What is a Grievance?

As a union member the ability to grieve is one of our most important rights. But what is a grievance? Can I grieve this? What do I have to know before filing a grievance? are questions you might be asking yourself.

A grievance in the traditional sense of the word is typically defined as a complaint against an employer for a contractual violation. Generally a grievance is a violation of a specific provision of the contract, past practice, written policy or settlement agreement. If you were disciplined you may also file a grievance. The company is obligated to apply the standards of Just Cause when disciplining an employee.

A grievance procedure provides a structure for presenting and settling workplace disputes. The procedure typically defines the steps through which the parties proceed in attempting to resolve matters. The application of the grievance procedure is a formal process outlined in your collective bargaining agreement/contract.

If you believe that the Company has in some way violated the contract either by changing an established term or condition of your employment, or by disciplining or discharging you without just cause, you may file a grievance challenging the Company’s actions. If you think an event has occurred which may give rise to a grievance, contact your steward or union representative.


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