Union Celebrates Legal Victory Against the University of New Brunswick

May 11, 2017

Union Celebrates Legal Victory Against the University of New Brunswick

HALIFAX, NS – The Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) is celebrating a legal victory following a decision rendered by Justice Paulette C. Garnett on April 7, 2017 in the Court of Queen’s Bench of New Brunswick between the University of New Brunswick and PSAC.

Jeannie Baldwin, Regional Executive Vice-President of PSAC’s Atlantic Region sums up the court battle: “In a nutshell, UNB was using the courts to stall our organizing drive at the University of New Brunswick.  We already represent 900 employees at the University and on June 25, 2015, our union applied for certification for certain positions which are part of the workforce of UNB and UNB objected that certification.  Two years later, Justice Paulette C. Garnett gave a ruling in the union’s favour and we will now pursue this organizing drive.”  Ms. Baldwin added: “I commend the local executive and the members who have been working tirelessly on this organizing drive in order to bring fairness and respect in the workplace for the employees who wish to join our union.”

Justice Paulette C. Garnett also ordered UNB to pay $2,500 towards PSAC’s legal fees.  This is significant and rare and in PSAC’s opinion it demonstrates that their judicial review was basically frivolous, vexatious and used as a stall tactic. 

Furthermore, Justice Garnett reaffirmed the legal right to join a union: “In its analysis, the Board noted a recent trilogy of cases which “confirmed individuals have the freedom to associate by virtue of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms sections 1 and 2(d)”.  It is stated that “the freedom to associate is of paramount importance to this Board…” and that the Act provides the mechanism for exercising that right.”

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Information and interviews:
Sebastien Bezeau, Communications Officer
902-266-8589 | bezeaus@psac-afpc.com