Writing grievances

June 6, 2022
  • Misc. Resources

The ideal grievance wording:

  • Is short and specific. Don’t go into all the details, evidence, and arguments on the grievance form. That’s what meetings with employer representatives are for.
  • Has four main parts:
    • Name and other information about the grievor (“who”)
    • Nature of the grievance (“what”, “when” and “where”)
    • Settlement requested (“want”)
    • Nature of the violation (“why”)
  •  Must be signed and dated by the grievor(s).

Some key details:

  • Start your description of Nature of Grievance with: I have a grievance under the Collective Agreement and/or any applicable law because ________and include a short description of the problem.
  • The Settlement requested in Grievance is “Full redress immediately.” This short but powerful wording is better than a long list because there’s little chance that the steward will leave something out. But the steward does need to record in the Union Fact Sheet what the grievor wants for settlement, as well as any things she or he has overlooked but the steward knows should be included, such as reinstatement of lost seniority, restored pension contributions, etc. These details need to be discussed in grievance meetings with management; they can’t solve the problem to the union’s satisfaction if they don’t know what the union wants!
  • In Agreement Violation, write “Including but not limited to ” and include either the number of one article of the collective agreement or the name of an applicable law.

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