Award Number 21-009

Orangeville Police Association
- and -
Orangeville Police Services Board

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Award Date: 2021-11-05
Arbitrator: Kaplan, W
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Municipality: Orangeville
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Region: Central
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Classifications: Disbandment, Severance, Pensions
Grievor: Association
Appearances: N. Jones, for the Association, for the Association
G. Christie, for the Employer, for the Employer
Length of Award:6 pp
Collective Agreements Cit. ----
Statutory Cit. Police Services Act, s. 40

Summary


Disbandment   Arbitrator issuing interest award which included severance entitlements of members transferred to OPP - Implementation issues arose concerning costs associated with transfer of pensions - Board responsible for any shortfall to ensure members had same pensionable earnings - Supplementary award.

Severance   Disbandment of force - Board obligated to pay any shortfall to ensure members employed by OPP had same pensionable earnings - Supplementary award.

Pensions   Disbandment of force - Award required that member receive same pensionable service under OPP plan - Board obligated to pay all pension contribution costs resulting from higher OPP salary received by member post-transfer - Supplementary award.


Facts

In October 2020 the Orangeville Police Service was disbanded. Prior to disbandment the arbitrator was appointed to hear unresolved contract issues between the parties, including the severance entitlements of members who were being transferred to the OPP. In an interest award dated August 10, 2020 [OPAC #20-007] the arbitrator ordered at para. 6 as follows: “The Board will pay all pension contribution costs for members employed by the OPP to ensure that the member has the same pensionable service under the Public Service Pension Plan as under the OMERS pension plan…” Two issues arose concerning the implementation of paragraph 6 of the award. The issues related to the costs associated with the transfer of members’ pensions and the administrative process for transferring funds.

Argument

The board argued that it was responsible for any shortfall amount on transfer based on the wage rate at departure but not for any shortfall in pensionable earnings resulting from the member receiving a higher salary with the OPP. The board contended that members who received shortfall payments should provide written proof that they remitted such payments to the plan. In the association’s view, and consistent with the requirement that the member have the same pensionable service, the board was responsible for any increased shortfall arising on transfer. Regarding the administrative process for transferring funds, the association argued that after the award was issued this matter was resolved by amendments to both civilian and uniform collective agreements.

Award #

The language of the award was clear and categorical. The award required that members receive the same pensionable service under the PSPP as they had under OMERS. Although the board had no control over the higher salary entitlements members had with the OPP and the consequent impact on calculation of pensionable service, nevertheless the resulting shortfall remained a board responsibility because the award provided for no diminution in pensionable service. Regarding the process issue, clearly any member receiving shortfall funding had to provide written proof that shortfall amounts were remitted. As the association pointed out, this requirement had already been memorialized in both collective agreements.

Authorities Cited

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