For nearly 2 years, a worker classified as Maintenance Generalist was assigned nothing but painting jobs. So, the union contended he should be paid at the higher Painter classification rate. Employers aren’t allowed to use duty assignment shell games to evade the collective agreement’s classification rates. Mere overlap in duties isn’t enough to prove that a worker is entitled to pay at the higher classification. The union must also show that the assigned work goes beyond the worker’s current classification and relates to the “distinctive character” or “central core” of the higher classification justifying its higher pay rate. The employer claimed the union didn’t meet the “central core” test because the worker never completed apprenticeship and specialized training in painting. But the arbitrator didn’t buy it, noting that none of the other workers the employer had classified as Painters in the past 10 years had such training either [CUPE, Local 1623 v Health Sciences North, 2018 CanLII 82723 (ON LA), Sept. 7, 2018].