Cases involving disciplinary action
Most collective agreements covering our members provide for union representation when an employee is being interviewed regarding allegations of misconduct and when discipline is imposed.
If you have been asked to attend a meeting that you believe may lead to being disciplined, your first step should be to ask your supervisor about the nature of the meeting. Find out if it is a disciplinary meeting or whether it could lead to disciplinary action. If you suspect that the discussions may be disciplinary in nature, you should contact your Local Union Representative.
Depending on your collective agreement, your employer may have to notify you of your rights to representation.
Your Local Union Representative will be able to attend the meeting with you and serve as a witness to the discussion. He or she can put a stop to intimidating tactics or confusing questions, and stand up for your rights, whether they are legal rights or those found in your collective agreement.
For more information on disciplinary meetings and how to best enforce your rights, please consult the disciplinary meeting factsheet.
Sometimes members find themselves in difficult situations that can't be resolved informally with their employer. The grievance process can address issues that relate to how the collective agreement has been applied or interpreted – or even violated. Common grievances include discipline, termination of employment, denial of a benefit and incomplete or inaccurate work descriptions, among others.
The most important thing our members need to know is that they must not put their rights on hold based on management promises to address problems outside the grievance process. Nobody likes to file a grievance, but it's a right, and the union needs its members to exercise that right.
It's in our members' interest to file grievances promptly because it's only when a grievance is filed that a defence of any rights under the collective agreement is activated and the employer is officially put on notice about a particular issue.
The grievance process normally follows four steps, but the grievance can be resolved at any point during this process.
For more information on grievances and proper grievance wording, please consult these resources:
If you feel you've been treated unjustly and think you may want to grieve, please contact your Local Union Representative for guidance. You are not alone; your union is here to help!
Members who feel they have been unfairly screened out of a selection process may benefit from union representation. If you find yourself in this situation, consider requesting an informal discussion with the hiring manager. This is your right; it may also help you understand the reasons behind the decision. Also, these informal discussions can provide helpful insights to help you to do better in the future. If any mistakes were made during the selection process, the informal discussion can lead to the manager reconsidering their decision.
If after the informal discussion you still feel you have been unjustly screened out of the selection process, you should contact your Local Union Representative. According to the Public Service Staffing Tribunal:
A formal complaint to the Public Service Staffing Tribunal may be made once the final notification of an internal appointment or proposed appointment has been issued. The grounds for a complaint to the Tribunal are:
- Abuse of authority in the application of merit
- Abuse of authority in the choice of process (advertised or non-advertised process)
- Failure to assess the complainant in the language of their choice.
For more information on staffing complaints, please consult these resources: