Justice Reilly`s decision gives hospital employers some optimism about the termination provisions of the NAOS collective agreement and the obligation to pay pension and separation benefits. Prior to Justice Reilly`s decision, arbitrators always held that a nurse was entitled to an old age and/or separation allowance, even though positions were vacant elsewhere in the hospital concerned as soon as the provisions of the COLLECTIVE ONA agreement were triggered. The resulting costs to hospitals have been considerable. In November 2008, The Saint-Michel Hospital announced long-term layoffs for the union and seven nurses who were part of the V.I. team at the hospital. The termination was planned due to the rationalization and reallocation of certain aspects of I.V. therapy. The parties agreed that the proposed expulsion of the caregivers in question constituted termination under the collective agreement. At the time of the outings, the hospital was in recruitment mode and was actively looking for caregivers outside the hospital to fill vacancies.
The nurses affected by the dismissal were able to fill these positions. Warrant Officer Reilly found that the case law relied upon by the NIA was of no use in this case. He stated that Ontario arbitrator Frank Reilly recently filed a complaint from the Ontario Nurses Association, which stated that the employer, St. Michael`s Hospital in Toronto, is violating the collective agreement by avoiding pension or separation benefits in the benefit options that nurses have filed with dismissal. At St. Michael`s Hospital and the Ontario Nurses Association (April 2010), Warrant Officer Reilly applied the traditional canons of conventional interpretation to the collective agreement and decided that benefits for licensed nurses varied based on the reason for dismissal. In each arbitration proceeding submitted by the ONA, the parties were related to the question of whether workers were entitled to offers of retirement options in accordance with Article 10.14. In each of these cases, there was little information on the reasons for the dismissals. The application of Section 10.14 was not directly challenged or received attention from the arbitrator. None of the cases dealt with the central issue of this case – when are workers entitled to the risk of enforcement of Article 10.14? In the absence of arbitration on the application of Section 10.14, Warrant Officer Reilly was required to base his decision on an interpretation of the relevant provisions of the collective agreement. When the nurses were announced, Saint-Michel Hospital presented the nurses with the options listed in section 10.09 of the collective agreement. The options did not include the age and separation benefits covered in Section 10.14.
The ONA disputed this omission and requested that, as part of their redundancy options, the nurses concerned should receive a pension and separation. The hospital violates the collective agreement and has filed a political complaint. In support of this interpretation, Warrant Officer Reilly found that, in the development of the collective agreement, the parties had agreed to separate different sections of rights in the event of long-term dismissal. The Ontario Nurses Association negotiates your wages, benefits and working conditions on your behalf. Access to your contract below: | hospitals | Care Homes Homes for | | Public Health | Clinics Industry| LHINs (formerly CCACs) | Home Care Providers Contract Contract Contract .