UPEI to pay professors it forced to retire

Ryan Ross
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UPEI professors who were forced to retire at age 65 by the university and subsequently rehired will be paid compensation.

UPEI will have to pay more than $335,000 to three professors who were forced to retire when they turned 65.

Last week the P.E.I. Human Rights Commission ruled in favour of Barry Bartmann, Ronald Collins and Robert O’Rourke for the retirements that date back to 2007 and 2008.

The commission ordered UPEI to pay Bartmann $219,751 for lost income from 2007 to 2010 and $4,800 for lost professional development credits.

UPEI will have to pay Collins $101,474 for lost income from 2008 to 2010 and both will get interest on the lost wages.

The commission also ordered the school to pay into each complainant’s pension funds for the time they were mandatorily retired along with $8,000 in general damages and $1,000 in costs.

It was the second ruling the P.E.I. Human Rights Commission made on the issue of forced retirement at the university after deciding the school had to pay almost $700,000 to three other employees.

UPEI has since stopped its mandatory retirement policy pending a judicial review.

Bartmann, Collins and O’Rourke were all reinstated last year, but only Bartmann still works there with the other two retiring voluntarily in September 2010.

O’Rourke withdrew his claim for lost wages because he was able to find work, including with the P.E.I. government, which offset what he would have made if he was working for UPEI.


Organizations: P.E.I. Human Rights Commission

Geographic location: P.E.I.

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Recent comments

  • Ann
    September 09, 2011 - 12:08

    Human Rights Vs greed and entitlement... Unbelievable abuse of the commission mandate.

  • UPEI Business Grad
    September 09, 2011 - 10:40

    As a former UPEI business student (2000-2006) I am very happy to hear that these profs have won their case. Ron Collins & Bob O'Rourke were 2 of the best profs in the business school. Their knowledge can't be replaced by a new prof that most likely received a lower salary. The students suffer and don't receive the education that they are paying (A LOT OF $$$) for. I had one younger female prof for marketing that was absolutely horrible - a class of 40+ all failed. As for the comments about the fact that they are now retired so they are greedy- 2-3 years of wages is a large sum of $. I'm sure if they could have retired voluntarily when they wanted to, it still would have been in 2010. They worked hard to get where they are ... but I'm sure many of you commenters with rude idiotic remarks have masters degrees & have traveled and worked in my business sceniarios in many countries as well right?? It clearly shows by your shallow minds that you are well educated!

  • Billy the Great
    September 09, 2011 - 09:23

    UPEI may have failed because of manipulative and bullying HR practises involving legal intimidation. Compensation is totally justified because of the way those employees were apparently treated, without human dignity. The court was therefore left with no choice but to assess whether mandatory retirement at UPEI was imposed honestly and in good faith and in the sincerely held belief that such a limitation was imposed in the interests of the adequate performance of the work and reasonably necessary to assure efficient and economical performance. They even failed to hire a good lawyer. UPEI should hire an in-house counsel to deal with these matters. It's is mainly a contractual or a working relation issue. Contracts must be executed and ended in good faith. The right to work is one thing, the guarantee to work is another thing that was also the core principle of communism. The Supreme Court, in the landmark 1990 McKinney v. University of Guelph case, ruled that mandatory retirement at age 65 constituted acceptable discrimination under the Charter section 15. The Court saw mandatory retirement at age 65 as justified because it had become part of the usual organization of labour. In the Court’s view, mandatory retirement allows for different compensation, facilitates recruitment, avoids continuous productivity review and provides both employers and employees with the ability to plan for their financial futures. So what's going to happen when this case goes to the Supreme Court. Could any of us fulfill a UPEI position under 19 years of age? Whatever happens next I am satisfied that those employees were compensated first. It will be impossible for UPEI to recover the funds, and it's only justice considering how those employees have been treated. This is about management failure, once again. Thank god we have good judges on PEI.

