Dispute Resolution

As a TA at the University, you are a member of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) local 2278. The Collective Agreement between the Union and the University regulates the number of hours you work, your duties, your rate of pay, and the procedures you should follow for resolving disputes. The complete Collective Agreement between the TA Union (Canadian Union of Public Employees – Local 2278) and the University of British Columbia is available online at http://cupe2278.ca/forms_and_docs/cupe2278_ta.pdf.

The following information is summarized or taken directly from the Collective Agreement:


10.03  Definition of a Grievance

A grievance shall be defined as any difference or dispute arising between the parties to this Agreement concerning the interpretation, application, administration, operation, or alleged violation of this Agreement.

10.04  Union May Institute Grievance

The Union and its Representatives shall have the right to originate a grievance on behalf of an employee, or group of employees, and to seek adjustment with the Employer in the manner provided in the Grievance Procedure. For purposes of clarification, an employee may lodge a complaint with the Union and the Union may initiate a grievance. At all times a grievance is owned by the Union.

10.05  Grievance Procedure

Any complaint shall first be taken up verbally with the parties.  Failing settlement of the complaint, it shall be taken up as a grievance according to the following procedure:

Step I

(a)    The grievance shall be stated in writing and shall be submitted to the Department Head with a copy to the Supervisor. The written grievance shall provide:

  1. i.   a description of the grievance and the incident(s) from which the grievance arose.
  2. ii.   the suggested remedy.

(b)    The Department Head shall meet with the employee within five (5) working days; the employee may be accompanied by his/her Steward or another Union representative. The Department Head may be accompanied by another representative of the Employer.

(c)    After receipt of a written grievance, the Department Head shall have a maximum of five (5) working days in which to present a written reply to the grievor(s) with a copy to the Union. Failing settlement, the grievance shall proceed to the next step within a maximum of five (5) working days of the Department Head’s reply. For non-departmentalized Faculties, a grievance shall commence at Step II of the grievance procedure.

Step II

Step II shall commence upon written presentation of the grievance to the Dean of the Faculty, or designate. He/she shall meet with the grievor(s), and the Steward (or other Union representative) in an effort to resolve the grievance.  The Dean or designate may be accompanied by another representative of the Employer. At this meeting, if resolution of the grievance does not seem imminent, the parties may agree to proceed immediately to Step III. Otherwise, within five (5) working days after commencement of this step, the Dean or his/her designate shall deliver a written reply to the grievor, with a copy to the Union. Failing settlement, the grievance shall be processed to the next step within ten (10) working days following either receipt of the written response or expiry of the above time limit, whichever comes first.

Step III

Step III shall commence upon written presentation of the grievance to the Department of Human Resources. The University Labour Committee and the Union Grievance Committee shall then have ten (10) working days in which to meet and attempt to resolve the grievance. If the grievance is resolved, a memorandum shall be made of the agreement reached and signed by the representatives of each party, and a copy shall be made for each party. If the grievance cannot be resolved, the union shall, not later than five (5) working days following the ten (l0) working day time limit, signify in writing to the Employer its intention to invoke the arbitration procedure as set out in Article ll.

10.06  Time Limits

For any particular grievance, the time limits provided in the Grievance Procedure may be extended by mutual consent of both parties.  Such consent shall be given in writing.

10.07  Employees May be Present

The grievor(s) shall be permitted time off without loss of pay and benefits to attend to the adjustment of a grievance and may take part at any step in the grievance procedure.

10.08  Policy Grievance

Where a dispute involving a question of general application or interpretation occurs, or where a group of employees or the Union or the Employer has a grievance, such dispute or grievance shall be initiated at Step III.

10.09  Priorities

Any grievance involving suspension or dismissal shall be initiated at Step II.  A grievance involving health and safety shall be initiated at Step III.

10.10  Facilities for Grievance

The Employer shall provide the premises for the grievance meeting.