Worker Barely Wins Grievance after Being Fired for Conduct During Training
A worker who operated the switchboard was suspended for five days based on three incidents and then fired for her conduct while training a co-worker. The union challenged her termination. The arbitrator noted that the worker had previously been warned and disciplined for her poor communications style, concluding that the five day suspension was appropriate. While training a co-worker, she spoke loudly and aggressively and in a confrontational tone. The trainee ended up in tears. So the arbitrator concluded that the worker should’ve been disciplined but termination was excessive. She’d been asked to fill-in for a sick co-worker and had no guidance or experience as a trainer. But the arbitrator added that he arrived at this decision by the “narrowest of margins,” describing the worker as having engaged in “an exceedingly troublesome pattern of unacceptable behaviours” [Health Employers Assn. of BC v. BC Government and Services Employees’ Union (Varga Grievance),  B.C.C.A.A.A. No. 55, May 10, 2013].