“Meaningful on call duties” mean position has safety-sensitive status

In a March 30th decision, Arbitrator Michel Picher said, “An employee who is trained and remains meaningfully on call to perform safety sensitive functions must be recognized as having safety sensitive status, regardless of the frequency of the functions.” In applying this principle, he held that qualified Diesel Mechanics at a rail yard were in a safety sensitive position even though they only were required to operate locomotives on a very occasional basis – some as little as a few times a year. Arbitrator Picher’s finding means that the mechanics are subject to special medical assessment and drug and alcohol testing requirements.

Canadian Pacific Railway Company and CAW-Canada, Local 101 (30 March 2012, M. Picher).

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