Grievance Case Summary

G-627

In January 2005, the Grievor was transferred from Ottawa to Lyon, France. In June 2007, he was transferred from Lyon back to Ottawa. Before leaving France, he presented a grievance against the Force's alleged omission to pay him a transfer allowance in respect of each of his 2005 and 2007 foreign service relocations, pursuant to the RCMP's Integrated Relocation Policy (IRP).

The Grievor conceded that the Foreign Service Directives (FSD) applied to his transfers to and from France. However, he argued that since the FSD made no mention of and therefore did not rule out entitlement to a transfer allowance, he was entitled to the transfer allowance provided under the IRP. The Respondent argued that only the FSD applied to the Grievor's foreign service transfers and that the Grievor received the FSD allowances provided under the FSD.

After requesting and receiving the parties' submissions on the issue of standing, the Level I Adjudicator found that the Grievor had standing. However, the Adjudicator denied the grievance on the merits.  He found that the Grievor failed to establish his entitlement to the IRP transfer allowance as it was clear that the FSD applied to the two transfers.

ERC Findings

Standing

The Chair found that the Grievor did not have standing. The Chair noted that the ERC has adopted the concept that an omission occurs only if the Force fails to fulfill a duty, obligation or commitment (see G-223, G-332). If the Force is not under any duty or obligation to act, a failure to do so does not constitute an omission that can be the subject of a grievance (see G-249). The Chair found that there was no obligation for the Force to automatically pay an IRP transfer allowance, which is only paid if the IRP applies to the member's transfer and the member has submitted receipts to support a claim for the allowance. There was no evidence in the record that the Grievor had submitted any receipts or made any claim before presenting his grievance. As there was no duty or obligation to automatically pay the IRP transfer allowance, the Force did not commit an omission and, therefore, the Grievor did not have standing to grieve.

Merits

The Chair found that the provisions of the FSD and the IRP, read in their entire context and ordinary sense, clearly established that only the FSD applied to the Grievor's foreign service relocations to and from France. Thus, the IRP's benefits and allowances were not available to the Grievor. Further, as the Grievor did not dispute that he had received the FSD's incidental relocation expense allowance, the purpose of which is to fund the same type of expenses funded by the IRP's transfer allowance, the Grievor's interpretation would result in double recovery and personal gain, which is contrary to the purposes of the IRP and the FSD.

ERC Recommendation dated August 17, 2016

The ERC recommended that the Commissioner deny the grievance on the bases that the Grievor did not have standing and the grievance was without merit.

Commissioner of the RCMP Decision dated February 8, 2016

The Commissioner's decision, as summarized by his office, is as follows:

The Grievor presented a grievance against the Force's alleged omission to pay him a transfer allowance related to his relocations in 2005 and 2007, pursuant to the RCMP's Integrated Relocation Policy (IRP). The Respondent maintained that the IRP did not apply to the Grievor's foreign service relocations. Level I denied the grievance on the merits. The Commissioner accepted the ERC's recommendations and determined that the Grievor did not have standing as the Force did not commit an omission. The Commissioner also accepted that the Foreign Service Directive (FSD) and the (IRP) clearly establish that only the FSD applies to the Grievor's relocations. The Grievor is not eligible for IRP benefits and allowances in this case. The grievance is denied.

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