  • Observer
    September 09, 2011 - 08:29

    PEI Human Rights Commission has just prostituted it's own purpose. I apologize for the choice of words here, but I am challenged to find more appropriate verb for the situation. Execution of employment contract provision is now a violation of Human Rights???

    • Amaretto
      September 10, 2011 - 08:28

      Dear Observer: You have your facts wrong. As the Human Rights Commission determined, based on extensive testimony, including that of former UPEI President Betsey Epperley, mandatory retirement was unilaterally and illegally imposed by the Administration, not only on UPEI faculty, but on all employees, including workers. Every employee who is appealing the policy was hired prior to the imposition of mandatory retirement. The only reference to mandatory requirement, which appears in the most recent contract, states that both the Administration and the Faculty agree to accept the decision of the Human Rights Commission. Thus, it is the Administration that is violating the contract, by refusing to accept that decision.

  • Terry M of Kingston
    September 09, 2011 - 07:49

    Hey Bill- those "greedy babyboomers" worked their assess off to make it to where they are today. They did not set on their arse and bitch and complain that they are not getting something for free,which they :think: they are entitiled to. Get a job and pay your own way, I worked non stop for over 50 years,paid taxes,health preminiums and employment taxes(and never collected on it) and am dam proud that during that period I served my Country in the army for 34 years,raised 2 children and had to uproot them 10 times to move around the World. Get real,get a job and get a life Bill

    • To Terry M
      September 09, 2011 - 09:43

      You're not the only one that worked all your life that's what people do. Do you want a medal for doing what the majority do?

    • The Furby Crime Gang
      September 09, 2011 - 10:36

      You haven't experianced "entitlement" until some gang of psychotic lunatics rob you blind and take things that are yours while thinking your property is somehow better off in their hands. For something that they had no part in, or were asked or invited to have a part in. Now that is a sense of entitlement for something they didn't do, but got for free while they bitched and moaned about everything else around them, while chaos erupted around them, but now they are too busy covering up their crimes to do their jobs. Good job? Or Something?? ..l.,

    • bill
      September 09, 2011 - 11:51

      So Terry, you think I should "get real,get a job and get a life". Does that mean you think I should give up running my own business, get a nice comfy government job with a guaranteed pension, and let the taxpayer pay for everything?

  • Kaodake
    September 08, 2011 - 23:30

    This ruling was a long time coming but easily predictable. Very unwise of the univerity to continue fighting a lost cause. I imagine UPEI also has racked up an nice big legal bill on top of the compensation they have to pay. They will try to blame the retirees for pursuing their human rights, no doubt.

  • Sheryl
    September 08, 2011 - 22:32

    While I agree they should not have been forced to retire if they were still meeting the requirements of the job (and they should be compensated for this), sadly the cost of such will have to be picked up by the students by hiking tuitions and the university itself will not suffer for this one bit!

    • Jim
      September 09, 2011 - 19:24

      You haven't quite got it right. Administration will sail on, but students and faculty will suffer. Courses or sections will be canceled and both will suffer from larger classes. Budgetary pressure will be put on resources available to both groups. Tuition will probably not be greatly affected, but it will make this years salary negotiations tougher.

  • Quiet Observer
    September 08, 2011 - 21:18

    "Bartmann, Collins and O’Rourke were all reinstated last year, but only Bartmann still works there with the other two retiring voluntarily in September 2010." Two retired voluntarily in 2010 - can you say MONEY GRAB.

  • Cornwall Dude
    September 08, 2011 - 20:46

    If the previous UPEI administration (yes, that means you, Wade) had shown any common sense and not pushed the mandatory retirement issue, the university wouldn't be in this mess. What part of "it's being overturned by every court in the land" didn't they understand?

  • bill
    September 08, 2011 - 20:42

    Another example of greedy babyboomers taking money from younger generations.

    • melvin milktoast
      September 09, 2011 - 06:57

      You hit the nail right on the head there! KUDOS