The grievance should be submitted to the grievor's immediate supervisor or the employer’s designatedrepresentative. The grievance presentation form, bearing the date and signature of the individual to whom it was submitted, will serve as proof of the submission of the grievance and also serves to confirm the grievance was filed within the prescribed timelines.
If the delegated officer responsible for receiving grievances is not available, reschedule a time to come back. NEVER leave a grievance form with someone for signature and agree to “get back to them”. If it is necessary to reschedule a time to come back, it is important to ensure the timelines are adhered to.
There are time limits associated with each step of the grievance process. The time limits can be found in the grievor’s collective agreement.
Grievances filed outside the prescribed time periods are considered untimely and canbe denied by the employer. (Click here for the TB timelines table)
The employer is required to reply within the timelines prescribed in the collective agreement. This applies to all levels in the grievance procedure.
If the employer’s response is not satisfactory to the grievor, or the written response is not received within the prescribed timelines, the grievance may be transmitted to the next level of the process within the prescribed timelines.
If the grievance is not transmitted to the next level of the grievance process within the prescribed timelines, the grievance may be considered abandoned, unless an extension of timelines has been agreed to or the grievor was prevented from meeting the timelines because of circumstances beyond his or her control. In those cases where the timelines have been missed, a written explanation must be included on the file when the file is transmitted to the next level.
Always consult the grievor’s collective agreement for the prescribed time limits.
Levels in the Grievance Process
Except when a grievance is successfully resolved, most grievances will progress through three (3) levels in the grievance process. Typically level 1 and level 2 are at the Local level and level 3 is at the national (final) level.
There may be exceptions depending on the employer’s structure; but the Collective Agreement requirement for the employer to post the names of its representatives at all levels will allow Stewards to identify the steps in the procedure as it applies to each workplace.
The nature of the grievance will also determine the levels. For example, NJC grievances are heard at first level in the workplace while second level is heard in Ottawa.
Waiver of a Level (Step) in the Grievance Process
Where the employer and the grievor mutually agree, level 1 or level 2 in the grievance process may be waived. This does not apply to the final level.
UNDE does not recommend a waiver of any level of the grievance process. Always consult with the UNDE USO assigned to your region before agreeing to waive any level of the grievance process.
In those instances when a waiver is warranted, the waiver of any level in the grievance process must always be in writing. It can read simply:
“It is mutually agreed between the employer and ___(grievor’s name)___ that with respect to grievance no. _______ , level ______ is waived and the grievance will proceed directly to level ______.”
The delegated employer representative and the grievor, or the Local Steward on behalf of the grievor, must sign the agreement. The waiver agreement forms part of the grievance file.
EXCEPTION - When an employee is demoted or terminated, the grievance by- passes level 1 and level 2 and proceeds directly to the national (final) level.
Extension of Time Limits
The time limits prescribed in the grievance process can be extended by mutual agreement between the employer and the grievor. An extension of timelines must always be made in writing. It can read simply
“It is mutually agreed between the employer and ___(grievor’s name)___ that the date for reply to grievance no. _______ is extended to ___(date)___.”
The delegated employer representative and the grievor, or the Local Steward on behalf of the grievor, mustsign the agreement. The written extension of time limit agreement forms part of the grievance file.