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166-2-31074 (2002 PSSRB 102)
Jamieson v. Treasury Board (National Defence)
Before: Y. Tarte
Appearances: B. Done, for the Grievor; J. Champagne, for the Employer
Decision rendered: December 10, 2002
Termination (non-disciplinary) – Failure to obtain required certification – the grievor started working as a certified plumber in 1978, and in June 1981, he joined the Department of National Defence (DND) at CFB Kingston as a plumber – at that time, DND hired both plumbers and steamfitters who worked in separate shops – in 1995, authorities at CFB Kingston decided as a cost-reduction exercise to consolidate the plumbing and steamfitting shops such that employees who wished to continue working in the consolidated workshop were required to obtain certificates in the second trade they would be required to work at – the grievor, who wanted to continue working at the base, failed over time to qualify as a steamfitter and his employment was therefore terminated for non-disciplinary reasons effective June 23, 2000 – the adjudicator found that the case did not give rise to a workforce adjustment situation because it was not dealing with the discontinuance of a function, but rather with the addition of duties to a position – this is specifically permitted by section 7 of the Public Service Staff Relations Act which gives the employer the sole authority to "assign duties to and classify positions" within the federal public service – the adjudicator concluded that the employer made every reasonable effort to help the grievor obtain the necessary certificate to continue working and it was only when it became obvious that the grievor would not even try to improve and challenge the exam a second time that the employer offered him a demotion, which the grievor did not accept – according to the adjudicator, the employer's decision to terminate the grievor's employment was justified under the circumstances.