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Court approves Laurentian request for extension on severance deal for former employees

Matter was supposed to come before the courts July 30, but Laurentian asked that it be pushed back by several weeks to Aug. 20

The court has approved a motion from Laurentian University asking the courts for a deadline extension as the school continues to negotiate with unions representing laid-off workers regarding the methodology for calculating pay-outs for the former employees.

The motion filed by the lawyers for Laurentian University was approved July 28, extending the July 30 deadline to Aug. 20 as LU negotiates with unions representing laid-off workers regarding the methodology for calculating pay-outs for the former employees.

After declaring insolvency this past winter and filing for creditor protection under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act (CCAA), Laurentian made massive cuts to its programs and employees this spring as part of its court-supervised restructuring.

The 194 full-time workers laid off by Laurentian in April include 116 full-time faculty positions (members of the Laurentian University Faculty Association, or LUFA), 41 unionized staff (members of the Laurentian University Staff Union, or LUSU) and 37 non-union jobs (24 of which were in management and executive positions).

The former Laurentian employees seeking their severance pay will undergo a separate process than the rest of Laurentian’s creditors, who have been asked to submit claims against the university by July 30. 

A court order issued at the end of May as part of the CCAA proceedings says Laurentian’s lawyers are to bring a motion back to the court regarding how employees will be dealt with no later than July 30. A notice of motion with the courts dated July 27 grants an extension to this July 30 deadline, which is now August 20. 

Court documents say Laurentian and Ernst & Young, the firm engaged as the court-appointed monitor of Laurentian’s restructuring efforts, have been “diligently working to develop and establish the compensation claims methodology and a process for the determination of compensation claims.”

The court document goes on to say that although the consultation process between Laurentian and the involved unions is underway and considerable progress has been made, Laurentian and Ernst & Young “require more time to receive feedback and attempt to resolve any issues.”

“It is LU’s hope that the consultation process could result in the Compensation Claims Methodology being brought to Court on the basis of an agreed methodology and process for determination of the Compensation Claims, and that is the goal that the Applicant and the Monitor are working towards,” said an affidavit filed by Laurentian president Robert Haché as part of the motion.

The court documents also say that Laurentian has scheduled time for a court motion to deal with the matter for 9:30 a.m. Aug. 17.


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