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Article 13 : grievances

13.1 Definitions

13.1.1 Grievance

A grievance shall be defined as any difference arising out of the interpretation, application, administration or alleged violation of this Agreement.

13.1.2 An individual grievance may be initiated by an individual.

13.1.3 A group grievance results from a consolidation of similar individual grievances seeking a common redress.

13.1.4 A policy grievance, defined as a grievance involving a question of general application or interpretation of this Agreement, shall be initiated by the Union.

13.2 Grievance Procedure

13.2.1 The Employer acknowledges the rights and duties of the Union Officers and Stewards to assist Employees in preparing drafting and presenting a grievance in accordance with the Collective Agreement.

13.2.2 Informal Process

If an Employee or the Union has a complaint that they wish to resolve through an informal process they shall advise their Supervisor or other appropriate workplace authority of the nature of the complaint. The Employee has the right to be accompanied by a Union representative and the Supervisor may be accompanied by a person of their choice at any meeting arranged to discuss the complaint. Any meetings arranged shall be informal in nature, and their purpose shall be to make the Parties aware of the complaint and to give both Parties the opportunity to resolve the issue(s).

13.2.3 Formal Process

If the complaint is not resolved informally, or when the complainant chooses not to pursue the informal complaint process, a grievance shall be set forth submitted in writing, on a form agreed upon by the Parties, signed by the complainant, now a grievor, and a Union representative. This grievance form shall be submitted by the Union to the Academic Labour Relations sector, no later than forty (40) Working Days after the complainant became aware of or reasonably ought to have been aware of the circumstances giving rise to the grievance, or, in the case of a policy grievance, after the Union became aware, or reasonably ought to have been aware, of the occurrence of the circumstances giving rise to the grievance. A grievance submitted after the required period shall not be unreasonably denied. At this point, the written grievance shall contain the details of the grievance, a statement of the matter in dispute, the specific provision(s) of the Agreement that allegedly has been violated, the resolution sought and the common periods of availability of the grievor and the Union representative accompanying them. The Academic Labour Relations sector shall hold a meeting with the grievor and a Union representative within ten (10) Working Days of receiving the grievance to discuss the grievance. Academic Labour Relations shall provide a written response to the grievor and Union representative within fifteen (15) Working Days after that meeting.

13.2.4 If the grievance is neither settled during the formal process, nor withdrawn in writing, it may be taken to arbitration by either party, pursuant to Article 14, provided a written notice signed by the appropriate representative is submitted to the other party within twenty (20) Working Days of receipt of the Academic Labour Relations' sector reply as set out in the Formal Process. The written notice shall include the written grievance as set out in 13.2.3.

13.3 Time Limits

13.3.1 The Parties agree to follow the Grievance Procedure in accordance with the steps, time limits and conditions contained herein. The time limits set out in this Article may be extended by the expressed mutual agreement of the Parties. Such an extension shall not be unreasonably withheld.

13.4 Decision Not To Grieve

13.4.1 If the Union notifies the Employer in writing of an alleged violation of this Collective Agreement but indicates a decision not to grieve, this decision shall be without prejudice to grievances on similar matters. Such notification shall include a detailed statement of the matter in dispute.

13.4.2 The withdrawal of a grievance at any step shall be without prejudice to grievances on similar matters. Settlements of grievances at any step shall not prejudice the position of the Union with respect to other grievances.

13.5 Further Provisions

13.5.1 The Parties agree that the identity of the grievor(s) shall be made available only on a need to know basis up to the time that the matter is in arbitration. The need to know shall be defined as the person receiving the grievance at each step, that person's administrative support staff, the grievor's employment Supervisor, the Dean and excluded Vice-Dean of the Faculty concerned and the Academic Labour Relations sector. The consent of the individual will be required for other individuals to be informed.

13.5.2 No Employee will be required to hear or attend the grievance hearings of another Employee.

13.5.3 For good and valid reasons, the Parties may agree to waive the requirement for the grievor to sign the grievance or for the grievor to attend the dispute resolution meetings; such agreement shall not be unreasonably withheld.

13.5.4 When representatives of the Employer arrange the meetings provided for in this Article, they shall make all reasonable attempts to accommodate the periods of availability as stipulated in the filed grievance, it being understood that time limits specified for the holding of such meetings may be extended to accommodate periods of availability of all participants. Nevertheless, when it is not possible to arrange a meeting that does not conflict with the Employee's work schedule or with that of the appropriate Union representative, the University shall so advise their respective Supervisors, who shall consider them to be on authorized paid leave for the duration of the meeting.

13.5.5 The Parties agree

  • that more than one representative from either the Union or the Employer may be present at any of the meetings referred to in this Article;
  • that only one such representative will be designated by the Union or the Employer as the official spokesperson.