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UWOFA Wins Parental Benefits Grievance

August 16th, 2023


UWOFA is pleased to report our recent success in a policy grievance we filed regarding parental leave entitlements. 

Since 2002, a clause in the Faculty Collective Agreement (Article 4.2 in the 2018-2022 CA) has prevented co-parents who both work at Western from being able to each access the full 26 weeks of parental leave afforded to other Members. UWOFA asserts that this provision discriminates on the basis of family status while the Employer’s position has been that this provision creates a lawful distinction that is based solely on employment status.

Following a hearing conducted on May 4th, arbitrator Paula Knopf concluded that Article 4.2 has a discriminatory effect on the basis of family status. It thus violates the Human Rights Code and is therefore unenforceable. 

While this grievance referred specifically to the Faculty CA, this same clause has also been part of the Librarian and Archivist CA (Article 4.2 in the 2019-2023 CA). Following UWOFA’s success in the grievance, the Employer agreed to remove the discriminatory provision  as part of our ongoing contract negotiations.

If you have additional questions about this or other matters please contact UWOFA’s Member Services Officer, at Helpful information is always available on the UWOFA website under the Know Your Rights tab and the Collective Agreements tab.