Digest of the Week | Duty of Fair Representation

Suspended employee's ALRB application alleging union's breach of its duty of fair representation was summarily dismissed since union provided summary of evidence and copy of legal opinion, dismissed again upon judicial review as Board's decision was found to be reasonable

Thurm v. Alberta Labour Relations Board | 2018 ABQB 300 | Alberta Court of Queen's Bench

Labour and employment law — Labour law — Unfair labour practices — Union practices — Duty of fair representation — Administration of collective agreement — Representation of grievance


Employee was fire captain — Employer found employee was derelict in duty with respect to respectful workplace policy and fire department policies and procedures — Employer suspended employee for two days without pay — Union filed two grievances with respect to discipline imposed and investigation —  After process carried on for number of months employee filed complaint with Alberta Labour Relations Board alleging that union breach duty of fair representation — Union did negotiate a resolution which resulted in revocation of suspension, disciplinary warning letter being placed on employee's file, and return of docked pay — Employee did not agree with resolution or accept return of pay — Board summarily dismissed employee's duty of fair representation complaint — Employee brought application for judicial review — Application dismissed — Board considered entirety of evidence with respect to circumstances giving rise to discipline — Board noted that union discharged duty of fair representation by providing summary of evidence to employee and copy of legal opinion assessing evidence — On whole of evidence before Board, including disciplinary letter, evidence of exoneration and legal opinion Board's conclusion was reasonable


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