Our Toronto office is advising York University in respect of a union grievance brought on behalf of a contract faculty member. Canadian Union of Public Employees, Local 3903, on behalf of the contract faculty member, alleged that the employee ought to have been selected to teach certain religious studies courses because she was the most senior qualified applicant to teach the course. The university disagreed, on the basis that the employee’s connection with religious studies was tenuous at best, based on some writing in connection with sociological aspects or religious community rather than a focus on religion itself. The significance of the case centres around the university’s right to determine qualifications. In addition, in a preliminary ruling, the arbitrator rejected a broad document production request from the union, accepting the university’s argument that there can be no such broad production obligation in the absence of a nexus to the facts and issues advance by the union in the hearing. The matter continues to be arbitrated.
The team is being led by Richard Charney.