An arbitral award recently upheld an AUNBT Policy Grievance, as well as two grievances from individual members related to Article 32F–Parental Leave under the Full-Time (Group 1) Collective Agreement.
Article 32F.03 of the Collective Agreement states that the Employer (UNB) will provide a supplementary employment benefit (SEB) which will make up the difference between the Employment Insurance benefits received and 95 percent of the Employee’s salary.
The grievances were filed after amendments to the New Brunswick Employment Standards Act extended the period of a parental leave from the previous 17 weeks to the now longer period of 62 weeks. Amendments to the Employment Insurance Act also extended the time for the payment of benefits up to 61 weeks, although there was no increase in the overall amount of benefits.
The Employer had accepted to grant the extended time for the parental leave but did not agree that the SEB was applicable for the additional, longer period.
The AUNBT and the Employer agreed to submit the grievances to a single arbitrator to expedite a decision. The Parties also agreed that the evidence and arguments would be presented in writing, without the necessity of a hearing and testimony.
In interpreting the language of the Collective Agreement, the arbitrator decided that the SEB has to apply for the entire period of leave and thus granted the remedy sought in the grievances.
If you have questions or require further explanations you can contact Full-Time Grievance Chair Francesca Holyoke (firstname.lastname@example.org), or AUNBT Professional Officer Robert Gagné (email@example.com).