USJE obtains outside legal opinion to confirm potential eligibility for our members
Dealing with Personal Harassment is a continuous challenge for members of the Federal Public Service, as there are limited avenues available to address these issues, and few options to obtain a remedy for them, particularly since personal harassment is not within the jurisdiction of the Federal Public Sector Labour Relations and Employment Board, which adjudicates Public Service grievances.
The Greenwood-Gray Class action, which has been certified by the Federal Court (the certificate was later amended by the Federal Court of Appeal to limit the definition of the eligible class), relates to personal harassment and bullying of RCMP employees.
When this class action was brought to the attention of USJE, we immediately began researching whether this was something that could assist our members in addressing this long-standing, deeply entrenched issue within RCMP culture. Our Labour Relations team rendered an initial opinion, but to ensure we had the most accurate and comprehensive analysis, USJE engaged Raven Law to provide their opinion on the eligibility of USJE members to participate in the Greenwood-Gray action.
The Raven Law opinion agreed with USJE Labour Relations’ initial assessment of the file, notably, that the class definition excludes employees who have the ability to file a grievance or complaint under a Collective Agreement through the Federal Public Sector Labour Relations Act or the RCMP Act.
The class is defined as
“All current or former RCMP members (Regular, Civilian, and Special Constable) and Reservists who worked for the RCMP between January 1, 1995, and the date a collective agreement becomes or became applicable to a bargaining unit to which they belong.”
Anyone who received compensation under the Merlo, Ross, or Delisle class actions is ineligible to make a claim in this action.
What this class definition means is that RCMP Public Service Employees, who have had a Collective Agreement throughout the relevant period, are NOT eligible under the Greenwood-Gray action, should it succeed. Civilian Members who have been designated to be joining USJE/PSAC as part of the preparation in anticipation of deeming exercise, however, should be eligible until at least November 26, 2020, which represents the date that the FPSLREB rendered its decision on their placement in PSAC bargaining units.
If eligible Civilian Members have further questions, they can review the information on Class Counsel’s website: https://complexlaw.ca/index.html#FL-RCMP_General_Harrassment or the Class Action page https://www.greenwoodrcmpclassaction.ca/
As the opt-out period has now passed, all eligible members will automatically be INCLUDED in the class action, and will potentially be eligible to claim compensation if the case is successful in litigation or a settlement is reached.
USJE will continue to monitor developments in this litigation, and inform Civilian Members now represented by USJE of any important steps they need to take, or how to apply for compensation if a settlement or favourable decision is reached.