UPDATE: UPEI mandatory retirement case back before Human Rights Commission

Ryan Ross
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University attempting to get settlement amount changed for one professor

Patti Wheatley, left, co-counsel with Murray Murphy, right, attend a Human Rights Commission hearing Wednesday with the university's comptroller, Tara Judson, centre.

A decision to force UPEI employees to retire is back before the P.E.I. Human Rights Commission as the university tries to get the settlement amount changed for one professor.

Thomy Nilsson was one of six employees who were forced to retire, which was a decision the human rights commission later ruled was discriminatory.

The commission ordered UPEI to pay settlements to Nilsson and the others, including for lost income.

A P.E.I. Supreme Court judge sent the issue back to the commission after a judicial review to re-hear the settlement for Nilsson, to see if he could have mitigated some of his financial losses by finding work after he retired.

During Wednesday's hearing before commissioner Lou Ann Thomson, UPEI sought to submit new evidence the university's lawyer Murray Murphy said wasn't available when a human rights panel held a hearing on the original complaint.

Murphy said Justice Ben Taylor, who heard the judicial review, didn't put any limitations on calling new evidence if Thomson chose to.

The issue at hand was whether or not the employees did enough to find work and offset their lost income while their human rights complaint was underway.

Nilsson's lawyer Karen Campbell said the university asked Nilsson to stay on after his retirement while the school looked for someone to replace him.

That was evidence that he mitigated some of the lost income, she said.

UPEI argued all of the complainants were in similar situations and their settlements should be considered when determining how much Nilsson should get in compensation.

Campbell disagreed and said the settlements for the other employees were personal decisions.

"It has absolutely no relevance whatsoever," she said.

Campbell also argued Taylor didn't say UPEI would be able to submit new evidence.

After hearing arguments from all sides Thomson adjourned for the day and the proceedings are set to resume Friday morning.




Organizations: Human Rights Commission

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Recent comments

  • Bill Kays
    Bill Kays
    May 16, 2013 - 16:21

    DON - Mandatory retirement and death panels should be against the law. Why should the state be allowed to mandate retirement or refuse life lengthening or saving procedures? I have looked at your arguments Don and they do not hold water. The students were ill advised in their career choices if they chose a career in which they knew ahead of time that it would be hard to get employment. Did the universities tell the students how difficult it was going to be to get jobs? Is it easier to graduate with a teaching degree than other degrees? Our aging population should all stay in their jobs as long as possible because it promotes long life, gives them a sense of worth, and is generally good for community health. Government sees the aging population as a giant liability and expense so they would like to see the old die before we need expensive healthcare and draw multi year Canada pensions. The creation of enormous economic stresses in the elderly's lives lately will surely lead to some of their demise. I wonder if gov's economic stressors are being done deliberately to the elderly to achieve their desired effect of premature elderly deaths. It sure doesn't help. As for the entitled feeling younger generation, they must and should wait their turn as everyone else does. NO ONE SHOULD FEEL ENTITLED IN THIS TIME OF CUTS, especially the younger generation. All these issues do is split us into groups that make it easier for gov to control.

  • Breaking the law in place and discrimination
    May 15, 2013 - 21:07

    The issue is discrimination based on a law in place; not who should be made retire or not retire. For those who are arguing that people need to retire so younger people get the jobs; then why not fire a full time person who has worked for 10 years to give another person a chance to work 10 years. What about all the teachers on the Island and how unfair it is to try to get one of those connected jobs. After a teacher works 5 years then give the job to one of many unemployed teachers for 5 years. Teachers are tripping over each other, and in addition, there are teachers who have had to take other minimum wage jobs in service industry. The entire law case is on breaking the law and discrimination. Mandatory retirement is illegal. If you do that, like UPEI has, then it breaks the laws and it is discrimination. So, with some people, it is ok for UPEI to break the law, discriminate, depending upon whether or not you agree or disagree with the LAW that is presently in place.

  • donald mac phee
    May 15, 2013 - 16:32

    i cannot really understand why any one would not agree with some one who wants to continue working once they reach retirement age .i myself am retired and believe me if i knew what i know now about retirement i also would have chosen to work till my dying day ..the retirement pensions like canada pension old age pension is not enough to pay bills pluse food or car repairs so unless you have a business you can sell or money put away in a savings account or what ever .my advice to any one who is retiring do not do it .if you still have your health keep working

  • is that the hatchet
    May 15, 2013 - 15:32

    Who is representing who????

  • don
    May 15, 2013 - 15:24

    CONCERNEDISLANDER. the rip off is the jobs they are taking from younger teachers because they want all the pensions they can get. to me they are crooks and i would not want them teaching my child.

  • Tax Dollars
    May 15, 2013 - 13:25

    get a load of this BS. A useless tool recently retired from Gov't (federal) got to 70% of her salary, stayed on in her seat for another 4 years or so. Doing little or nothing but causing trouble trouble and protected by a useless lazy union. And then the tax payer payed her half a years salary because its job was considered redundant. And that my fellow Canadians is how our tax dollars are spent.......

  • slick rick
    May 15, 2013 - 12:12

    Oh my goodness! Worst possible time ever to be looking for money from UPEI! Thomy better not get his hopes up of ever seeing a dime. Because there is not a dime.

  • concernedislander
    May 15, 2013 - 11:56

    I for one can not understand why anyone would pay into ah pension and when it comes time to retire to want to fight tooth and nail too keep your job,how do these people figure the younger generation are ever too get ah start in life with this kind off behavor,never mind the bs story for love or passion off the job other then greed that drives this kind off behavor take the pension lower your standards off living and allow the younger generation ah early chance in life why else do they spend countless time and money too be trained ah future only too have other peoples greed hold them back ,make retirment age manditory or loose the pension end off story way too many times peoples tax dollars gotta clean these senseless messes up

  • don
    May 15, 2013 - 11:53

    then they wonder why upei is in the hole. and why not retire let te young students you tough and are now teachers can not find a job. and if i could you would NOT get your old age pension as long as your are working.