BUAD 279 Industrial Relations McQuarrie 4th edition Chapter 11 Case Study The Case of Amanda Abyouzer and the Care Facility Workers’ Union Amanda is a licensed practical nurse who had worked for over ten years at the Silent Pines Care Facility (the “Home”) for mentally challenged seniors. She is also a member of the Care Facility Workers’ Union (the “Union”). The Union is the certified bargaining agent for all the care workers working at the Home. During her years at the Home, Amanda had never been the recipient of any discipline. On February 15, Amanda was the nurse in charge of the night shift. During one of her regular inspections of her ward that night she examined a resident who was asleep in her bed. The resident had advanced dementia, and was completely unaware of her surroundings. Amanda noticed that someone had braided some long hairs growing out of a mole on the resident’s back. The rules for the Home required Amanda to report an event such as this, but while planning to do so, Amanda tied a green ribbon to the braid as “a little fun” to amuse the care aide who she thought would be examining the resident later. Amanda forgot to report the event and did not remove the braid and ribbon, which were discovered on the next shift by another employee, who immediately reported the irregularity to a superior. Amanda was later suspended pending an investigation. On February 20, management phoned Amanda to discuss the incident. Amanda admitted that she had tied the ribbon, and she took responsibility for not reporting the event as required. She also apologized for her conduct. She did say, by way of mitigation, however, that the resident had been unaware of what had happened, and no physical harm had occurred. On February 21, management informed Amanda that her employment had been terminated, due to “patient abuse.” On February 23, Amanda filed a grievance challenging her dismissal. On March 8 the Union and management met to discuss the grievance. On March 13, the Union informed Amanda that the Home had offered a proposal to settle the grievance. The College of Nurses, the professional accreditation body that determined whether nurses like Amanda would continue to hold a licence to work in the 2 province, had not yet been notified about the incident that had led to Amanda’s dismissal. The Union told Amanda that the Home was prepared to refrain from notifying the College if Amanda were prepared to resign from her position of employment. Moreover, if Amanda were to resign, the care aide who had braided the hairs, who had also been terminated, would get her job back. The Union also told Amanda that if the case went to arbitration, the Home might be sued by the resident’s family, and the College would automatically be notified. On March 14, Amanda received a letter from the College notifying her that it had received a complaint from the Home about the incident. The letter was dated March 8. Amanda then contacted the Union and stated that the Home was bargaining in bad faith. She also said that she wanted to take her case to arbitration. On March 21, “Dub” Donothing, a Union representative, wrote Amanda to say that the Union was withdrawing her grievance. The letter said, in part, that after conducting “a thorough investigation” and “reviewing all the circumstances” he did not believe that the Union would be able to successfully argue Amanda’s case before an arbitrator. On April 10, Amanda filed a written appeal of this decision with the president of her Union, as the Union’s constitution entitled her to do. The Union did not respond. In September of the same year, the College of Nurses conducted its review of Amanda’s conduct. On October 15 it wrote a non-disciplinary caution letter to Amanda. Amanda sent a copy of this letter to Donothing on November 23 and requested that, in view of this decision, the Union should try to “get her job back.” Donothing did write a letter to the Home, asking it to reconsider its decision to terminate Amanda. The Home refused. Donothing advised Amanda that the Union had no other options. The following February, a year after the original incident, Amanda filed a complaint with the BC Labour Relations Board, claiming that the Union had failed in its duty to fairly represent her. The Union’s Position The Union argues that Amanda waited too long to file her complaint, and so it should be dismissed for delay. 3 The Union argues that abuse of residents at a care facility is a highly sensitive issue, and that its relationship with the Home would have been seriously damaged if Amanda’s case proceeded to arbitration. The Union also argues that Amanda’s response to the charges against her was unacceptable because, as part of her response, she relied on the fact that the resident was unaware of what happened. The Complainant’s Position Amanda states that her delay in filing her complaint was partially due to the actions of the Union, including its failure to respond to her appeal of the decision not to proceed to arbitration. She also alleges that the Union rejected pursuing her grievance in favour of assisting the care aide who had braided the hairs. Amanda says that the care aide’s conduct was worse than hers. Amanda says this shows she was the victim of discrimination. Assume you are the Labour Relations Board deciding this matter. Write a decision disposing of the application, following the instructions provided to you in Moodle