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Suspended senior staffer retires, MGEU says

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The province’s largest union announced late Wednesday one of two senior staffers it suspended in September has retired.

Bob Dewar, a one-time chief of staff to former premier Gary Doer, had worked for the Manitoba Government and General Employees Union (MGEU) for 23 years. He had served as the union’s director of operations since 2003.

The MGEU posted a four-sentence statement announcing the retirement on its website.

In a brief telephone interview, union president Michelle Gawronsky refused to say whether Dewar had received a buyout, citing privacy concerns.

Local union activists were surprised and shocked when they heard this fall Dewar and Bruce Buckley had been suspended without pay. The union has never stated its reasons for taking the disciplinary actions, and neither man has spoken to the media.

Buckley also chairs the Manitoba Taxicab Board, which regulates the taxi industry in Winnipeg.

Copies of a grievance Buckley filed over his suspension and a letter of protest he wrote to the union’s board of directors were recently leaked to the Free Press.

In the documents, Buckley wrote he had an unblemished record of employment over 23 years with the union and he was suspended without cause.

His future with the union remains unresolved.

Gawronsky said Wednesday evening the matter with respect to Buckley "remains a human resources issue."

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