UTE’s position regarding the filing of grievances in harassment situations


TO:   Executive Council
        Alternate Regional Vice Presidents
        Local Presidents

RE:  UTE’s position regarding the filing of grievances in harassment situations

Dear Sisters and Brothers:

In 2011 and 2012, the UTE Harassment Committee consulted the Regional Vice-Presidents on the handling of harassment cases.

The intent was to ensure consistency across Canada in the handing of harassment cases.  As a result, the following recommendation was adopted by the Executive Council:

“The Harassment Committee recommends that when a member alleges harassment and seeks union representation, that as a member’s advocate, we advise the member to file a grievance only.   The union will request to the employer that the grievance be transmitted to the 3rd level of the grievance process and held in abeyance pending the outcome of the Employer’s Harassment Complaint process.”

The UTE’s position was subsequently presented at the September 29 to October 1, 2011 Presidents’ Conference.

Since then, questions were raised by Union Representatives regarding the handling of harassment grievances.  With this bulletin, we hope to provide you with some useful clarifications.

Grievance Level

Harassment grievances should be transmitted directly to the third level of the grievance process.

This is in accordance to the CRA Preventing and Resolving Harassment Policy: wherein it states:

Delegated manager is an ML1 manager. The commissioner has the authority to address cases where the complaint involves an ML1 manager or the complaint comes from the commissioner’s office.


It is the Employer’s responsibility to ensure a workplace free of harassment.  Consequently, the process is described in the CRA Guidelines on Preventing and Resolving Harassment (Guidelines) 

Harassment incident(s) prompting a grievance

If the incident occurred within the 25 working days prescribed time limit (as per the Grievance Process - Article 18 of the Collective Agreement), a grievance should be filed. The grievance is held in abeyance at the third level of the grievance process pending the Employer’s assessment/investigation and disposition of the complaint as per the Guidelines.

Harassment incident(s) prompting a complaint/grievance

If the harassment (incident(s)) occurred more than 25 working days before seeking recourse, we recommend the filing of a grievance and a complaint.  The grievance is held in abeyance pending the complaint process as per the Guidelines.

The CRA’s policy states that:

Note: When a grievance on substantially the same matter is filed, the delegated manager (ML1) will ensure that only one resolution process, the one provided in the guidelines “Resolving harassment”, is followed to resolve the harassing situation.

Confidentiality of the information

When filing the grievance, the wording will not include the specific allegations.  The allegations will be provided to the Employer’s representative at the third level of the grievance process and at subsequent levels, if necessary.

We hope that this information will be useful, if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Sister Lyson Paquette, Technical Advisor or myself.

 In solidarity,

Jamie vanSydenborgh

Jamie vanSydenborgh
UTE Harassment Committee