There are three different types of complaints that may arise in your workplace environment:
Workload grievances cover any complaint about your workload as set out on your SWF (Standard Workload Form). They arise from Article 11.01 and 11.02. When you receive your SWF, check it over very carefully. If you don’t agree with any aspect of your assigned workload (the SWF), check the middle box and give it back to your chairperson within five working days. You should also forward a copy to the Union office. Your complaint will be referred to the College Workload Monitoring Group (CWMG).
- Download the Article 32 Grievance Flow Chart
Grievances are covered by Article 32, Grievance Procedures, in the Collective Agreement, and Article 33, Expedited Arbitration Process. These articles apply to any full-time or partial-load employee.
Article 32 grievances do not include anything in Article 11.01 or 11.02 (covered by College Workload Monitoring Committee and Workload Arbitrator).
Article 33, Expedited Arbitration Process, provides a means to speed up the grievance process if both parties involved agree to it.
To ensure that your complaint is heard, be sure that you respect the deadlines for action set out in your contract. Once you have launched a complaint, you are free, at any time in the process, to withdraw your complaint. However, if you wish to pursue your complaint, but do not act within the agreed timelines, you will lose your opportunity to pursue the complaint. Article 32.05 A clearly states the consequences of untimeliness: "If the grievor fails to act within the time limits set out at any Complaint or Grievance Step, the grievance will be considered abandoned."
The time limits set out at the Complaint or Grievance Steps, including referral to arbitration, are calculated by excluding statutory holidays and the period from Christmas Day to New Year's Day inclusive.
Note that for Article 32, the term "day" refers to a calendar day and not a working day.
The imposed time limits can be extended only by mutual agreement of both parties.
Below is the grievance procedure for Article 32 with deadlines clearly indicated. You may want download the Article 32 Grievance Flow Chart for easy reference.
1. Discussion of Complaint
You have twenty (20) calendar days to launch a discussion with your immediate supervisor either from the date of the circumstances giving rise to your complaint or from the date on which you became aware or "ought reasonably" to have become aware of the circumstances.
Prior to the discussion, you may wish to discuss the matter with a Union steward or executive officer. They can assist you in determining the validity of your complaint and discuss possible remedies. As well, at any stage of the grievance process you can be accompanied by and/or represented by a Union steward.
2. Supervisor's Response
Following the discussion, your supervisor has seven (7) calendar days to give you a response to your complaint. We advise that you request a written response.
3. Step One
If your supervisor does not settle your complaint to your satisfaction, you can choose to launch a grievance, provided you submit your signed grievance within seven (7) calendar days of your supervisor's response to the discussion. (If you receive no response, you may proceed to the next stage of your grievance.)
You address your grievance to your immediate supervisor, setting forth:
- the nature of the grievance,
- the surrounding circumstances, and
- the remedy sought.
Contact a Union representative to help you formulate the wording of your grievance. The written grievance should be very brief.
4. Supervisor's Response at Step One
Your supervisor has seven (7) calendar days following receipt of your grievance, to arrange a meeting at which you, a Union steward designated by the Union Local (if requested by the Union), the Dean of your division, and your immediate supervisor shall attend to discuss the grievance.
Following the meeting, your immediate supervisor and Dean will provide a written decision, within seven (7) calendar days, to the Union steward and to you, the grievor. (If you receive no response, you may go ahead to Step Two of the grievance procedure.)
5. Step Two
If you are dissatisfied with the college's response, you can take your grievance to Step Two. Within fifteen (15) calendar days of receipt of the college's response you must submit your grievance, in writing, addressed to the college President.
6. President's Response at Step Two
The President or his/her designee must convene a meeting to discuss the grievance within twenty (20) calendar days of receiving your Step Two request. The college's decision must be provided, in writing, within fifteen (15) calendar days of that meeting.
Should you remain dissatisfied with the college's decision, following the Step Two meeting you have fifteen (15) calendar days to refer your complaint to arbitration, by notice in writing, to the college.
The Board of Arbitration is composed of three arbitrators: one selected by the Union, one selected by the college, and one (the Chair) selected from a panel of arbitrators agreed to by both parties to the Collective Agreement. The arbitration process can take some time, given the need to schedule meeting dates convenient to all parties. The finding of the majority of the arbitrators is final and binding upon all parties concerned.
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us at Local 556 to discuss your particular situation.
We have taken care in wording this advice. However, in the event of any discrepancy between this advice and the Collective Agreement, please consider the Collective Agreement wording to be accurate.
There is a process in place to help correct Health & Safety complaints as they arise. If you have identified a hazard in your workplace, click here for a copy of the Internal Hazard Correction Process Flow Chart. This flow chart will explain the steps required to correct the problem quickly and efficiently.
If you are unsure how to proceed and would like to discuss your particular situation, please contact us at Local 556.
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