Individual Grievances

Section 208 of the Federal Public Sector Labour Relations Act (FPSLRA) describes the types of individual grievances that an employee is entitled to present to his or her employer if he or she feels aggrieved by an event occurring after April 1, 2005.

Limitations

There are some limitations related to presenting an individual grievance. An individual grievance 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”;
  • the grievance relates to the interpretation or application of a collective agreement or arbitral award and the bargaining agent has not indicated its willingness to represent the grievor in an adjudication proceeding;
  • an employee has availed himself/herself of an internal complaint procedure  which provides that the employee is precluded from presenting an individual grievance; or
  • 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

If, after presenting the individual grievance to the final level in the grievance process, the grievor is not satisfied, he or she may refer it to adjudication under section 209 of the FPSLRA if it relates to:

  • the interpretation or application in respect of the employee of a provision of a collective agreement or an arbitral award;
  • a disciplinary action resulting in termination, demotion, suspension or financial penalty;
  • demotion or termination of a core public administration employee under paragraph 12(1)(d) of the Financial Administration Act (FAA) for unsatisfactory performance or under paragraph 12(1)(e) of the FAA for any other reason that does not relate to a breach of discipline or misconduct; or
  • demotion or termination not related to a breach of discipline or misconduct of an employee of a separate agency designated under subsection 209(3) of the PSLRA.

Individual grievances relating to the interpretation or application of a provision of collective agreement or an arbitral award should be referred to adjudication using form 20 of the Federal Public Sector Labour Relations Regulations (the Regulations). This form must be signed by your bargaining agent and your bargaining agent must agree to represent you.

Individual grievances relating to a termination, demotion, suspension or financial penalty should be referred to adjudication using form 21 of the Regulations.

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 by using form 24 of the Regulations.

For more information…

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