Dispute resolution policy

Preface

Since the well-being of members of staff and harmonious work relationships are of concern to the University, it is important that any dispute which an employee may have be dealt with as quickly and fairly as possible. In accordance with this, the following procedure is to be followed:


1.  Scope

1.1 This Dispute Resolution Policy applies to an employee who:

  • has been hired by the University as a member of the regular, non-unionized non-academic staff, with the exception of University Executives (“E”) and
  • completed his/her probationary period;

This Dispute Resolution Policy forms part of the employee’s individual contract of employment.

1.2 For the purpose of this policy, a dispute which can proceed to arbitration is a disagreement concerning the application to the employee of any part of the following items:

  • Administrative Dismissal
  • Calculation of Service
  • Disciplinary Measures
  • Disability
  • Educational Assistance
  • Eligibility to join Supplemental Health Plan and Pension Plan
  • Employment Security
  • Holidays with Pay (articles 2, 3 and 4)
  • Hours of Work
  • Non-Disciplinary Suspension and Termination
  • Parental Leave
  • Personal Leave
  • Rest Periods
  • Social Leave
  • Staffing
  • Temporary Lay-Off
  • Unpaid Leave of Absence
  • Vacation
  • Work Accidents

1.3 A dispute about any other matter shall also proceed under this policy but only up to the completion of Step 3.

1.4 Nothing in this policy shall be interpreted so as to take away from the University any rights or privileges inherent to its employer status or management functions.

1.5 The purpose of this policy is to provide a mechanism for the resolution of disputes between the employee and the University, which cannot be resolved by informal discussions. Nothing in this policy shall be considered as having the effect of preventing the employee from attempting to resolve a dispute by discussing it with his/her immediate supervisor, before resorting to the Dispute Resolution Policy.


2. Procedure

2.1 Throughout the dispute resolution and arbitration procedures the employee has the right to be accompanied or represented by two members of the non-unionized non-academic staff, or two representatives from the Staff Association. All actions other than the filing of the dispute at the initial step and to arbitration to be taken by an employee in these procedures may be taken on his/her behalf by his/her authorized representatives.

2.2 Human Resources is responsible for the application of this policy.

2.3 The facts that gave rise to the dispute shall be summarized in a letter signed by the employee. The letter shall specify the nature of the redress being sought.

2.4 In all steps in the policy, the employee may use either English or French. The reply of the reviewing University official will be given in the language used by the employee.

2.5  No technical error in the filing of a dispute shall affect its validity. Once discovered, a technical error shall be communicated to the other party. The dispute may be amended to correct the technical error.


3. Steps in the Procedure

3.1 Preliminary Discussions

An employee having a disagreement that could give rise to a dispute within the meaning of the present policy is encouraged to discuss it with his/her immediate supervisor. If there is no discussion or if this discussion does not succeed in resolving the disagreement, a letter of dispute may be submitted by the employee in accordance with the following provisions.

3.2 Delay

All letters of dispute must be filed with the University within three (3) months of the date of the occurrence or omission that gave rise to it. If the letter of dispute is filed after three (3) months, the employee, or the Staff Association, shall have the burden of proof that the knowledge of the event was acquired after its occurrence. The above-mentioned delays for the filing of a dispute are mandatory. Disputes filed after the expiration of the prescribed delays shall be rejected.

3.3 Step 1

An employee wishing to file a letter of dispute shall deliver the letter to his/her immediate supervisor, within the delays as defined in article 3.2.

The immediate supervisor will render a decision, in writing, within ten (10) working days of receipt of the letter of dispute.

3.4 Step 2

If the disagreement is not resolved or if the supervisor fails to render a decision, in writing, within the said ten (10) working days, the employee shall submit the letter of dispute to the Dean or Senior Administrative Head, within ten (10) working days of the decision under Step 1 or, as the case may be, of the expiry of the delay provided therefor.

The Dean or Senior Administrative Head will render a decision, in writing, within fifteen (15) working days of receipt of the letter of dispute.

3.5 Step 3

If the disagreement is not resolved with the decision of the Dean or Senior Administrative Head or if the Dean or Senior Administrative Head fails to render a decision within the said fifteen (15) working days, the employee shall submit his/her letter of dispute to the Vice-Principal (Administration and Finance) within fifteen (15) working days of the decision under Step 2 or, as the case may be, of the expiry of the delay provided therefor.

The Vice-Principal (Administration and Finance) will render a decision, in writing, within fifteen (15) working days of receipt of the letter of dispute.

