The Grievance Procedure

The grievance procedure, as it is found in the current collective agreements, (Article 18 in PA (Table 1), SV (Table 2) and TC (Table 3) and Article 37 in EB (Table 5)), is available on the Treasury Board website. What follows is a brief discussion of issues that typically arise for stewards in the course of their work.

Submitting the grievance

The grievance is to be submitted to the employer's designated representative. 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.

Time limits

Grievances filed outside the appropriate time periods are considered untimely and can be denied by management.

(Click here for the timelines table)

The employer is required, in normal circumstances, to reply within the prescribed timelines. This applies to all levels in the grievance procedure except the final level where the time frame is 30 days.

If the employer’s response is not satisfactory to the grievor, the grievance must be transmitted to the next level of the procedure within the prescribed timelines of receiving the written reply. This applies to all levels except the final level. If the grievance is not transmitted in a timely way, the grievance will be deemed to have been abandoned, unless the grievor was prevented from complying by circumstances beyond his or her control.

The time limits in the procedure can be extended by mutual agreement between the employer and the grievor. This type of agreement should always be made in writing. A statement, signed and dated by the employer representative and the grievor is all that is needed. It can read simply “It is mutually agreed between the employer and ___(grievor)___ that the date for reply to grievance no. _______ is extended to ___(date)___.”

Levels in the procedure

Except where a grievance is successfully resolved, most grievances progress through three levels. Typically the first and second levels are at the local level and the third (final) is at the national. There are exceptions depending on the employer’s structure, but the 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 their workplace.

Where the employer and the grievor mutually agree, one or more levels in the procedure can be waived.   This does not apply to the final level.

Agreements of this sort should always be in writing and can simply read:

 “It is mutually agreed between the employer and ___(grievor)___ that with respect to grievance no. _______ , level(s) ______ is waived and the grievance will proceed directly to level ______.”

Both the employer representative and the grievor should sign the agreement.

EXCEPTION - When an employee is demoted or terminated, the grievance by-passes  the first and second levels and proceeds directly to the final level.

What to send to the UNDE National Office

Once the grievance has presented and responded to at the local (typically the first and second levels), stewards should forward the following information to the UNDE National Office:

The grievance cannot proceed without this information. If there is a delay in providing it, the outcome of the grievance will be delayed. UNDE recognizes that stewards work as volunteers who must manage work and personal responsibilities in addition to their union role, and all efforts to provide necessary information quickly are very much appreciated.

Click here to go to forms page