Collective Agreement Interpretation

4. The context in which words appear is also an important source of their meaning. The words to be considered should be read as a whole in relation to the sentence, section or collective agreement. Titles also help to give meaning to the sections or sections that fall under them, unless the collective agreement does not provide that the titles are not to be used as an aid to interpretation. 1. Although they do not create a binding precedent, arbitrators` decisions on previous claims can be an important interpretative aid. When complaints are referred to the courts, arbitrators are bound by court decisions, unless they can find a way to distinguish the court`s decision from the case pending against them. At Ottawa Hunt and Golf Club Limited and Hospitality Services Trade Union, the employer operated a four-season recreation centre that offered golf and curling, as well as wedding and banquet facilities. Until 2011, the employer`s practice was to plan and pay its waiters and bartenders for four hours of work, even though, in fact, the work lasted less than four hours.

In 2012, for financial reasons, the employer changed its practices and began allocating three hours of work based on its business needs, which would change over the course of the year. In practice, the union deplored this change and took the position that the collective agreement provided for a minimum shift of four hours. It was based on Article 13.05 of the collective agreement: 2. Look at the rest of the collective agreement to determine if there are any links to the section that would be violated, which could support its importance. For example, one contract I worked with had a subcontracting language in four different sections. Don`t just rely on the language the union cites — look at this collective agreement for more. If the French and English versions are available, the intention of the parties can be illustrated by a comparison of the two texts. Many PSAC agreements provide that both texts are official. A collective agreement reflects the final consensus reached between the parties at the bargaining table. Therefore, it is considered that each party intended to do what it said and that the rule of simple meaning of interpretation applies. In other words, words get their ordinary meaning, technical or legal terms get their technical or legal meaning, and the specific use of words is recognized in the respective context between the parties.

In the event of a dispute in a unionized company, the collective agreement is the first place where the parties go for answers. . . .