For non-arbitrable disputes that have reached Step 3;

a)         The parties shall schedule at least two (2) hearing dates in advance with the Vice-Principal (Administration and Finance). The University and the employee shall each designate an assessor to assist the Vice-Principal (Administration and Finance) and represent their views regarding the decision to be rendered, but they shall not be entitled to add new facts during their discussions with the Vice-Principal (Administration and Finance) after the hearing at Step 3. The assessors shall be designated at least two (2) weeks prior to the date of the Step 3 hearing (at step f) of the procedure. If either the University or the employee fail to designate an assessor, the Vice-Principal (Administration and Finance) shall proceed in the absence of that party’s assessor.

b)         At least eight (8) weeks prior to the date of the Step 3 hearing, the parties shall agree on the dispute to be submitted to the Vice-Principal (Administration and Finance) at the next hearing date scheduled.

c)         At least five (5) weeks prior to the date of the Step 3 hearing, the employee or the Staff Association shall submit a statement of issue to the University describing concisely the nature of the dispute.

d)         In the same delay, the employee or the Staff Association shall submit a written statement of its position together with the evidence and proof in support thereof.

e)         At least three (3) weeks prior to the date of the Step 3 hearing, the University shall submit a written reply and its position together with the evidence and proof in support thereof.

f)         At least two (2) weeks prior to the date of the Step 3 hearing, the employee or the Staff Association shall reply to the University's position and forward to the Vice-Principal (Administration and Finance) and the designated assessors a copy of the documents mentioned in sections 3.5 b) to 3.5 e) above.

g)         At the Step 3 hearing, each party shall be entitled to make oral arguments in support of their respective position.

3.6 Step 4 (Arbitration)

If a disagreement about an item listed in section 1.2 is not resolved with the decision of the Vice-Principal (Administration and Finance), or if the Vice-Principal (Administration and Finance)fails to render a decision within the said fifteen (15) working days, the employee shall, within thirty (30) working days of the decision or, as the case may be, of the expiry of the delay provided therefor, deliver to Human Resources a signed written request for arbitration. The request shall be accompanied by a copy of the letter of dispute.


4. Other Rules

4.1 A dispute concerning the application to the employee of any of the following items may be filed directly at Step 3:

  • Disability
  • Educational Assistance
  • Eligibility to join Supplemental Health Plan and Pension Plan
  • Employment Security
  • Parental Leaves
  • Staffing
  • Suspension or dismissal
  • Unpaid Leave of Absence
  • Work Accidents

4.2 Any agreement between the employee and the University resolving a dispute must be the subject of a document signed by the employee and the University.

4.3 If the employee does not proceed to the next step within the time delays stated in this policy, the letter of dispute shall be deemed to be withdrawn.

4.4 All time limits referred to may be extended by written mutual agreement of the employee and the University. All time limits are exclusive only of Saturday, Sundays and Statutory Holidays as outlined in Section 2 of the Holidays With Pay Policy, and any other days where the University’s administrative offices are officially closed.


5. Arbitration

5.1 The Arbitrator shall be chosen by agreement between the University and the employee from amongst the following:

  • Claude Martin
  • René Beaupré
  • Andrée St-George
  • Yves St-André
  • Jean René Ranger
  • Nancy Menard-Cheng

or any other person agreed to between the parties.

In the event that no agreement is reached within ten (10) days of the dispute being referred to arbitration, the arbitrator shall be chosen by lot amongst those mentioned above in the presence of representatives of both parties.

5.2    Jurisdiction of the Arbitrator

a.       The arbitrator’s sole jurisdiction is to decide on a dispute as defined in Section 1;

b.      Subject to the Personnel Policies Review Policy, the arbitrator has no jurisdiction with respect to any decision by the University to amend or remove any of the policies referred to in Section 1.2;

c.       In rendering a decision on a dispute, the arbitrator may not remove, amend or modify anything contained in the policies referred to in Section 1.2;

d.      In rendering a decision on a dispute concerning a reprimand, suspension, or dismissal, the arbitrator may confirm, modify or annul the measure taken. The arbitrator may substitute for such measure one which, given the circumstances of the case, he/she considers reasonable and just.

e.       The arbitrator may render a decision, if applicable, on the amount of compensation to which an employee may be entitled, including payment of interest in accordance with the laws of the province of Quebec.

5.3 Decision of the Arbitrator

 i.            The arbitrator must render a final decision, including the grounds for it, within twenty (20) days following the end of the hearing. The decision shall be final and binding on all parties.

ii.            The decision shall not be invalidated by failure to comply with the above time period.

5.4 Employees called upon to testify at an arbitration hearing shall be granted leave, without loss of salary, for the length of time required for this testimony.

5.5 Up to two (2) representatives who accompany the employee throughout this Dispute Resolution Policy shall be granted leave, without loss of salary, during the arbitration hearing.

5.6 A confession signed by an employee may not be used against the employee during arbitration, provided the confession was retracted in writing by the employee within seven (7) days of the signing of the confession.

5.7 The fees and expenses of the arbitrator shall be shared equally by the Staff Association and the University if the employee is represented by the Staff Association or equally by the employee and the University if the employee is not represented by the Staff Association.

5.8 In a legal sense, this arbitration procedure constitutes an arbitration agreement within the meaning of article 2638 of the Civil Code of Quebec and articles 940 to 952 of the Quebec Code of Civil Procedure.

5.9 Disputes filed up to December 31, 2016 will be subject to the delays provided for in the Policy revised in January 2014 whereas disputes filed as of January 1, 2017 will be subject to the delays provided in the Policy revised on January 1, 2017, irrespective of when the fact(s) disputed occurred.

 

 

Effective January 8, 1996.

Revised March 2004.

Revised September 2009.

Revised June 2013.

Revised January 2014.

Revised January 2017.