UPFH partner Katie Rowen is an insightful strategic advisor and tireless advocate for trade unions, associations and their members.
Katie practices labour law exclusively on behalf of trade unions and associations, with a particular emphasis on the policing, education and transit sectors.
Katie advocates on behalf of her clients before boards of arbitration, the Ontario Labour Relations Board, human rights tribunals, inquests, professional disciplinary bodies and in the courts. In addition, Katie provides comprehensive and strategic advice to clients on a range of matters, including collective bargaining, benefits, governance and complex workplace harassment and discrimination matters.
Katie’s focus on providing trusted and informed strategic advice—and on building long-term relationships with her clients—means that she is often able to negotiate advantageous resolutions to complex matters. However, when resolution is not possible, Katie is a vigorous, prepared and focussed litigator with an excellent record of results.
Katie frequently provides training, including hands-on skill-building workshops, to union and association leadership, as well as professional development to lawyers.
Katie joined the firm in 2007 after articling at another Toronto union-side labour firm, and is currently the Co-Chair of the firm’s Human Resources Committee, with a special focus on equity, diversity and inclusion initiatives.
Katie is a member of the Ontario Bar Association and the Canadian Association of Labour Lawyers. She holds a JD, as well as a Certificate in Pension Law, from Osgoode Hall Law School.
Decisions of Interest
- Katie served as counsel to an intervenor on an interim decision of the Human Rights Tribunal Ontario upholding Ontario’s concurrent jurisdiction model, post-Horrocks.
- Representing the police association, Katie achieved a successful grievance arbitration in a complex workplace-harassment termination case in which the member was reinstated with full compensation.
- Representing the union, Katie gained a grievance arbitration award successfully establishing the directory nature of collective agreement time limits and quashing the employer’s motion to dismiss.
- Katie successfully represented the police association in a case before the Ontario Police Arbitration Commission that articulated the scope of a police association’s statutory duty of fair representation to its members.
- Representing the federation, Katie gained a grievance arbitration award successfully establishing the retroactivity of salary provisions under a first collective agreement.
- Katie acted as counsel to a co-applicant on a successful Charter challenge to Bill 115 “Putting Students First Act.”
- Katie acted as co-counsel to a party at the coroner’s inquest into the deaths of seven First Nations youths in Thunder Bay.