Grievance Case Summary
In January 2006, the Grievor and four other RCMP members forwarded multiple formal harassment complaints against their immediate supervisor to the Central Region Conflicts Resolution (CRCR) office in Ottawa. They also met with the Respondent to advise him that they were filing these complaints against an officer under his command. During the meeting, the Grievor advised the Respondent that one of his eight allegations against the supervisor contained three elements:
- the supervisor counselled the Grievor to falsify a police motor vehicle accident (MVA) report;
- the supervisor was causing damage to his own police vehicle; and
- the supervisor was not reporting the damage he was causing.
Without the Grievor's knowledge and before the harassment complaints reached the CRCR, the Respondent ordered a Code of Conduct investigation under Part IV of the RCMP Act into the allegation that the supervisor had counselled the Grievor to falsify an MVA report. Based on the investigation report, the Respondent found that the Grievor's allegation was unsupported. The Grievor grieved this decision. Subsequently, when the Grievor learned that the Respondent had limited the Code of Conduct investigation to only one element of the three-part allegation, the Grievor grieved that decision as well.
The Office for the Coordination of Grievances characterized Grievance #2 as a collateral issue to Grievance #1 and merged the two grievances into one file. In February 2012, a Level I Adjudicator issued a preliminary ruling in which she found that the Grievor did not have standing. The Grievor sought review at Level II.
The issue before the ERC was whether the grievance file was referable to the ERC.
The ERC first found that the Grievor submitted two distinct grievances against two separate decisions:
Grievance #1: the Respondent's decision that the Grievor's allegation that his supervisor counselled him to falsify an MVA report was unsupported; and
Grievance #2: the Respondent's decision to single out from the Grievor's harassment complaints one three-part allegation, sever the one allegation that his supervisor counselled him to falsify an MVA report and investigate the single allegation.
The ERC noted that five types of grievances are referable to the ERC in accordance with subsections 36(a) to (e) of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Regulations, 1988. The ERC found that Grievances #1 and #2 did not involve the types of grievances set out in subsections 36(b) to (e). Therefore, for the grievances to be referable to the ERC, the underlying subject matter must fall within subsection 36(a) of the 1988 Regulations.
Subsection 36(a) of the 1988 Regulations concerns cases relating to “the Force's interpretation and application of government policies that apply to government departments and that have been made to apply to members”. The ERC found that the present grievances did not involve the Force's interpretation and application of any government-wide policy that applied to RCMP members. The Respondent's decisions to investigate and to limit the scope of the investigation were decisions made in the course of a Part IV Code of Conduct investigation into an officer under his command. The decisions were not made as part of a harassment complaint investigation under the Treasury Board Policy on Prevention and Resolution of Harassment in the Workplace or other government-wide policy applicable to members of the Force. As such, neither grievance fell within subsection 36(a).
ERC Recommendation dated July 6, 2016
The grievances are not referable to the ERC. As a result, the ERC does not have the legal authority to further review the grievances or to make any findings or recommendations.
Commissioner of the RCMP Decision
The Commissioner agreed that the grievances were not referable to the ERC and sent the grievances to the appropriate Level II decision-maker.
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