A GSU member working for the Western Producer received notice that his position was being eliminated effective the end of July 2017.
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 the GSU collective agreement with the employer. 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 the Western Producer terminated six months later and 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.
On May 26, 2018 the GSU member received notice from the EI Commission that the monies he received for severance pay would be applied against his EI claim from August 6, 2017 to October 13, 2018 and EI benefits he received would be clawed back.
With assistance from GSU staff rep Dale Markling, the member requested that the EI Commission’s decision be reconsidered. On August 1, 2018 he received word from the Commission that his reconsideration had been granted and he would not be required to repay $9,664 in EI benefits.
“This situation and period of uncertainty for the former Western producer employee was caused in large measure by the employer’s actions,” said GSU general secretary Hugh Wagner. “In the end it worked out as a result of the member and GSU working together. The employer was no help whatsoever.”
“When GSU members experience work-related problems, GSU is always ready to help – and we do get results,” said Wagner.