FortisBC & FortisBC-CSC – Common Employer Application Resolution
April 6, 2023
To: All MoveUP members at FBC-CSC
As has been communicated in previous bulletins, in August of 2021 MoveUP applied to the BC Labour Board seeking an order that the FortisBC-CSC and the FortisBC bargaining units be harmonized into one bargaining unit. The employer did not agree to harmonization, and the matter was referred to a mediator who, having met with the parties at the Labour Board on January 20, 2022, was unable to resolve the matter through a voluntary agreement. The parties attended a hearing and submitted their arguments to Vice Chair Stephanie Drake on May 18, 2022.
On June 29, 2022, VC Drake issued a bottom-line decision dismissing MoveUP’s application. We were given the option to request the reasons for the decision, which we promptly did on July 4, 2022.
On February 8, 2023, we received the rationale for the application’s dismissal. In brief, VC Drake found that because the parties are bound by the Call Centres LOU, there isn’t a substantial labour relations purpose for consolidating the two bargaining units. She also concluded that the job functions of MoveUP members in the two certifications are sufficiently different that the separation of work into two distinct units is appropriate, and that the transfer of members between the units based on whether their roles are geared towards technical/administrative or customer service work has been consistent with this separation.
Although we disagree with her decision, our legal counsel has assessed that based on the reasons provided by VC Drake and the precedents that she has found distinguishable in her analysis, an appeal of this ruling likely would not succeed. Therefore, we are taking no further action at this time, but we will reserve the right to appeal should there be a significant change in the relevant facts at some point in the future.