BCNU is pleased to confirm that a finalized two-step grievance process is now in place to guide both stewards and employers toward successful resolutions of differences in the workplace. This process applies to any alleged violation of the Nurses’ Bargaining Association (NBA) contract, other than for matters related to Articles 9.03 (Single-Employer Policy Disputes), 9.06 (Resolution of Employee Dismissal or Suspension Disputes) or 9.07 (Industry-Wide Application Disputes). As stated in the revised language of Article 9, both the union and the employer have agreed that it is in both parties’ interest to resolve grievances as efficiently as possible.
Key to a successful first meeting is a complete review and sharing of background information and documentation which is now recognized as an expectation of both the employer and the steward present.
Step 1Timelines remain a critical part of the process. From the time a member comes forward to their steward to report an issue, the steward and member have fourteen (14) days to meet with the local-level manager to discuss the potential contract violation and review documents in order to obtain a possible resolution. A joint decision must be made by the employer and steward either at the meeting or within seven (7) days, as to whether or not the issue remains unresolved. This is known as step one of the grievance process.
Step 2If the issue is not resolved, the process moves into step two. At this stage, a grievance must be filed by the steward within fourteen (14) days of the written decision from the employer. The steward should be in contact with their labour relations officer (LRO) for further support.
Once the employer has received the grievance form they have seven (7) days to respond, in writing. Their response must outline why the grievance has been denied. A second meeting including the LRO must then be scheduled within twenty-one (21) days following the receipt of the employer’s response. During this twenty-one (21)-day period, further documentation must be exchanged between both parties so that an informed attempt can be made to resolve the issue.
If the meeting held in this second step does not resolve the issue, the employer has seven days to respond in writing explaining why the grievance has been denied a second time. Once this has been received by the union, BCNU has ninety (90) days to then refer the matter to the BC Healthcare Office of Arbitration (BCHOA) for a final decision.
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