The National Joint Council grievance procedure is a grievance procedure within the meaning of the Public Service Labour Relations Act (PSLRA). The parties to Council have agreed that any employee who feels aggrieved by the interpretation or application of an NJC directive or policy must process his/her grievance through the NJC procedure.
- Grievances must be supported by the bargaining agent concerned. If a grievance is not resolved through the NJC process, the employee, with the agreement and support of his/her bargaining agent, may proceed to adjudication under the PSLRA.
- Employees in excluded positions do not have the right to grieve through the NJC procedure.
The NJC procedure differs from the normal grievance procedure in three ways:
- The NJC procedure involves only three steps regardless of the department or agency of the grievor.
- The third step and final level decision of the procedure is the NJC Executive Committee. The Executive Committee consists of three Employer Side members and three Bargaining Agent side members.
- Grievances are decided on the basis of the intent of the directive or policy concerned and are not decided by strict consideration of the wording of the directive or policy.
The first level of the procedure is the representative of the employer authorized to deal with grievances at the first level.
The second level of the procedure is the Departmental Liaison Officer (DLO) or Agency Liaison Officer, who is appointed by the deputy head.
Grievances processed to the final level of the procedure are submitted to the National Joint Council General Secretary. The General Secretary is responsible to the Executive Committee for the administration of the procedure.
The General Secretary has a number of options in processing a grievance at the final level depending upon the grievance. Those options are:
- Recommend denial of jurisdiction to the Executive Committee should the grievance be on a matter not contained in an NJC directive or policy, or where the grievance has not been submitted within the required time limits.
- Recommend to the Executive Committee that it respond directly to the grievance on the basis of previous precedent decisions.
- Refer the grievance, in the name of the Executive Committee, to the working committee of Council responsible for the directive or policy, for a statement of intent.
In the majority of cases, grievances are referred to a working committee. The working committee then holds an informal hearing where representatives of the grievor's bargaining agent and the department or agency are invited to make representations. The working committee then reports to the Executive Committee through the General Secretary as to whether the grievor has been treated within the intent of the directive or policy. The Executive Committee considers the recommendation and makes a decision which becomes the final level reply given to the employee through the employing department or agency.
For full details on the NJC grievance procedure, please consult Section 15 of the NJC By-Laws.