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High Court: Unilateral Changes to Standby Rules Are Unfair

Lawyers stopped volunteering for standby duty after standby pay was cut unilaterally; so the employer made standby duty mandatory. An arbitrator upheld the lawyers’ grievance but the appeals court reversed. Now the Canadian Supreme Court has had the final word: the arbitrator’s original decision was reasonable and should be reinstated. The arbitrator came to the right conclusion for the wrong reasons, the Court explained. The unilateral changes to the standby system were harsh, unreasonable and unfair. But they didn’t violate the lawyers’ right to liberty under Section 7 of the Charter, as the arbitrator found; the reason they were illegal is that they violated the terms of the collective agreement [Assoc. of Justice Counsel v. Canada (Attorney General), 2017 SCC 55 (CanLII), Nov. 3, 2017].

Bongarde Editorial

Bongarde Editorial

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