Grievance Information


Simply, it’s a process aimed at addressing an infringement of the employee's collective agreement rights.

Almost all grievances concern a breach of a specific provision covered in a collective agreement. If you think your employer has breached your collective agreement rights, you are entitled to file a grievance. You should be able to identify specific articles of the collective agreement you believe have been breached.

Check your collective agreement for information about the grievance process and its timelines.

Contact your BCGEU steward. Your steward can advise whether your situation is appropriate for filing a grievance or whether it is a complaint. Your steward can also help you prepare and file a grievance form with the union.

The grievance form will include key facts:

  • WHO: is involved? The member's name, employer title and job classification. Name and title of supervisors or witnesses.
  • WHAT: the story of what occurred in chronological order.
  • WHEN: did the breach occur? Dates and times.
  • WHERE: did it occur? Exact location(s). Pictures or drawings are helpful.
  • WHY: is this considered to be a grievance? A violation of an article(s) in the collective agreement, an Act or Code, such as the Human Rights Code?
  • WANT: what you expect the grievance settlement to look like. Ex: vacation time returned, return of all wages lost.


A steward can classify grievances according to where they come from and how they arise. Grievances are also classified according to who is affected.

Individual grievance – Used when the subject matter of the grievance is personal to an individual. Discipline is almost always grieved by using an individual grievance. Most grievances are individual grievances.

Group grievance – Used when a group of workers join together in filing their grievances. For example, where everyone on a shift was not paid overtime. In that situation, instead of everyone on the shift filing separate individual grievances, a group grievance can be filed. All individuals affected by a group grievance must be named to ensure that each member receives a remedy if the grievance is settled in their favour.

Policy grievance – Used when the subject matter of the grievance is of general interest and where the individual employee may or may not be affected at the time the grievance is filed. Criteria includes a large number of people affected, a large number of alleged violations. The remedy is for more than one individual and is often in the form of a declaration.

Union grievance – A combination of a policy grievance and individual grievance. Although one individual may be affected, he or she may be affected in a way that is a concern to all members of the bargaining unit.