A comprehensive review of the NJC By-Laws was conducted with a view to modernizing the document. While the changes to the By-Laws are largely editorial in nature and serve to bring the language of the document in line with current NJC practices, some substantive changes have been enshrined. These include changes to Section 15 – Resolution of Grievances. The revised By-Laws came into effect on October 1, 2018.
Highlights of these changes include, but are not limited to:
- Addition of definitions for terms used throughout the document. These include:
- “Cyclical Review”;
- “New Item”;
- “Subject”; and
- “Working Committee”.
- Clarification that alternates of the Chairperson and Co-Chairperson may attend Council meetings as active participants but may not act as Chairperson or Co-Chairperson (subsection 2.1.2);
- Direction that nominations to Working Committees must be forwarded to the General Secretary via the appropriate Side Secretary (subsection 6.1.2);
- Clarification that, in the absence of the Chairperson and with the agreement of both sides of the Working Committee, the General Secretary’s delegate may chair Working Committee meetings (subsection 6.2.5);
- Removal of the word “plan” from the sections addressing cyclical review (Section 7.1);
- Introduction of a process for requesting a modification to the input period (i.e. requests for extension) (Section 8.2);
- Where timelines are stipulated, a change from “calendar days” to “working days” (throughout);
- Introduction of the requirement that new items to which one or more Bargaining Agents have opted out be referred to the Executive Committee for determination if the Employer does not wish to remove said item from its input (subsection 9.1.12);
- The term “present” was used interchangeably throughout section 15 and was not consistent with the intent of the section. This language was changed to “submit”, “transmit”, and “heard” to provide clarity between the different terms (subsection 15.1.6; subsection 15.1.8);
- Parties are held to higher standards with respect to timeliness for replying to grievances (subsection 15.1.13);
- Additional language allowing a grievance to be scheduled should a second level reply or reasonable request for extension not be received within the established timeline (subsection 15.1.12);
- An established timeframe for which objections, including objections to jurisdiction and timeliness, is set for both parties (subsection 15.1.13);
- New language was added to provide clarity on the use of source documents in the context of the grievance procedure (subsection 15.2.1);
- Addition of language allowing the Executive Committee to make a determination where there is an impasse with respect to a request for interpretation or clarification (subsection 16.2.2); and
- Removal of references to directives which no longer exist or now form part of other directives (Appendix C).
The revised By-Laws can be accessed via the following link: https://www.njc-cnm.gc.ca/s18/s97/en.