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Article 37 - Adjustment of Disputes

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ADJUSTMENT OF DISPUTES

37.01(1)The Employer and the Union recognize that grievances may arise in each of the following circumstances:
  (a)By the interpretation or application of:
   (i)a provision of an Act, or a regulation, direction or other instrument made or issued by the Employer dealing with terms or conditions of employment;
   (ii)a provision of this Collective Agreement or Arbitral Award.
  (b)Disciplinary action resulting in demotion, suspension, or a financial penalty.
  (c)Dismissal from the Public Service.
  (d)

Letters of discipline placed on personnel file.

 (2)The procedure for the final resolution of the grievances listed in (1)(a) above is as follows:
  (a)Where the grievance is one, which arises in circumstances outlined in (1)(a)(i) or in (d), the final level of resolution is to the Minister responsible for the Public Service Act.
  (b)Where the grievance is one which arises out of the interpretation or application of the Collective Agreement the final level of resolution is to arbitration.
  (c)Where the grievance arises as a result of disciplinary action resulting in demotion, suspension, or a financial penalty or dismissal from the Public Service, the final level of resolution is to arbitration.
37.02If he/she so desires, an employee may be assisted and represented by the Union when presenting a grievance at any level.
37.03An employee who wishes to present a grievance at any prescribed level in the grievance procedure, shall transmit this grievance to his/her immediate supervisor or local officer-­in-charge who shall forthwith:
 (a)forward the grievance to the representative of the Employer authorized to deal with grievances at the appropriate level; and
 (b)provide the employee with a receipt stating the date on which the grievance was received by him/her.

37.04.

 

A grievance of an employee shall not be deemed to be invalid by a reason only of the fact it is not in accordance with the form supplied by the Employer.  When filing a grievance, the employee shall make an effort to state the nature of the grievance, the circumstances from which it arose, the Articles that have been infringed upon and the redress sought.
37.05

Except as otherwise provided in this Agreement a grievance shall be processed by recourse to the following steps:

(a)      First Level (first level of management)
(b)      Final Level (Deputy Head)

37.06The Employer shall designate a representative at each level in the grievance procedure and shall inform each employee to whom the procedure applies of the name or title of the person so designated, together with the name or title and address of the immediate supervisor or local officer-in-charge to whom a grievance is to be presented.  This information shall be communicated to employees by means of notices posted by the Employer in places where such notices are most likely to come to the attention of the employees to whom the grievance procedure applies, or otherwise as determined by agreement between the Employer and the Union.
37.07(a)The Union shall have the right to consult with the first level of management as part of processing the First Level Grievance.
 (b)The Union shall have the right to consult with the designate of the Deputy Head prior to the Union presenting a grievance at the Final Level.
 (c)The Union shall have the right to consult with the Financial Management Board Secretariat with respect to a grievance at each or any level of the grievance procedure.
 (d)Where an employee is required to attend a meeting with the Employer or a representative of the Employer to deal with matters that may give rise to the suspension or discharge of an employee, that employee shall be advised 24 hours in advance of the meeting of his/her right to have a representative of the union at the meeting.  At the employee’s request, the meeting will be postponed for a maximum of three (3) working days.
37.08

An employee may present a grievance to the first level of the procedure in the manner prescribed in Article 37.04 not later than the fifteenth (15th) calendar day after the date on which he/she is notified orally or in writing or on which he/she first becomes aware of the action or circumstances giving rise to the grievance, excepting only where the grievance arises out of the interpretation or application with respect to him/her of this Collective Agreement, in which case the grievance must be presented within thirty (30) calendar days.

37.09The Employer shall reply in writing to an employee's grievance within fourteen (14) calendar days at the first level, and within thirty (30) calendar days at the Final Level.
37.10An employee may present a grievance at each succeeding level in the grievance procedure beyond the first level:
 (a)

where the decision or settlement is not satisfactory to him/her, within fourteen (14) calendar days after that decision or settlement has been conveyed in writing to him/her by the Employer; or

 (b)where the Employer has not conveyed a decision to him/her within the time prescribed in Article 37.10 within fourteen (14) calendar days after the day the reply was due.
37.11Where an employee has been represented by the Union in the presentation of his/her grievance, the Employer will provide the appropriate representative of the Union with a copy of the Employer's decision at each level of the grievance procedure at the same time that the Employer's decision is conveyed to the employee.
37.12No employee shall be dismissed without first being given notice in writing together with the reasons therefore. When the Employer dismisses an employee the grievance procedure shall apply except that the grievance may be presented at the final level.
37.13The Union shall have the right to initiate and present a grievance on matters relating to health and safety to any level of management specified in the grievance procedure on behalf of one or more members of the Union.
37.14An employee shall have the right to present a grievance on matters relating to the application or interpretation of this Agreement provided he/she first obtains the authorization of the Union prior to presenting such grievance.
37.15An employee may, by written notice to the Deputy Head, withdraw a grievance provided that, where the grievance is one arising out of the application or interpretation of this Agreement, his/her withdrawal has the endorsement, in writing, of the Union.
37.16The Union shall have the right to initiate and present a grievance to any level of management specified in the grievance procedure related to the application or interpretation of this Agreement on behalf of one or more members of the Union.
37.17The time limits stipulated in this procedure may be extended by mutual agreement between the Employer and the employee, and where appropriate, the Union representative.
37.18No proceedings under this Article are invalid by reason of any defect of form or any technical irregularity.
 

