long-term disability plan established for employees. SGEU and Peterson applied for judicial review.

The Saskatchewan Court of Queen's Bench set aside the Board's decision, and remitted the matter back to the Board for rehearing. The Board's lack of analysis relating to s. 2(j)(i) was unreasonable. In addition, the Board's conclusion that camp differential pay was not included in "salary" within the meaning of s. 2(j)(ii) was also unreasonable.

Crown - Topic 5263

Officials and employees - Pension benefits - Eligibility - [See Government Programs - Topic 3833 ].

Government Programs - Topic 3826

Pensions for government employees or R.C.M.P. - Entitlement - Appeals or judicial review - The Public Service Superannuation Board dismissed the complaint of the Saskatchewan Government and General Employee's Union, regarding an employee's pension benefit entitlement - On judicial review, the issue was one of interpreting whether or not certain remuneration paid to the employee should be defined as "salary" within the meaning of s. 2(j) of the Superannuation (Supplementary Provisions) Act (SSPA) - The Saskatchewan Court of Queen's Bench, in determining the appropriate standard of review, noted that "[t]here is not a wealth of jurisprudence regarding the standard of judicial review of decisions of the Board, or the question of interpreting the definition of 'salary' in ss. 2(j) of the SSPA. In fact, I was unable to find any post-Dunsmuir judicial comment directly on point. ... Therefore, I must look to factors beyond the jurisprudence, as outlined in Dunsmuir." - Those factors leaned toward a deferential standard of review - Accordingly, the Court concluded that the appropriate standard of review was one of reasonableness - See paragraphs 20 to 34.

Government Programs - Topic 3833

Pensions for government employees or R.C.M.P. - Entitlement - Where person entitled to receive salary from government - The Public Service Superannuation Board dismissed the complaint of the Saskatchewan Government and General Employee's Union regarding Peterson's pension benefit entitlement - Peterson had worked at "youth camps", and had received "camp differential" pay in addition to his regular remuneration - SGEU had argued that the camp differential pay met the definition of "salary" in either s. 2(j)(i) or 2(j)(ii) of the Superannuation (Supplementary Provisions) Act, but primarily under s. 2(j)(ii), given that Peterson was receiving benefits under the long-term disability (LTD) plan established for employees - The Saskatchewan Court of Queen's Bench granted the judicial review application - The Board's lack of analysis relating to s. 2(j)(i) was unreasonable - In addition, the Board reached a conclusion that was different from the plain and ordinary meaning of s. 2(j)(ii) without providing analysis - The Board distinguished between "regular salary" and "supplementary earnings" without providing any analysis of why camp differential pay fell into the latter category - "In light of the fact that the text of the relevant disability plan clearly includes camp differential in the definition of 'salary', and the plain wording of ss. 2(j)(ii) appears to incorporate the LTD plan's definition of salary, this sort of analysis is necessary for the Board's reasons to be intelligible and transparent." - See paragraphs 43 to 55.

Labour Law - Topic 9323

Public service labour relations - Judicial review - Decisions of board or commission - Standard of review - [See Government Programs - Topic 3826 ].

Words and Phrases

Salary - The Saskatchewan Court of Queen's Bench interpreted the word "salary" as defined in s. 2(j) of the Superannuation (Supplementary Provisions) Act, R.S.S. 1978, c. S-64 - See paragraphs 43 to 55.

Counsel:

Jana N. Stettner, for the applicants;

Charita N. Ohashi, for the respondent.

This application for judicial review was heard before Kalmakoff, J., of the Saskatchewan Court of Queen's Bench, Judicial Centre of Regina. The Court delivered the following judgment and reasons, dated September 16, 2015.

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