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Following formal mediation between CUPE 5396 representing employees at the Simon Fraser Student Society (SFSS) and the employer – the SFSS – an important settlement has been reached, which reinstates a fired employee, with full back pay and damages.

The mediation resulted from a grievance pursued by the union when Hattie Aitken, a 26-year SFSS employee and president of CUPE 5396, was terminated in August 2006.

“Hattie Aitken and the union are very pleased with the settlement. It has been a very difficult time for all members of the CUPE 5396. They want to put it behind them and continue to provide services and support to SFU students,” says CUPE National Representative Bob Fifik.

Mediator Mark Brown assisted the parties to reach a settlement. CUPE National Representative Bob Fifik represented CUPE 5396 and legal counsel Walter Rilkoff represented the SFSS.

The terms of the settlement are confidential. However, as part of the settlement the employer has issued the following public statement:

“The Simon Fraser Student Society is pleased to announce that Hattie Aitken has been reinstated with full back pay and damages to her position as Graduate Issues and University Relations Coordinator. On behalf of the Student Society, we apologise for and withdraw any statements made on behalf of the Student Society which suggest or imply that Ms. Aitken is not honest or trustworthy or that she conspired with others against the interests of the Simon Fraser Student Society or its members.”

The employer will also broadly communicate the statement and the fact of the settlement, including placing ads in the campus paper, the Peak.