Archived - Adjudication - Chapter 5

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Legislative base

Section 92 of the Public Service Staff Relations Act (PSSRA) provides for three types of grievances to be referred to adjudication: grievances with respect to (a) the interpretation or application of a provision of a collective agreement or an arbitral award; (b)(i) disciplinary action resulting in suspension or a financial penalty; and (b)(ii) termination of employment or demotion pursuant to paragraph 11(2)(f) or (g) of the Financial Administration Act. This chapter describes the administrative process whereby the Staff Relations Division of the Treasury Board Secretariat (TBS) will be in a position to respond, as employer, to grievances referred to adjudication.


These guidelines apply to all departments and agencies for which the Treasury Board is the employer; i.e. those listed in Schedule I, Part I of the PSSRA.


adjudicationmeans a quasi-judicial process whereby a third party holds a hearing on a grievance and renders a decision (arbitrage);

adjudicatormeans an adjudicator appointed under PSSRA Section 93, and includes a board of adjudication established under PSSRA Section 94, and an adjudicator named in a collective agreement for the purposes of that agreement (arbitre);

conduct moneymeans money required under PSSRA Section 109 to be given to a witness on the serving of a subpoena. This includes witness fees and travel expenses (indemnité au témoin);

employeemeans an employee as defined in the PSSRA, including for the purposes of grievances, a person who occupies a managerial or confidential position (fonctionnaire);

employermeans Her Majesty in right of Canada as represented by the Treasury Board (employeur);

grievancemeans a complaint in writing presented in accordance with the PSSRA by an employee on his or her own behalf or on behalf of himself or herself and one or more other employees (grief).


Treasury Board Secretariat

The Staff Relations Division is responsible for:

  • transmitting replies in the grievance procedure to the Public Service Staff Relations Board (PSSRB);
  • providing information on hearings and adjudication decisions to departments and agencies;
  • convening meetings with departments or agencies and legal counsel to determine the employer's position and to plan the preparation for adjudication, in order to ensure the proper presentation of the employer's case;
  • determining the employer's position on grievances referred to adjudication;
  • paying travel and other expenses of Department of Justice lawyers;
  • preparing and signing settlement documents;
  • determining whether the employer will challenge an adjudicator's decision before the courts.

Departments and agencies

Departments and agencies are responsible for:

  • upon receiving a notice of reference to adjudication, forwading the following to the Employer Representation Group of TBS:
    • four (4) copies of all replies given at each of the levels of the grievance procedure,
    • four (4) copies of the grievance,
    • if applicable, four (4) copies of the letter of discipline, termination, or demotion,
    • two (2) copies of all other documents pertaining to the grievance filed, including investigation reports;
    • attending all meetings convened by the Employer Representation Group to discuss the merits of the grievance referred to adjudication, and obtaining all further information and documents deemed necessary;
    • arranging for the serving of subpoenas and payment of the appropriate conduct money;
    • making available at adjudication hearings all necessary experts and witnesses, including a staff relations representative from the department;
    • where the authority to represent the employer at adjudication has been delegated, preparing and presenting the employer's case, in accordance with the appropriate instrument of delegation;
    • implementing any decision of an adjudicator or the terms of any settlement.

Department of Justice

The Department of Justice is responsible for:

  • preparing and presenting the employer's case at adjudication;
  • providing advice to the Employer Representation Group on adjudication cases and in the consideration of any challenge before the courts.


Public Service Staff Relations Act

Public Service Staff Relations Board Regulations and Rules of Procedure

Treasury Board Manual, Staff relations volume, chapter 4 entitled Grievance procedure

Collective agreements

Departmental grievance procedure

Departmental codes of discipline


Enquiries should be directed to:

Employer Representation Group
Staff Relations Division
Human Resources Policy Branch
Treasury Board Secretariat