Despite CP’s best efforts during the bargaining process, it has been a challenge to address the culture of work, rest and time off. The TCRC must be part of this effort. Unfortunately, today’s collective agreements are still based on the dawn of the railway.
Transport Canada prescribes maximum work hours and minimum rest periods only and leaves all other aspects to the collective bargaining process.
CP wants change and is working towards that with our Unions. Below are links to the regulations and recent arbitrations:
- Work/Rest Rules for Canadian Railway Operating Employees (Transport Canada)
- US Hours of Service Regulation (FRA)
- Stout award concerning handling of unassigned pool and spareboard employees
In an attempt to get conductors and engineers to take rest, CP initiated mandatory rest provisions in March 2015. Employees were required to be off duty at the away-from-home terminal for 6-hours (+2 hour call) and 8 hours at the home terminal (+ 2 hour call). The Union filed 41 grievances across Canada.
On August 3, 2016 Arbitrator John Stout awarded a decision on this issue. In his decision he states: “I acknowledge that fatigue is a matter of safety that affects both the Company, the Union’s members and the general public. Addressing fatigue is in the best interests of both parties to this proceeding. The issue should be addressed in collective bargaining either by agreement or in an interest arbitration award. It is not the role of a rights arbitrator to set public policy or rewrite the parties’ collective agreement.”