AESES-UM Temporary Layoff and Recall Grievances
September 15, 2021
Following nearly sixteen (16) months of working through the grievance process, AESES is pleased to announce the resolution of our 2020 layoff and recall grievances. The final settlement totals approximately $1.5 million dollars and forms the largest grievance settlement in AESES’ history. Also included in this resolution was the restoration of pension, seniority, vacation and benefits premiums recovery.
These grievances challenged the University of Manitoba’s actions in issuing temporary layoffs to over two hundred (200) AESES members at the outset of the pandemic. AESES argued that the University’s approach was contrary to the provisions of the Collective Agreement. This lengthy process included seven (7) full days of mediation with Arbitrator Arne Peltz and included several hundred hours of meetings, phone calls, and thorough examination of the many document exchanges with the University.
Beginning in April 2021, discussions with the University moved forward more positively. From there, a concerted effort was made by both parties to focus on a fair settlement rather than to pursue the formal grievance process, which likely would have required another twelve (12) months or longer to reach a resolution. The growing financial burden on many of our members—including a large number that were still laid off—meant that pursuing a quicker resolution would be more advantageous than going through a protracted grievance process with no certainty in the outcome.
In total, one hundred and ninety-five (195) temporarily laid off AESES members are receiving a financial remedy from the settlement. Twelve (12) additional laid off members were left outside the settlement due to their Sessional employee category, which permitted annual temporary layoffs in accordance with the Collective Agreement. Although not all laid off members could be included or expected to receive the same level of remedy, we believe that more AESES members were captured in this settlement rather than if we had followed through to arbitration.
AESES has worked long and hard to support our members during this process. As of the time of this communication, nearly all members have either been returned to their positions or have been given access to their formal position discontinuance rights as outlined in Article 10 of the Collective Agreement.
Finally, AESES would like to thank the patience of the many impacted members who were in contact with us throughout this difficult process and were only provided limited details due to the confidential nature of the resolution process. We know this was frustrating, but we trust that the outcome has provided some relief from this challenging situation.