Policy Grievance on the Policy Grievance Process: Sometimes you win even when you lose. :: Association of Justice Counsel News
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June 20th, 2016
June 20th, 2016

Policy Grievance on the Policy Grievance Process: Sometimes you win even when you lose.

On July 7 2014, the AJC filed a policy grievance asking that the decision-maker from Treasury Board be present during policy grievance oral hearings, when oral hearings are held, in order to hear submissions first-hand.  

The hearing was held on July 3rd 2015.  In his decision, Adjudicator David Olsen concluded the following:

  • In addressing the question of whether attendance by the decision-maker is required by the collective agreement, the adjudicator concluded that oral hearings for policy grievances are not required.  This is in contrast to individual and group grievances where the adjudicator reiterates that "[t]he parties have expressly provided for a right of consultation at all the levels in the grievance process in the case of individual grievances of lawyers at clause 24.11 and in the case of group grievances at clause 24.28... "
  • To "present" a grievance under the collective agreement means to file or submit and does not mean present in the sense of presenting a case to a decision-maker.    This means that the employer and employing departments will have tighter timelines within the grievance processes in relation to all types of grievances, whether individual, group and policy, unless the parties mutually agree to extensions.  
  • Attendance by the decision-maker at voluntary consultations is not an implied term of the agreement on the basis that consultations are not necessary in order to make the collective agreement work or efficient, and there is no evidence to suggest that the employer would have agreed to require the decision-maker to attend such voluntary consultations without hesitation.  

On January 21 2016, before the actual ruling, TB revised its oral hearing process to ensure that a decision-maker with delegated authority is in attendance during the voluntary consultation of the policy grievance process.  

The AJC applauds TB's approach and remains hopeful that this voluntary process will remain in place despite this recent ruling.  After all, dialogue is the first step to progress.

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