Labour board ruling reveals internal dispute at SFL
Saskatchewan's Labour Relations Board has dismissed the case of a worker who claimed her union did not represent her fairly in a complaint she wanted to pursue against her boss, a high-profile labour leader in the province.
Cara Banks, an executive assistant to Larry Hubich, the president of the Saskatchewan Federation of Labour, went to the board after her union refused to file a grievance on her behalf. Banks was alleging harassment by her employer, a claim which Hubich has denied.
In a lengthy decision, the Labour Relations Board said the issue it had to consider was whether or not Banks' union, CUPE, dealt with her proposed grievance properly.
The board said there was evidence to show that her union gave due consideration to her complaint and did not act unfairly in choosing to not file a grievance.
The board's decision also reveals that there was considerable discord within the SFL's office. According to the decision, Banks was having so much difficulty with the SFL's lawyer that she was ready to "throw herself off a cliff".
The board also heard evidence suggesting there had been a falling out between Hubich and SFL's lawyer. The board's decision says Banks believed that falling out was a source of frustration for Hubich and was the genesis for actions she believed amount to harassment.
The board, however, did not examine in detail the allegation of harassment because it was limiting its decision to a review of the actions of her union.
The board noted that Banks' harassment claim had also been taken to the Workers' Compensation Board and was also being pursued under the Saskatchewan Occupational Health and Safety Act.
Hubich has been president of the SFL since 2002.
According to the decision, Banks has taken some time off work but remains an employee of the SFL.