Advice/Assistance with a Potential Grievance
Labour Relations Officers (LROs) represent members and attend meetings with members where there is a potential for discipline. LROs also receive and address member concerns, and provide advice (both of which may or may not escalate into formal grievances) respecting the University’s obligations under, and/or potential violations of, the express or implied terms and conditions of the Collective Agreement as well as Alberta’s employment-related legislation (for example, OH&S or human rights issues). A grievance is carried solely by the AASUA.
NOTE: There is a three-month deadline from the date of the alleged act or omission for AASUA to Request a Meeting with the Employer. Members must reach out to AASUA well in advance of this deadline to look into the situation and to avoid a time bar to the AASUA’s ability to advance a grievance.
Although the AASUA office is open Monday to Friday, from 8:30 AM to 4:00 PM (closed from 12:00-1:00 PM), meetings with LROs are by appointment only. Meetings normally occur via Zoom or over the phone. In-person meetings occur when necessary.
Contact an LRO
Please fill in the form below to contact an LRO. Your information is always held in the strictest of confidence subject to legal requirements. AASUA collects, uses and discloses members’ and others’ personal information in compliance with the Personal Information Protection Act. You should expect to receive an email response from an LRO within two business days.
Duty of Fair Representation
The AASUA owes a duty to fairly represent its members with respect to their rights under the collective agreement. This means that grievance handling by the AASUA on behalf of members must not be arbitrary, discriminatory, made in bad faith, or made with serious negligence. When you contact the AASUA with a concern, the LRO will carry out a preliminary investigation of your concern to assess whether it may constitute a violation of the collective agreement. If you are requesting assistance with responding to a complaint or dealing with potential discipline, the LRO will represent you through the discipline process.
Duty to Cooperate
Members who seek assistance from the AASUA have a duty to cooperate with the AASUA. When you approach the AASUA for assistance, we will ask you to provide all information related to your concern. You are also responsible for responding to further requests or communications from the AASUA in a timely fashion. The AASUA may discontinue representation of a member who fails to cooperate with the AASUA, thus interfering with or frustrating its ability to fulfill its duty of fair representation.
Protecting Your Own Interests
Members protect their own interests by minimizing their losses, cooperating with the union, and availing themselves of the informal dispute resolution processes available when possible. If the Grievances Committee supports the preliminary decision made by the Executive Director not to advance a concern to grievance or arbitration, members have the right to appeal that decision to an Appeal Committee. The process is set out in the Membership Representation Policy. Should a member wish to appeal, process information will be provided by the LRO.
Workplace Anti-Harassment and Violence Policy
AASUA staff have the right to a safe and harassment-free workplace. A copy of the AASUA's Workplace Anti-Harassment and Violence Policy is posted at the AASUA office and on our website.
What if I need to reschedule my meeting?
Please send an email as soon as possible to the LRO who is assisting you.
Will the AASUA provide me with a lawyer?
The AASUA does not retain lawyers for individual members. Any legal counsel retained by the AASUA is for the purpose of representing the AASUA.
I have my own lawyer; can they represent me?
Your lawyer has no jurisdiction to represent you in matters covered by the collective agreement. Any legal counsel that you retain is at your own time and expense, and the LROs are not obligated to consult with your legal counsel on your concern. The AASUA is the sole bargaining agent with respect to disputes arising from the collective agreement, and the AASUA has the sole authority to file grievances and settle disputes on behalf of its members.
Can I file my own grievance?
No. You can request that the AASUA file a grievance on your behalf. A grievance is carried solely by the AASUA. If your concern is determined to be a violation of the collective agreement, then the AASUA may file a grievance on your behalf. If you believe an action of the University, as your Employer, violates a term of your employment under the collective agreement, please contact the AASUA as soon as possible as there are mandatory (and recently shortened) grievance timelines in the collective agreement. The failure to bring a concern to the attention of the AASUA in a timely way may result in a complete time bar to its ability to address a complaint or advance a grievance on your behalf. Please read Article 14 for further details.
Are some employment issues not subject to grievance under the collective agreement?
There are certain articles of the collective agreement that are not subject to grievance such as University responsibilities, appeal of decisions of FEC, etc. Please see Article 14.02 of the Collective Agreement for more information. You are also welcome to contact the AASUA to verify whether or not your concern is subject to grievance.
I am being harassed – what can the AASUA do to help me?
The University, as the Employer, is responsible for ensuring a safe and harassment-free workplace pursuant to occupational health and safety and, as applicable, human rights legislation. If you are experiencing harassment, the University has a responsibility to investigate your concern of unsafe work and take steps to address any safety issues, such as harassing behaviour. Contact the AASUA for assistance in notifying the University of your concern. The AASUA may file a grievance on your behalf if the University does not respond or does not respond appropriately.
What is the timeline for a grievance to be filed?
The AASUA must commence the grievance process within three months of the date of the incident that is alleged to be a violation of the collective agreement. In order to investigate the concern, you must contact the AASUA as soon as possible to ensure adequate time for an LRO to discuss the situation with you, gather evidence, and attempt an informal resolution with the University if possible. Failure to contact the AASUA in a timely fashion may result in a potential grievance being time-barred.