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BELC - Your Rights at Work: The Grievance Process

Wednesday, December 14, 2016
To: MoveUP Members at Burnaby English Language Centre

Your union had received a couple of inquiries regarding the processes for resolving workplace issues. Your collective agreement includes a detailed grievance process, which can be found in Article 8. We encourage members to familiarize themselves with this Article, however this bulletin will provide a brief summary of the key details.

Grievances may involve disputes over the interpretation or application of the collective agreement, including whether a matter is arbitrable. They may also involve disputes over discipline, dismissal or suspension of a MoveUP member.

If you feel that you have a grievance, you are encouraged to discuss with your Job Steward or Union Representative first. For Step 1 of the grievance process, you would meet with the manager within seven days of the alleged violation of the collective agreement (or the date of the suspension, discipline, or dismissal). At this meeting the grievance will be presented verbally to management. You have the right to have a Job Steward present for this meeting, and the union strongly recommends that you do so. The employer is required to provide a written response to your complaint within five days of this meeting.

In the event that your grievance is not resolved at Stage 1, the grievance must be submitted in writing to management within seven days of receiving the Stage 1 decision. At this point, your Union Representative will become involved and will work with your Job Steward to submit the written grievance with your assistance. Within ten days of the written grievance being submitted, the employer will respond in writing.

Should the grievance remain unresolved at this point, then it must be submitted to management within ten days of the Stage 2 response being received (or the expiry of the time period for the response). A meeting will then be scheduled within ten days. At this meeting, the Program Manager and Union Representative will discuss and attempt to resolve the grievance. Within ten days of the meeting the employer will once again provide its response. It should be noted that policy grievances, job selection grievances, and suspension and dismissal grievances all begin at Stage 3. Therefore it is crucial that you speak to your Job Steward, and that your Union Representative is involved, if you feel you have a grievance which falls into any of these categories.

If the grievance is still not resolved at the end of Stage 3, then it may be referred to arbitration within ten days of the Stage 3 response being received. The arbitration process is detailed in Article 9 of the collective agreement. At arbitration the grievance is heard by an Arbitrator who is a neutral third party mutually agreed to by the union and the employer. The Arbitrators decision is final and will conclude the grievance. The timelines for each step for the process can only be extended by written agreement of the employer and the union.

If you have any questions about the grievance and arbitration process, please feel free to contact me.

In solidarity,

Stephen Von Sychowski
Union Representative

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