The Public Service Labour Relations and Employment Board (PSLREB) ruled last week that Robert Grundie, a federal government health and safety officer, was unjustly reprimanded for doing his job and enforcing the provisions of the Canada Labour Code.
15 years ago, Grundie was a PSAC member assigned to investigate a health and safety complaint by Parks Canada wardens. He found they were being put in danger by having to perform duties without adequate protective equipment.
PSAC National President Robyn Benson said the PSLRB ruling is a welcome confirmation that federal health and safety officers must be allowed to enforce health and safety law without fear of discipline as a result of their findings.
"I commend Robert Grundie for the integrity and courage he has shown throughout this ordeal,” said Benson. "Public service workplaces will be safer as a result of his actions and this decision will serve as a warning to anyone who tries to stand in the way of health and safety enforcement."
- In their ruling, PSLRB member Deborah Howes wrote: "The evidence demonstrated beyond a doubt the antagonism that Parks showed towards Mr. Grundie. Parks' status as a federal agency enabled it to access the HRSDC's highest officials and pursue its concerns."
- Howes denounced HRSDC's decision to enter into a joint investigation with Parks to investigate Mr. Grundie. She noted that HRSDC spent "untold amount of resources" to prove misconduct to no avail. "I infer that it did so in part because of Park's involvement, which wanted retribution against Mr. Grundie for finding that park wardens were in an unsafe situation and for forcing Parks to address that safety concern."
“This a huge victory and I am so thankful for PSAC’s support during this long drawn out process. This decision is an affirmation that those investigating need to be given the autonomy and independence to carry out their work,” concluded Grundie.