Vindication finally came in for past Matsqui Local President Gaelen Joe. The Federal Public Sector Labour Relations & Employment Board finally rendered its decision on a complaint against CSC, Treasury Board and 5 individual managers.
In 2012, after hearing several complaints about a CM, the Local Union undertook to represent its members in relation to harassment and bullying. Instead of working on finding a resolution to the harassment situations, the Matsqui management team, at the time, decided to put the local president under disciplinary investigation for “concerted effort to target & discredit a Correctional Manager”. Matsqui management even deployed the local president to another institution pending the investigation.
Due to the strong, quick, and targeted mobilization from all members of the Pacific Region along with national union representatives, pressure on CSC was effective and Gaelen Joe returned to Matsqui Institution 3 days later.
In addition to the mobilization, we filed a successful complaint for unfair labour practice to the Board. We strongly believed that the investigation on the president was launched by CSC as an intimidation tactic. The Federal Public Sector Labour Relations and Employment Board gave us a 100% victory.
The Board found that the decision of the warden LeBlanc and deputy warden Justason to launch a disciplinary investigation was solely because of Gaelen Joe’s role in the Union. The Board also found that CM Boyer and CM Marshall had fabricated evidence to discredit the Local President and the Board found that AWO Bussey did nothing to ensure that freedom of association was protected. The Board said:
I find that the respondents committed unfair labour practices and that they breached s. 186(2) of the Act. The evidence established that the allegations that prompted the investigation into the local union president were fabricated for the purposes of instigating an investigation and of removing him from the institution, thus preventing him from exercising his lawful rights under the Act and, most importantly, from representing employees.
As redress, the Board ordered reimbursement of sick leave taken, payment of damages of $2,500 and the public posting of the decision.