Grievance Committee

UNIFOR-2025 Grievance Review Committee

Abudi Awaysheh
Andrew Beck
Loren Crawford
Patricia Harewood
Amarkai Laryea
Terri Lee Rayvals Mele
Susan O'Reilly
Christopher Shulz

Goals:

Help shape UNIFOR 2025’s grievance strategy, as part of, and in conjunction with, the broader political strategy of the Local. To strengthen the work of UNIFOR 2025’s Stewards Committee.

Deliverables:

  • Make recommendations to Local Executive on whether to refer a grievance to the UNIFOR Ontario Region Arbitration and Bargaining Fund (“The Fund”).
  • Make recommendations to the Local Executive on whether to appeal the Fund’s decision.
  • Prepare representations for the Fund Appeals Committee when the Local Executive has approved a recommendation to file an appeal.
  • Prepare periodic reports on key grievances related issues to Local Executive.
  • Monitor grievances that come before the committee for the purposes of identifying systemic discrimination and, where necessary, to consider whether a group or policy grievance may be warranted.
  • Advise stewards, as needed, on 1st and 2nd level grievances (as individual Grievance Committee members).

Scope / Jurisdiction:

The Grievance Committee has the responsibility to make recommendations to the Local Executive on whether to refer a grievance to the UNIFOR Fund and whether to appeal a Fund decision. The Grievance Committee may submit representations to the Fund Appeals Committee on behalf of the Local.

The Grievance Committee addresses the legal strength of a grievance, and may also speak to the political value of the grievance for the Local.  All decisions to refer a grievance to the Fund, to appeal a Fund decision and/or pursue a grievance without the support of the Fund, rests with the Local Executive

The Grievance Committee may identify and participate in providing additional training needs for Stewards. As individual advisors appointed by the Chief Shop Steward, Grievance Committee members may advise Stewards in the handling of a grievance.  A Grievance Committee member that serves as an Advisor to a Steward may not sit on a Grievance Committee Panel hearing that same grievance.

Grievance Committee Members:

Members with grievance representation experience may volunteer to become a member of the Grievance Committee by contacting the Secretary. The Chief Shop Steward serves as Chair of the Grievance Committee and Grievance Committee Panels.

All Grievance Committee members pledge to maintain confidentiality as to the content and nature of issues and grievances brought to their attention. Grievance Committee members must attend at least one of every three meetings to remain a member of the Grievance Committee.

A Grievance Committee member cannot be involved in a Panel where a conflict of interest exists. Being a Steward for the grievance being heard by a Grievance Committee panel is a clear conflict of interest.

Grievance Committee Panel Process:

A panel of three (3) Grievance Committee members is established by the Chair to hear a request for arbitration. A new panel is constituted for each request for arbitration. The panel should preferably meet in person, but can meet by phone, Skype, or any other method mutually agreed upon by the Panel members.

The Chair should seek to install a panel with equity balance. In matters concerning discrimination, the Chair should ensure that the panel is representative of individuals from the Grievor’s equity group.

The request for arbitration, including the hearing and written recommendations, will proceed in the language preferred by the Grievor.

The Chair presides over the Panel but is not a voting member. Recommendations by the Panel are by consensus, and where consensus fails, by majority decision.

The Panel should convene as soon as possible but no later than  30 working days of being constituted. The Steward representing the Grievor should make a presentation to the Panel explaining why the grievance should be referred to arbitration. The Grievor is encouraged to attend the hearing.

The Panel must issue a written recommendation to the Chair within 20 working days. The Chair must immediately forward the written recommendation to the Local Executive. The Local Executive shall make a decision on the matter as soon as possible.

Should the grievance not be referred to arbitration, the Grievor may ask for a reconsideration within 10 days of being informed of the decision not to refer. A reconsideration is allowed when new evidence or facts can be presented that were not available at the time of the decision not to refer. The Panel will re-convene as soon as possible but no later than 30 days of the request for a reconsideration to render a new recommendation to the Local Executive. The new recommendation should be provided to the Local executive within 10 days of convening.

Should the grievance be referred to the Fund and subsequently refused by the Fund, The Panel will re-convene within 30 days of notice of refusal to make a written recommendation to the Executive on whether to appeal the decision.  This written recommendation will be provided to the Chair who will immediately forward the written recommendation to the Local Executive for decision. The Panel may prepare representations for the Fund Appeals Committee.

Grievance Committee Meetings:

The Grievance Committee will meet every 4 – 6 months to review Panel recommendations, consider key grievance issues and priorities for the Local, and assess the grievance handling process overall. Grievance Committee Meeting reports will be prepared for the Local Executive within 30 days of the meeting.

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