Union can't grieve individual benefit entitlement issues under Bell's STD plan: Arbitrator

Income protection plan puts issue outside arbitrator's jurisdiction
|Canadian Labour Reporter|Last Updated: 11/17/2014

Before a unionized employee can take action against his employer, he must make sure he has the legal grounds to do so.

In this case, Kenny Whyte, a craft and services worker at Bell Canada, filed a grievance after he alleged his employer refused to pay short-term disability benefits without just cause. Further, Whyte’s union, Unifor, argued that any such denial of disability benefits was arbitrary, discriminatory and in bad faith.

On the other hand, Bell brought a preliminary motion to have the grievance dismissed on the basis that its Income Protection Plan (under which Whyte claimed the benefits) was not incorporated under the collective agreement, and that in fact the case should be thrown out by the arbitrator, Diane Gee.