Left out of collective agreement by own union

Retroactivity clause does not apply to employees who left prior to collective agreement’s execution
|Canadian Employment Law Today

Valerie Tremblay was employed as a lawyer with the City of Montreal from 1988 until 1992. When she commenced her employment there was no union representing the lawyers employed with the city. These employees were, however, subject to the city’s employment relationship.

In 1990 the Syndicat des employées et employés professionels-les et de bureau section locale 57 SIEPB, CTC-FTQ (the “union”) was certified to represent the lawyers employed in the penal and criminal affairs unit of the city’s corporate affairs branch where Ms. Tremblay was employed. Collective bargaining began shortly thereafter. By the time a collective agreement was agreed to and signed by the parties Ms. Tremblay had left her employment with the city.

Prior to her departure Ms. Tremblay saw a draft of a collective agreement. This draft, which was approved by the union members at a general meeting , contained a retroactive clause that provided for the agreement to be fully retroactive effective May 1, 1990.