Complaints and Grievances

Update: Due to the large number of complaints, this list is no longer being maintained. Nonetheless, it still gives members an idea of what the major sore spots are. Please contact APUO if you have a complaint. Thank you!

In an attempt to provide current information to APUO members regarding complaints and grievances, I have compiled the following table. The table is meant for informational purposes only. Complaints recorded herein were not necessarily grievances, but in some cases, matters of general concern for the membership.

Article(s) Complaint* Employer miscalculated annual leave entitlement. (many, many complaints of miscalculation of vacation, especially for employees on reduced workloads or in transition to retirement. Beware.)
41.6.3 Employer did not comply with section d) “For every such adjustment, the employer shall provide a summary of its reasons, to be published (without names) by the Association.” c) Employer disregarded “competence and potential” in its refusal of a position to three internal candidates. APUO members disagree with an employer decision regarding an internal posting. (4 instances in 2012)
28.4.4 Employer representative contravened a worker’s right to fulfil workload obligations from a location other than campus.
38.3 Employer insisted on longer than 30 days’ notice regarding a resignation (2 instances in 2012). Illegal contract issued to non-APUO member. Exceeded the limits specified in Illegal contract renewal. Exceeded the limits specified in
Annual Evaluation Lack of satisfactory mechanism for appealing an annual evaluation.
8.1 Discrimination. Overtime hours denied.

*Please note that librarians on any type of reduced workload do not have vacation days pro-rated in proportion to their salary reduction. This is an extremely important point to remember!

CAUT Policy Statement on Grievances

CAUT (Canadian Association of University Teachers) has the following information for academic staff in Canada.If you think you have a grievance, check the Collective Agreement and call the APUO for advice.

All labour legislation in Canada requires that collective agreements contain provisions for grievance and binding arbitration for alleged violations of the agreement. Academic staff associations should negotiate grievance and arbitration procedures that suit their circumstances.

A grievance is a formal allegation that there has been a violation of the terms and conditions of employment.

Every member of the bargaining unit has the right to fair representation by the association, for all disputes with the employer, and at every stage of the grievance process.

Grievances may be on behalf of individuals, groups or the association.

The academic staff association should have exclusive carriage for all grievances.

The association should have the right to file a grievance on every matter covered by the collective agreement.

The final stage of a grievance should be final and binding arbitration by a neutral third party. The party may be either a single arbitrator or a 3-person arbitration board.

Cases involving academic freedom or peer evaluation should require arbitrators with extensive experience in or knowledge of appropriate post-secondary institutions.

The arbitrator should have the power to provide remedies and interim relief, including reinstatement of an individual.


Information for APUO members about Grievances is available online under Article 13 of the Collective Agreement.


Read a report from Laurentian University on the CAUT Librarians’ Conference (Ottawa, October, 2011). The theme of the conference was: The Aggrieved Librarian: Enforcing Workplace Rights through the Collective Agreement.

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