Besides negotiating a collective agreement to establish the provisions for our work, our union must also be attentive over the life of the agreement to preserve those rights. If you feel you were treated unfairly, you may file a grievance with your employer through CUPE 3912. Grievances can pertain to candidate selection, exceeding the allotted number of work hours in your contract, harassment, discrimination, evaluation procedures, health and safety, employment entitlements, and many other rights and privileges established by Canadian laws and our collective agreements.
Remember: You have a legal right to be part of a union and to protect your rights through a fair grievance procedure! An employer cannot reprimand you in any way for exercising that right, during or after the grievance, and regardless its outcome.
Our Local is structured so that the Vice-Presidents at each University are the contact persons for members who think their contract rights may have been violated. Their names and contact in formation is on the Executive page of this website.
One of those Vice-Presidents also serves as Chief Steward of the Local. The Chief Steward is consulted on matters that may or may not be grievable and, where a matter is considered a legitimate grievance, assists with developing appropriate language for the grievance. The Chief Steward consults with the National Representative of CUPE assigned to our Local.
Perhaps you have a grievable matter, perhaps not; but it is important to inquire.
Here are some things to keep in mind:
2. There are important time limitations in the CAs to which we must adhere; hence, as soon as you think you have a grievable matter, immediately bring it to the attention of the 3912 Vice-President at the relevant university and/or the Chief Steward.
3. Each CA has language that defines a specific timeframe for submitting a grievance. Each also has language such as “or within ten (10) working days of the date upon which the grievor knew or ought to have known of the events giving rise to the grievance….” It is important to note that the latter statement is not open-ended with respect to time. This is important for two reasons:
a) “ought to have known” can be interpreted as the expectation that a member will be familiar with the grievance procedure prior to the event and, therefore, know at the moment of the event the likelihood of a violation;
b) “the events giving rise to the grievance” does not refer to the formal submission of the grievance but to the event that constitutes the violation of the CA; it does not, for example, refer to the moment a member discovered that someone else had succeeded with a similar grievance.
4. Members should not correspond with the administration about a possible grievance. This is the job of the elected officials of the Local. If the Union initiates a grievance the member has a right to attend each meeting with university administrators and to speak to the issue. Having a Union representative at your side is a right recognized by each of the universities.