A grievance is a complaint about something the employer did or did not do. Typically, these involve a violation of the collective agreement. Grievances can also include violation of federal or provincial employment related laws.
The grievance process is the mechanism through which your rights guaranteed in the collective agreement are enforced. Grievances can pertain to:
- Candidate selection;
- Exceeding the allotted number of work hours in your contract;
- Evaluation procedures;
- Health and safety
- Employment entitlements
- Many other rights and privileges established by Canadian laws and our collective agreements.
As a union member, you have a legal right 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 of its outcome.
At each institution the process begins with an Informal Stage where employees bring the issue to their immediate supervisor. For all these meetings, the employee may have Union Representation present.
- An Employee who feels they have a grievance shall first discuss the matter with the immediate supervisor within 15 calendar days of the incident or event giving rise to the grievance or of the date the grievor should reasonably have been aware of the incident or event, whichever is later. (Art. 10.5)
- An Employee who feels she has a grievance shall first discuss the matter with the Dean within ten (10) working days of the incident or event giving rise to the grievance, or of the date the grievor should have reasonably been aware of the incident or event, whichever is later. (Art 21.4.1)
- The informal discussion stage must be completed within ten (10) days of the grievable event or within ten (10) days of the date that this event could reasonably have been known by the grievor to have occurred. (Art 12.02)
- The informal discussion stage must be completed within ten (10) days of the grievable event or within ten (10) days of the date that this event could reasonably have been known by the grievor to have occurred. (Art. 10.02)
If the matter is not resolved informally, the Formal Grievance Process begins. CUPE 3912 Executive Board members and CUPE National Representatives help you navigate this process.
- The Employee may initiate a grievance at Step 1 provided they file the grievance with the Employer within fifteen (15) calendar days of the completion of the Informal Resolution Stage, namely within fifteen (15) days of the negative response or deemed negative response whichever is earlier. (Art. 10.6)
- Failing a resolution at Step One, the written grievance shall be forwarded to the Vice-President Academic and Provost within five (5) working days of receipt of the decision of the Dean. (Art. 188.8.131.52)
- The Union shall present a written grievance to the Dean of the faculty concerned, except in the case of a suspension or termination when the Union may proceed directly to Step 2 by presenting a written grievance to the Vice-President, Academic and Research. Within fifteen (15) days of receipt of the grievance, the Dean shall call a meeting with the appropriate parties to discuss the grievance. (Art. 12.03)
- A formal grievance must be initiated within twenty (20) days of the date of the grievable event or within twenty (20) days of the date that this event could reasonably have been known by the grievor to have occurred. (Art. 10.02).
CUPE 3912 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.
The Executive Board 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 Vice-Presidents consult with the National Representative of CUPE assigned to our Local. Perhaps you have a grievable matter, perhaps not; but it is important to inquire.
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.