Bulletin 07/15

October 27, 2015

TO:          Executive Council
                Alternate Regional Vice Presidents
                Locals

cc:           UTE Staff

RE:  Violence in the Workplace


Sisters/Brothers,

The information contained below was originally issued by me on July 4, 2013. As much discussion has been centered around this matter as of lately, I have been asked to reissue this message.

Since the proclamation of Part XX, Regulation 20 of the Canada Labour Code Regulations dealing with violence in the workplace and bullying, direction has been requested by local representatives and Regional Vice-Presidents concerning the avenue(s) of recourse to be taken with respect to these matters. As a result, the National President requested that I convene a meeting of the Chairpersons and Staff Advisors to the UTE National Health and Safety Committee and the UTE National Harassment Committee to develop a policy for dealing with incidents of violence in the workplace. The ad-hoc committee met on June 7, 2013 in the UTE National Office.

During our deliberations, the Committee members discussed the advantages and disadvantages of filing a grievance, an harassment complaint or a complaint under Part XX, Regulation 20 of the Canada Labour Code (CLC) Regulations, or a combination thereof, when dealing with situations of violence in the workplace. After much discussion, the ad-hoc committee unanimously agreed that in all cases of violence in the workplace, members should file a grievance and a concurrent complaint under Part XX, Regulation 20 of the CLC, with a request to holding the grievance in abeyance pending the disposition of the complaint. It was also decided that for these types of incidents, we would not recommend filing an harassment grievance. Relatedly, the committee was of the opinion that incidents of bullying in the workplace would also fall under the CRA’s Workplace Violence Prevention Policy .

In arriving at this recommendation, the Committee felt that a complaint under Part XX, Regulation 20 was more advantageous than an harassment complaint as the former was regulatory whereas the latter was governed only under the jurisdiction of the employer’s harassment policy. Additionally, a complaint under Part XX, Regulation 20 made it possible for the complaint to be heard by a third party (“competent person”) suitable to the person whereas an harassment investigator was chosen solely at the discretion of the employer. A concurrent grievance was also recommended, as described above. We recommend the following grievance wording, but also suggest that in certain circumstances, the grievance wording may need to be customized to address the circumstances of the case.

Suggested Grievance Wording  

I grieve that I have been the victim of an incident (or incidents) of violence in the workplace and that the employer has failed to provide me with a violence free workplace.

Requested Corrective Action

With respect to corrective action, we suggest that corrective action will likely need to be tailored to the individual circumstances of the case, but offer the following as some of the measures that may be sought:

  • That I have discontinued contact with the perpetrator of the violence against me until such time as there is a satisfactory and acceptable resolution to this matter;
  • That the perpetrator be appropriately counseled  and be required to attend sensitivity and technical training on the Violence in the Workplace Policy;
  • That I be compensated and reimbursed for all loss of wages, leave credits used, and medical and/or other expenses incurred as a result of this incident (these incidents);
  • That the employer take all reasonable and appropriate measures to promote and ensure compliance with its Violence in the Workplace Policy;
  • That I be provided with further redress, as deemed reasonable and appropriate in the circumstances, in order to make me whole.

The UTE Executive Council at its September 2013 meeting has endorsed this policy in dealing with incidents of this nature.

Should you have any questions or require further clarification, please feel free to contact the undersigned or the Chairperson of the UTE National Health and Safety Committee.

In Solidarity,

D. Shane O’Brien
Senior Labour Relations Officer