Arbitrator rules in MCFA grievance

June 2, 1997 - 5:00pm

Government-appointed arbitrator Catherine Bruce has dismissed the grievance filed by the Malaspina College Faculty Association (MCFA) of Malaspina University-College.

In 1995, the MCFA filed the grievance on behalf of an instructor employed on a temporary contract who was unsuccessful in a competition for a full-time, regular teaching position. The MCFA alleged discrimination based on gender and union activities.

There were 120 applications received for the competition.

"We're pleased that the situation has now been resolved," said Vic Cowley, vice- chairman of the Malaspina University-College Board.

"I acknowledge that it has been a difficult time for all concerned, and we're glad that the case has finally been resolved."

Cowley said that this has been an important case for both parties because of the principles involved and the implications for hiring practices for academic faculty.

"Our hiring process has always been based on instructional departments having the prerogative to hire the best-qualified candidates. When a regular teaching position becomes vacant, it's common procedure to advertise the position externally, as well as internally, to attract a wide pool of qualified applicants," Cowley said.

"As specified in the contract, hiring committees consist of faculty members from within the department, a faculty member from outside the department, as well as the dean."

Initially, the grievance was dealt with internally. The remedy sought by the union to resolve this grievance was to appoint the grievor to a regular, full-time position. When the issue could not be resolved, the union applied to the B.C. Labour Relations Board for arbitration.

Arbitration hearings started January 1996.

The arbitration process involved 31 days of hearings, and a total of 16 witnesses were called to testify.

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