Leave of Absence Victory in Alberta

Charan Kaur's victory is a win for all of us.

Many U of A Bee Clean workers have families overseas. It is important to them to be able to visit for longer than just a two week vacation, knowing that their jobs will be waiting for them when they return.

Your Union Collective Agreement allows employees to request up to twelve (12) weeks of unpaid leave for personal reasons, and, if the leave is approved, to return to your same position, shift, rate of pay etc. However, many people who were requesting leave were being denied or told that they could only go for a shorter period of time, or even prevented from returning to work after coming back from leave.

Your Union has been challenging Bee Clean about this problem over the past year, and, recently, we won an important victory. We supported Charan Kaur, a Bee Clean worker at the St. Jean campus, who was told that she could not return to work after coming back from a leave to attend her sons’ weddings in India.

On August 7th, her case was presented to Arbitrator Brian Foley, who mediated a resolution that included a substantial cash settlement for Charan. More importantly for other Bee Clean workers, the settlement also required that specific protocols would have to be negotiated in order to make sure that workers requesting a Leave of Absence will be treated fairly.

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