On December 4, 2009, GSB Vice-Chair Abramsky issued a further decision regarding the ongoing issues involving the production of transcripts by Court Reporters.
In July, 2009, the employer announced a scheme to further contract in the transcription portion of the Court Reporter’s duties. This was the very issue that took us to the Grievance Settlement Board in 2006. Your Union went back to Vice-Chair Abramsky to ask her to stop the employer from ignoring her previous decision. The Union was successful in prohibiting the employer from proceeding with their plan at that time.
The issue of remedy remains and the question about retrospective and prospective remedy remains. That is, pay and benefits that are owed on work already performed and a plan which included transcription work being done by OPSEU Court Reporters in the workplace. On December 4, 2009, Vice Chair Abramsky issued her decision. In that decision she says that the GSB does not have the jurisdiction to prospectively rule on what the employer might do. In other words, she can’t decide on something that has yet to happen. Since the employer, up to that point, had merely announced their plan, but not implemented it, the Board could not provide any orders. The decision also pointed out that the status of the transcription work had already been clarified in the 2006 award It said that transcription work is the work of bargaining unit court reporters. The GSB told us that if the employer were to implement its plan, the Union would have to grieve that implementation at that time. Any new plan by the employer that has anyone other than bargaining unit court reporters completing transcript work would raise new facts and new issues than those canvassed in the 2006 Hunt award and therefore require new grievances. OPSEU is prepared to take forward any violation of the 2006 award issued by Vice-Chair Abramsky.
A meeting is scheduled on March 9, 2010 at the GSB to work on the remedies that remain outstanding. We will keep you posted as new developments arise.