How To Submit a Grievance Form
Grievance forms are important documents, and need to be filled out correctly. Any omissions or errors could cause problems for the grievor down the road.
Once a steward has determined a grievance is warranted (no resolution from Supervisor, steward confident in their investigation, etc), the complaint can be elevated by submitting a grievance form to the appropriate Relationship Manager. Before submitting the form, it is important to fill out the form completely and correctly.
The grievance number is a way for our local to keep track of all the grievances. We have introduced a standard numbering format to give us a lot of information about a grievance just by looking at it. The grievance number is made up of four parts: the year of the grievance, the Centre of the grievance, the month the grievance is submitted, and the day the grievance is submitted. This results in numbers that look something like this: 2018D141231.
- "2018" for the year of the grievance
- "D14" for the centre of the grievance, in this example it is D14 - Downsview
- "12" for the month the grievance is submitted, in this example December
- "31" for the day the grievance is submitted, in this example the 31st.
Grievances can be individual grievances, group grievances, or apply to the entire membership as a whole. When filling out the grievance, the type of grievance you are filing will dictate what you put in the "Employee Name, Identification Number, Department, and Job Title."
- For individual grievances, fill out as per the headings (example: Employee Name: "Mark Gardner", Identification Number: 70009999 [Payroll ID, okay if you don't have it listed], Department: "Metro East", Job Title: "DE3"
- For group grievances, identify the members in the headings as best as possible (example: Employee Name: "All CSAs" , Identification Number: (leave blank), Department: "Metro East", Job Title: "CSA". If the group grievance is for only specific individuals, and not all (like if a couple of DEs missed out on OT for example), in Employee Name put "Specified DEs", and then list each of their names in the "Use the space below to write additional grievance information."
- For grievances that affect every member, please contact the Union President. These grievances may be policy grievances, and are handled a bit differently.
Nature of Grievance
This is the section where you will list the grievance, in very general terms. It is important to keep this broad, as we don't want to limit the scope of the grievance in case other details arise, or if approaching the issue from a different angle would benefit our case. This will include a standard opening of "We have a grievance under the Collective Agreement and/or any applicable laws..", followed by a brief desciption/explanation of the grievance. For example:
- We have a grievance under the Collective Agreement and/or any applicable laws because the suspension given out was unjust.
- We have a grievance under the Collective Agreement and/or any applicable laws due to overtime not be allocated properly.
- We have a grievance under the Collective Agreement and/or any applicable laws as the supervisor was performing bargaining unit work.
In this section, we again keep it brief. The standard line used here is "Full Redress Immediately." This short sentence covers everything, and protects the grievor from a steward from forgetting to include something. If we ask for only specific things, the company (or an arbitrator down the road) could refuse to provide anything we didn't ask for.
For this section, again keep it short and sweet. The standard line used her is "Including but not limited to..." then include one article or law that has been violated. It's good to choose the most applicable article or law, even if there are many. You can bring up all the other relevant articles/laws/etc during the grievance meetings.
Sending in the Grievance
In the grievance procedure it is very specific who the grievance is submitted to. In most cases, grievances go directly to the Relationship Manager responsible for that DTC. The grievance procedure lists "faxing" the RM the grievance, however, it is now an accepted practice to send it via email. Before sending the grievance, make sure it is completed in full (steward's name and date are common omissions). When sending the grievance, please adhere to these two items:
- Put the grievance number in the subject line. For example, the subject line would be "Grievance #2018D141231".
- Copy the union on the submission by cc-ing firstname.lastname@example.org - This allows us to keep record of the grievance, and alerts the President to the grievance in cases where you haven't spoken to them beforehand so they can help with maintaining timelines.