Too often individuals are intimidated into not lodging a grievance when their rights have been violated. The Grievance Committee is here to help you, but we require your assistance in return and your willingness to grieve where it is the prudent thing to do.
If you have concerns that you feel should be elevated to the Grievance Committee, your first contact should be your Area Rep or Alternate. Your Area Rep will discuss the problem with you and then contact your Regional Director.
There are sometimes opportunities outside of the grievance procedure to resolve a situation, even at the local office level, but there are also times when nothing but a grievance will cause the employer to adhere to the provisions of the Collective Agreement or right a wrong.
It is important to remember that it is only the Local (namely the Grievance Committee) that files a grievance, not individual members. The Grievance Committee will evaluate the situation and carefully draft the grievance to obtain the best resolution available. A grievance citing the wrong article or that limits its resolve runs the risk of not being win-able.
The grievance procedure is laid out under Article 12 of the Collective Agreement. Time is of the essence! If an event has occurred that you feel requires a grievance, your Grievance Committee has only 14 working days from the date of that event to lodge a grievance. This period allows heads to cool and the discussions to occur between the member, the Area Rep, the Grievance Committee and management. However, if you’ve waited until 13 days later to contact someone, we run the risk of being ‘out of time’ and the situation not being grieve-able.
When a grievance is lodged at Step I, the Area Rep and local management have three working days to explore the issue. The Rep should only collect information from management at this stage and must not seek resolution without prior discussion with the Regional Director and Grievance Committee.
If there is no resolution at Step I, then the Grievance Committee has the option of elevating the grievance to Step II. A further 10 days is available for the Union Regional Director to explore the issue at this Step with the appropriate Employer’s Executive Director or Department Head, usually with a representative of the Grievance Committee.
If still unresolved, then the Grievance Committee has the option of elevating the grievance to Step III. A period of 10 working days is available for the Chief Grievance Office and the Assessment Commissioner to try to arrive at a resolution. If this resolution is not forthcoming and Step III expires, the Union has 14 days within which to refer the grievance to a board of arbitration.
Each of these steps may be extended by mutual decision and is done to allow time for further consultation, research and discussion with the employer.
Policy grievances start at Step II and are lodged by the Grievance Committee in cases where an issue involves a question of general application or interpretation.
Section 14.03 of the Collective Agreement states:
“At the request of an employee, records of verbal or written reprimands shall be removed from the employee's file after 24 months of the date of reprimand provided the employee has been actively employed for the majority of the two year period and provided no other discipline has occurred over the 24 months.”
Members should avail themselves of this provision, if applicable.
Chair: Kevin McPhail, Chief Grievance Officer: Jared Melvin, members: Becky Olson, Tina Dhami, Paul Mrazek