Police Board Launches Judicial Review of Arbitrator Ruling

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The Windsor Police Service Board has launched a judicial review after an arbitrator ruled officers could remain on 12-hour shifts.

A provincial arbitrator rejected administration's attempt to revert to overlapping 10-hour morning and afternoon shifts and eight-hour midnight shifts beginning in the New Year.

Windsor Police Association President Shawn McCurdy was pleased with the arbitrator's decision so officers can maintain a better work life balance on the 12-hour cycle.

"The arbitrator made the decisions based on fact and law and reasonableness, which is what they're requesting the judge to look at ... whether the arbitrator was reasonable," he added.

The 12-hour shift schedule is part of a collective agreement that expired in 2019; McCurdy says that shift balance has officers working the same hours every year, but with more time off in between to provide a well-earned break for their mental health and to be with family.

McCurdy says both sides are expected to honour the existing contract until a new one is agreed upon, but that's not happening.

"You would think that the association's position is that we could satisfy this through bargaining rather than through the judicial system by having a judge review the arbitrator's decision," he added.

He says moving the issue through the courts is going to be costly for both sides and it isn't necessary.

"We're always open and willing to work with the senior management team on the Windsor Police Services Board to tweak the schedule or do things that need to be done to make it successful," says McCurdy.

Windsor Police Service declined an interview request but issued the following written statement:

"The Windsor Police Service Board has made an application for a judicial review of the arbitrator's decision. The 12-hour shift schedule will continue in the New Year. The Service has no further comment on the issue as the board has made an application for judicial review."
 

— with files from AM800's Rob Hindi.