On-Call Duty: AJC Continues its Fight to Protect Members' Privacy Rights :: Association of Justice Counsel News
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April 30th, 2015
April 30th, 2015

On-Call Duty: AJC Continues its Fight to Protect Members' Privacy Rights

The AJC strongly disagrees and has filed multiple policy grievances in this matter

Faced with the refusal of the Department of Justice (DOJ) and Treasury Board (TB) to comply with the recent Public Service Labour Relations and Employment Board (PSLREB) decision on after-hours call duty in the Quebec Regional Office's Immigration Law Division, the AJC has filed a new set of policy grievances.

In its April 10th 2015 communique, the AJC reported a favourable decision declaring DOJ's mandatory after-hours call duty directive in violation of the collective agreement.  The decision, handed down in French, is now available in English on the PSLREB website by clicking  here.  For a summary, you may refer to our earlier communique.

TB is currently challenging AJC's request to have the PSLREB decision filed with the Federal Court as a means of enforcing the ruling for the Quebec Regional Office.  On April 29th 2015, TB also served the AJC with an application for judicial review.  We will review it and provide you with further details shortly.  In the meantime, DOJ and TB has been maintaining that the current collective agreement and more specifically the management leave provision at section 13.02(f) gives management the authority to make after-hours call duty mandatory.  The application for judicial review is certainly a perplexing approach in light of the position that TB and DOJ have taken to date.

The AJC strongly disagrees and has filed multiple policy grievances challenging all mandatory after-hours call duty requirements for AJC members working across the entire federal public service on the basis that such requirements are unreasonable and in violation of our members' privacy rights.  

It is the AJC's position that sections 5.02 and 6.01 of the collective agreement remain unchanged from the previous collective agreement version.  This means that the mere possibility that management might eventually exercise its discretion by granting a nominal amount of management leave for being on call duty after-hours, in no way constitutes a waiver of our members' privacy rights.  Contrary to other public service collective agreements, there is no clear language that enables management to force members to be on call after-hours.  

Call duty is also a bargaining issue that we intend to push forward with TB and we remain hopeful that this decision as well as our policy grievances on this issue, will at least provide us with some leverage.  No doubt, this has been a long 5-year struggle and the AJC remains resolute and determined.

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