Grievance Procedure

Wherever there are collective labour agreements (CLAs) there are bound to be problems of interpretation, application and administration.

A grievance procedure is essential if the problems that arise are to be satisfactorily dealt with in a consistent and precise manner.

A grievance is defined as;

“A Difference over what the collective labour agreement means.  It is usually a result of some action taken by the company, or by the company’s failure to take action when it should have been taken.”

A grievance is the formal articulation of a complaint usually in writing and with the assistance or involvement of a union.  Grieving takes place when a “formal complaint” has not been addressed by the immediate supervisor.  For the most part, “grieving” is associated with a union environment.

Procedures may be determined jointly by management and union — joint regulation;

Procedures can be unilaterally determined by management where there is no union.

Although management has an interest in ensuring that employees are not dissatisfied, the grievance process is primarily an employee mechanism

  • Initiated by employees to express and resolve their dissatisfaction
  • Allows employees to challenge the absolute power of management

Its effectiveness should be judged by employee satisfaction with its operation.

Grievances are frequently concerned with an individual’s terms and conditions of employment.

A Staged Approach:

1.        Reflects organizational hierarchy

2.        Provides for a review of decisions by a higher level of authority at each succeeding stage

3.        Should include only the necessary and effective levels of management


Grievance Procedure 

Within Department Outside Department(Still in Organization) External to Organization

Steps for Grievance Procedure

External Part of Grievance Procedure

STEP 7 – Litigation

STEP 6 – Arbitration

STEP 5 – Conciliation

Internal Part of Grievance Procedure

STEP 4 – CEO or Nominee

STEP 3 – HR Department

STEP 2 – Department Head (in writing)

STEP 1- Immediate Supervisor