B.C. cop denied relocation

No flaw in the process: Employer

Detective Sergeant Mike deLaronde received noticed he was being relocated within British Columbia — but then was denied a relocation not only by his employer but an arbitrator also.

DeLaronde, an officer since 1998, was informed he would have to relocate from Nanaimo to Prince George, Kamloops or Chilliwack in February 2015. He was given the options of relocating, accepting severance, take early retirement if he was eligible or being placed in a job vacancy.

DeLaronde chose placement. But when it came time for him to relocate, no placement was made available, so he filed a grievance alongside his union, the British Columbia Government and Service Employees’ Union (BCGEU).

According to the union, the placement process was flawed. As a result, deLaronde lost $16,000 in income and should be compensated, BCGEU said. The union also said the province failed to give him complete and correct information and mistakenly restricted the search for vacancies to Nanaimo, when it was clear he was willing to relocate within Central and South Vancouver Island.

“DeLaronde is a careful and thoughtful individual who weighted each decision against the impact on him and his family,” the union said, adding that deLaronde was willing to relocate almost anywhere, but had preferences.

“Because he had a long connection with the Nanaimo community and preferred to stay in Nanaimo, rather than accept another position, which he was under pressure to do, he chose to wait and see without ruling out the possibilities,” the union said.

The employer, however, said deLaronde limited his actions and decisions by declining a position outside of Nanaimo when there was no other offer on table. In order for the collective agreement to have been breached, there must have been a flaw in the process — but the province said there was none and in fact there was no suitable position for which he was not considered.
Arbitrator James Dorsey agreed with the province and that the process was not flawed.

“DeLaronde’s juggling wait-and-see approach to get the best offer while he beat the bushes for a vacancy closer to home resulted in him being empty-handed. The union managed to extend the process when this gamble did not pay off,” Dorsey said.

Therefore, the grievance was dismissed.

Reference: Government of British Columbia (Ministry of Environment) and the British Columbia Government and Service Employees’ Union (BCGEU). James Dorsey — arbitrator. Megan Ashbury for the union, Stephanie Vellins for the employer. Feb. 18, 2016.

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