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Labour and Employment Board asks UNB to reinstate women s varsity hockey team revisit Gender Equity Policy

Author: Communications

Posted on Mar 2, 2016

Category: UNB Saint John , UNB Fredericton

The New Brunswick Labour and Employment Board has issued a decision compelling UNB to reinstate a varsity women’s hockey team and to revisit the UNB Gender Equity Policy.

This decision is the result of a lengthy legal process that first began in 2009. One year prior to that, on March 12, 2008, UNB announced that six of the then 14 varsity sports teams on the Fredericton campus would be reclassified as club teams, including women’s hockey.

On March 2009, a complaint was filed under the New Brunswick Human Rights Act alleging the treatment of the women’s hockey team in comparison with the men’s hockey team and the reclassification of the women’s hockey program as a club sport amounted to discrimination on the basis of sex.

The hearing at the New Brunswick Labour and Employment Board began on Feb. 3, 2014, with final arguments heard on Sept. 9, 2015. Arbitrator Robert Breen issued his decision on March 2, 2016.

The decision finds that UNB must immediately commence working towards reinstatement of a varsity women’s hockey team, with CIS / AUS eligibility for the 2017-2018 hockey season. The decision also orders that UNB be given the period of one year to revisit its Gender Equity Policy to ensure its provisions protect gender equity. Finally, UNB is ordered to pay $5,000 in general damages to Ms. Bryson.

The University respects the decision of the Labour and Employment Board and continues to evaluate its options while cooperating fully with the process. Updates on the implications of this decision will be provided as soon as they become available.

Media contact: Sonya Gilks