Employer Did Not Act Unreasonably in Abolishing Job

|Canadian Labour Reporter|Last Updated: 02/06/2011

Notified after nearly two years of employment that his position was to be abolished, a welding instructor grieved. Abolishing his position at a point just short of the two-year mark and thus depriving him of his contractual rights with respect to recall rights and pension vesting was unreasonable in the circumstances, the union charged.

Hired by a polytechnical institute as a welding instructor in 2007, P.V. cleared probation in 2008. While there were no issues with respect to his performance, the precipitous downturn in the world economy beginning at the end of 2007 reduced the demand for welders, which in turn led to fewer welding students and ultimately reduced the government funding available for the institute’s welding department.

In matching the number of instructors needed for the anticipated number of welding apprentices with funding, the institute’s initial estimates for the 2009/10 year indicated that the institute needed to shed nine welding instructors. With some finessing, that number was reduced to five. P.V. was one of them.