Newfoundland and Labrador arbitrator rules pension grievance can proceed despite late filing, citing “culture of acquiescence”

By: Julius Melnitzer | September 8, 2023

An arbitrator has ruled that a pension grievance filed seven years beyond a collective agreement’s time limit could proceed because of the employer’s “culture of acquiescence” regarding enforcement of the limit.

“The message to employers is that if they get in the habit of letting time limits slide, their lack of adherence can come back to bite them, especially because it can be tricky for an employer to get back on track,” says Landon Young, managing partner at Stringer LLP, who wasn’t involved in the case.

The case involved Ernest Noseworthy, an employee of Newfoundland Power Inc. and a member of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local 1620. The union filed a grievance on behalf of Noseworthy, alleging the company gave him incorrect pension information that compromised his pension benefits.

Noseworthy and his wife separated in 2012. He claimed that, at the time, a human resources professional told him he could split his pension with his ex-wife but rebuild it in full by working longer. However, in 2015, the company informed Noseworthy that 35 years was the maximum pensionable credited service and that the service lost to his ex-wife was included in that maximum.

It wasn’t until seven years later, in February 2022, that the union filed a grievance. MORE . . .

Julius Melnitzer is a Toronto-based legal affairs writer, ghostwriter, writing coach and media trainer. Readers can reach him at [email protected] or


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