A GSU member received notice that his position was being eliminated effective Dec. 30, 2015.
The union member elected to go on layoff subject to recall and to defer his employment termination date for six months, as provided for in Article 24 - Position Elimination of the GSU collective agreement with CPS. The member applied for and received EI benefits as well the supplemental employment benefit top up provided in the GSU collective agreement.
The union member's employment with CPS terminated on June 30, 2016, and on that date he became eligible to receive severance pay under the terms of GSU's collective agreement. Severance pay was subsequently calculated and paid to the member by CPS and a record of employment was issued to reflect that fact.
On Sept. 28, 2016, the GSU member received notice from the EI Commission that the monies he received for banked overtime, vacation pay, and severance pay would be allocated to his EI claim back to Jan. 2, 2016 and the EI benefits he received (totaling $14,499) would be
The member requested that the EI Commission's decision be reconsidered, but on Dec. 23, 2016, his request was denied.
On January 26, 2017 the member appealed the EI decision to the Social Security Tribunal of Canada (General Division) which heard and denied his appeal on Sept. 6, 2017. On Oct. 13, 2017 an application for leave to appeal this decision was filed on behalf of the member by GSU and on Feb. 7, 2018 leave to appeal was granted by the Appeal Division of the Social Security Tribunal of Canada.
As a result of the significance of this case for the member involved and every GSU member whose job is eliminated under collective agreement terms the same or similar to the agreement with CPS, GSU retained lawyer Ronni Nordal to represent the member in the appeal process.
After some procedural hiccups on the part of the Appeal division of the Social Security Tribunal, the members' appeal of the decision to claw back the EI benefits he received was finally heard on June 12, 2018. And, great news arrived six days later when the appeal was granted, effectively putting $14,499 back in the pocket of the GSU member.
"While this process took a long time, the ultimate win is huge for the GSU member and members generally," said GSU general secretary Hugh Wagner. "Collective agreement rights covering position elimination, EI top up benefits (SEB), and severance pay were first bargained by GSU in 1986. These particular rights are unique to GSU's collective agreements with Heartland Livestock, Crop Production Services (Canada), Richardson Pioneer, Viterra and Western Producer."
Whatever the circumstances, when members encounter an EI snag or other problems in the workplace, GSU is always there to help.