The University of Manitoba Faculty Association has filed a grievance in the ongoing saga with Dr. Gabor Lukacs - the professor who is challenging the university's decision to waive the usual requirements and award a PHD to a student with extreme exam anxiety. The faculty association alleges that the University of Manitoba treated Lukacs "unreasonably, unfairly and in a manner contrary to the Collective Agreement" and is asking for the following remedies: that the suspension be rescinded and retroactive back pay for the period of suspension. From the perspective of the faculty association it would be unusual to not file a grievance when a suspension is imposed as discipline, a three month suspension without pay is among the harshest measures available to the university short of dismissal for a unionized employee under the collective agreement.
The faculty association may have filed a grievance due to Section 20 of Manitoba's Labour Relations Act which speaks to the duty of fair representation, given that there are a lot of divergent issues wrapped up in this case a possibility exists that an Arbitrator could vary the discipline. The discipline imposed by the university will most likely be found to be reasonable by an Arbitrator given the numerous allegations against Lukacs relating to privacy, harassment, and disclosure of confidential information to an outside corporation; however, there are some novel legal issues relating to privilege, the limits of executive power, and privacy that might make for a fertile base for various lines of argumentation in support of Lukacs.
This case is an outlier, the facts are highly unusual, and it's uncommon to have simultaneous cases (a grievance and judicial review) occurring in the same matter, this matter spans labour, privacy, human rights, and administrative law. The next date in this saga is November 30, 2010 when arguments about the injunction Lukacs filed will be heard in the Court of Queen's Bench of Manitoba. Until then you can read my previous coverage: here and here.