How ConU Stole Christmas

Holidays Were Stolen Say Employees

Concordia University is heading to court to settle a case with support staff who say the administration stole their holidays.

The Concordia University Support Staff Union has filed three grievances regarding unpaid holiday vacations from 2010–2011.

According to the technical sector of the support staff union, the workers are owed paid vacation time from Jan. 4 and Dec. 23, 2010 and Jan. 3, 2011.

To draw attention to the issue, the union released posters featuring the Grinch from Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas! standing in a police lineup, with a caption saying “Concordia, the Grinch who stole our holidays.”

Even though the arbitrator in the case ruled in favour of the union, the university has decided to appeal the arbitration and has filed a judicial review.

“Concordia is acting in bad faith,” says Alex MacPherson, president of the technicians’ union, which represents all 105 technicians at Concordia.

“Rarely does an arbitrator’s decision get overturned, so we don’t really know why they feel the need to do this.”

Because of the university’s request, no action will be taken regarding the CUSSU grievances until a decision is made in a superior court. A hearing date has not yet been scheduled.

The union says that, as per their contract, if a holiday falls on a Saturday or Sunday, then it must be moved to the following or previous day, while the university says the union wrongfully interpreted their collective agreement.

“The university is perfectly within its rights to request the Superior Court to review the arbitrator’s decision, just as the CUSSU would have been fully within its rights to do the same had it lost its grievances,” said Concordia Spokesperson Chris Mota.