ARBITRATION

37.19Where a difference arises between the parties relating to the interpretation, application or administration of this Agreement including any question as to whether a matter is arbitrable or where an allegation is made that a term or condition of this Agreement has been violated, either of the parties may, after exhausting the grievance procedure in this Article, notify the other party in writing within twenty-one (21) days of the receipt of the reply at the Final Level, of his/her desire to submit the difference or allegation to arbitration under the Public Service Act.
37.20(1)The parties agree that arbitration referred to in Clause 37.19 shall be by a single arbitrator, agreed upon by representatives of the parties from the following main and supplementary lists:
  (a)

Main Arbitrators:

Thomas Jolliffe
Allan Hope
John Moreau

  (b)

Supplementary Arbitrators:

Judi Korbin
Gwen Randall
Allen Ponak
David Tettensor
Robert Blasina
Adrian Wright
Janet Alexander-Smith
Irene Holden

 (2)

If the parties are unable to agree upon an arbitrator, either party may, within a 30 day period, apply to Supreme Court of the Northwest Territories to appoint an arbitrator from;

  (a)the main list referred to in Clause 37.20(1)(a); or
  (b)in the event there are no arbitrators on the main list the parties will exchange lists consisting of two arbitrators they have selected from the supplementary list (37.20(1)(b)).  Each party will then have the right to veto one of the arbitrators from the other parties’ list.  The selection will then be made from the remaining arbitrators by the Supreme Court of the Northwest Territories.
  (c)When an arbitrator from the supplementary list (37.20(1)(b)) is used for four (4) formal arbitration’s and neither the Union nor the Employer have any objections that arbitrator will be moved to the main list (37.20(1)(a)).
 (3)(a)Either party may have an arbitrator removed from either list by providing notice to the other party.
  (b)An arbitrator can only be appointed to the main or supplementary lists by mutual consent of the parties.
37.21(1)

The arbitrator has all of the powers granted to arbitrators under Section 12 of the Arbitration Act in addition to any powers which are contained in this Agreement. An arbitrator in a discipline case has the power to rescind, alter or amend the disciplinary decision, including the ability to reinstate the grievor with full or partial compensation for lost wages, or the ability to award compensation in discipline or other alleged violations of the Collective Agreement.

 (2)The arbitrator shall hear and determine the difference or allegation and shall issue a decision and the decision is final and binding upon the parties and upon any employee affected by it.
 (3)The award of the arbitrator shall be signed by him/her and copies thereof shall be transmitted to the parties to the dispute.
37.22The arbitrator shall not have the authority to alter or amend any of the provisions of this Agreement, or to substitute any new provisions in lieu thereof, or to render any decision contrary to the terms and provisions of this Agreement, or to increase or decrease wages.
37.23The Employer and the Union shall each pay one-half (1/2) of the remuneration and expenses of the arbitrator and each party shall bear its own expenses of every such arbitration.
37.24Where a party has failed to comply with any of the terms of the decision of the arbitrator, either party or employee affected by the decision may, after the expiration of thirty (30) calendar days from the date of the release of the decision or the date provided in the decision for compliance, whichever is later, file in the office of Clerk of the Territorial Court, a copy of the decision, exclusive of the reason therefore in the prescribed form, whereupon the decision may be entered in the same way as a judgment or an order of that Court and may be enforceable as such.
37.25Where an employee files a grievance against his/her dismissal from the Public Service, the provisions of Clause 37.19 apply.
37.26In addition to the powers granted to arbitrators under Section 12 of the Arbitration Act the arbitrator may determine that the employee has been dismissed for other than proper cause and he/she may:
 (a)direct the Employer to reinstate the employee and pay to the employee a sum equal to his/her wages lost by reason of his/her dismissal, or such less sum as in the opinion of the arbitrator is fair and reasonable; or
 (b)make such order as he/she considers fair and reasonable having regard to the terms of this Agreement.
 

EXPEDITED ARBITRATION

37.27As an alternative to the formal arbitration process set out in the foregoing paragraphs, by mutual agreement of the parties, a grievance may be referred to a previously agreed upon person who shall hear the grievance and who shall at the conclusion of the hearing, give an oral decision without reasons. Such decisions may not be used to alter, modify or amend any part of the appropriate Collective Agreement, and are made without precedent or prejudice to similar or like cases.  Such a decision shall be final and binding upon both parties and no further action may be taken on that grievance by any means.