Policy grievances

Policy grievances can be presented under the Federal Public Sector Labour Relations Act (FPSLRA).

Section 220 of the FPSLRA provides that either a bargaining agent or an employer can present a policy grievance to the other party in respect of the interpretation or application of a collective agreement or an arbitral award by which they are both bound. Section 221 of the FPSLRA indicates that a party that has presented a policy grievance may give notice of the reference to adjudication to the Federal Public Sector Labour Relations and Employment Board.


There are some limitations related to presenting a policy grievance. Policy grievances may not be presented if:

  • a redress process is already provided for under any Act of Parliament, other than the Canadian Human Rights Act;
  • the grievance involves “the right to equal pay for work of equal value”; and
  • the grievance is related to action taken under instruction, direction or regulation given by or made by the Government of Canada in the interest of the safety or security of Canada or states associated to Canada.

References to adjudication

Policy grievances should be referred to adjudication using form 23.

Please note that a party that raises an issue involving the Canadian Human Rights Act must also give notice of the issue to the Canadian Human Rights Commission using form 24.

For more information…

Please consult sections 220 through 223 of the FPSLRA.

The following may also be useful:

  • Sections 61 to 73of the Federal Public Sector Labour Relations Regulations (Regulations), which deal with the general provisions related to grievances.
  • Sections 83 to 88, which relate to policy grievances specifically.
  • Sections 89 to 106, which refer to adjudication.