What is a Grievance?

From NRC MyZone Published: June 2, 2014

Employees who are dissatisfied with their terms and conditions of employment, the way in which management interpreted a provision of their collective agreement, or perhaps the application of discipline, should first discuss their concerns with their supervisor.

Where discussion fails to resolve the problem, employees are entitled to present a formal grievance which is really a complaint in writing. It should simply state what the problem is and what action the employee thinks management should take to resolve the issue. If the grievance relates to a collective agreement provision, an employee must have approval and representation by the bargaining agent.

Members of the Employee Relations Group will assist management by looking into the matter and by providing advice to the management representative responsible for responding to the grievance. They will often have discussions with the union representatives as well.

There is a grievance hearing at which employees and their representatives explain the nature of the problem and the corrective action they are seeking. After consideration of the matter, the NRC representative will respond to the grievance in writing. If the employee is satisfied with the response by management, that is the end of the matter. If not, the employee may refer the grievance to the next level of the grievance procedure.

While it may not appear so, the grievance procedure actually promotes good relations between employees and management by providing an established forum in which issues of concern may be raised by employees and addressed by management.