What is a grievance?
A grievance is a violation of your Collective Agreement, Human Rights violation, Occupational Health and Safety Act violation or Labour Relations Act violation. A grievance is a mechanism that is unique to labour law. It is built into a collective agreement. It is the way that one party to a collective agreement enforces its rights under the agreement, if the other party doesn’t do what it is supposed to do. A grievance is defined as a violation of the collective agreement. We get complaints on every aspect of working conditions in the workplace.
When should I contact the Union?
If you feel that there has been a dispute or difference of opinion or interpretation between yourself and the Employer you should contact the appropriate steward for your job classification. If the Steward is not able to provide the information and support your issue will be taken to the Chief Steward. From there the Chief Steward will contact the appropriate people to try to rectify the issue. Hopefully it can be resolved without filing a grievance. If not, a formal grievance will be filed. The VP &or President will be notified about the situation and may take an active role in the grievance procedure.
Who “owns” a Grievance?
A grievance is defined as a violation of the collective agreement. For this reason, the Union “owns” the grievance, not the individual or group the grievance is filed on behalf of.
Are all grievance the same?
There are several types of grievances: individual, policy/union, and group.
There are 4 types of Grievances:
- Employer or Company
An individual grievance is a complaint that an action by the employer has violated the rights of an individual as set out in the Collective Agreement, law or some unfair practice. Examples of this type of grievance include: discipline, demotion, classification disputes, denial of benefits, etc.
A policy/union grievance is a complaint by the Union that an action or failure or refusal to act by the employer is a violation of the Collective Agreement that could affect all members who are covered by the Collective Agreement.
A group grievance is a complaint by a group of individuals, for example, a department that has been affected the same way and same time by an action taken by the employer.
If you have any questions or if you aren’t sure if your rights have been violated the best thing to do is reach out to your steward.
How do I file a grievance?
Grievance procedure as outlined in our collective agreement
Step One- Complaint Stage
It is understood that an employee has no grievance until the complaint has first been discussed with the immediate supervisor. An employee having a complaint will discuss the matter with the employee’s immediate supervisor within seven (7) working days of the time the employee was made aware of an alleged infraction or omission. The employee will be accompanied by a steward if the employee so desires. The employee’s immediate supervisor will respond verbally to the complaint within five (5) working days. If the employee is unable to resolve the dispute, the employee may file a formal grievance at Step Two within five (5) working days of the receipt of the response of the immediate supervisor.
*** After Stage one has been completed, the member will discuss with the Chief Steward, President, Vice President to see if there is grounds for a grievance. If there are no grounds for a grievance the union representative will notify the member. ***
To ensure our membership feels that they are fairly treated, we will move forward to Stage Two of the process with any grievance even when we feel there is no grounds to do so upon the member’s request.
Step Two- Grievance
If the employee and the employee’s immediate supervisor are unable to settle the complaint, the Union will, within five (7) working days , submit to the Senior Employee and Labour Relations Consultant, a grievance in writing on the prescribed grievance form containing the following:
1) A description of how the alleged dispute is in violation of the Collective agreement
2) A statement of facts to support the grievance
3) The signature of the employee and union designate
Resource: CUPE National, CUPE Local 1479, CUPE Local 5555, CUPE Local 5167