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NL nurses leave, award denied.

The Newfoundland and Labrador courts overruled a decision by an arbitration board to apply a new maternity leave provision to a group of nurses who were already on leave. At the time, a new and more favourable leave arrangement was made in a new contract.

In July 2002, a new contract between the Health Associations Board and the Newfoundland and Laborador Nurses increased the maternity leave from 33 weeks to 52 weeks. The union insisted that nurses who were on leave under the the former contract be allowed the 52-week leave. An arbitration board agreed with the union and ordered the nurses in question be allowed the extra weeks of leave.

The Supreme Court held the arbitration decision invalid and turned down the union's request. The province's appeal court upheld the lower court's ruling. They said, "if the parties had intended to confer any additional benefits to employees on maternity leave in the new Collective Agreement, their intent should have been clearly stated. Without explicit language, the Board had no jurisdiction to extend such a benefit."
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Title Annotation:HEALTH
Publication:Community Action
Date:Sep 25, 2006
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