Filing a grievance

A grievance can be filed individually or collectively, as a group grievance or a policy grievance, whenever the employer violates your rights as an employee. This process is generally triggered when you become aware or are informed that there is a violation of the terms of the collective agreement or of the law. We can help you throughout the process by advising you of your rights and assisting in an informal attempt to find a resolution, and should this fail, by drafting and representing you in the grievance process.

The grievance is filed by providing a copy of the completed and signed form to your immediate supervisor or manager. The grievance process is outlined in the collective agreement and is comprised of two or three levels within your department. The grievance is presented to management by CAPE at all levels. If the grievance is not upheld or settled, it can ⎯ if it meets the legal requirements ⎯ be sent to adjudication.

Is this the right process for me?

Here are some questions you can ask yourself to know if this is the right process for you:

  • Can I resolve this issue by having a discussion with my manager?
  • Can my departmental Informal Conflict Management Systems (ICMS) service be useful to facilitate a discussion?
  • Have I provided the necessary information for my employer to issue the decision at the heart of the conflict?

“What steps should I follow?”

If you wish to file a grievance, the first step is to contact us and your designated CAPE labour relations officer, as he or she is the only person legally authorized to submit and represent a grievance on the interpretation or application of the collective agreement.

When you file a grievance, these are the possible outcomes: 

  • The grievance can be granted, and the corrective measures applied.
  • The grievance can be settled with a written agreement.
  • The grievance can, if certain legal conditions are met, be referred to adjudication.

Human rights complaint

Your right to contest any form of discrimination and harassment covered by the Canadian Human Rights Act is enshrined in your collective agreement and is done through the grievance process.

If this process fails, you coud have the option to file a human rights complaint with the Canadian Human Rights Commission (CHRC). We encourage you to seek advice from your designated labour relations officer before taking action.

Find out more about human rights protections and the CHRC complaint process on its website.

Get assistance

Filing a grievance can be daunting. We are here for you. Contact your labour relations officer (LRO) if you want advice, need help filing a grievance or want to be represented throughout the process. 

Find my labour relations officer

Know your rights!

The workplace is complex to navigate, knowing your rights will empower you.

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