Archived - Grievance Procedure

To allocate the employer's responsibilities between Treasury Board and Departments with regards to establishing grievance procedures.
Date modified: 1994-10-04

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Legislative base

The grievance procedure is a formal administrative process through which employees may seek the resolution of any differences pertaining to terms and conditions of employment. Section 91 of the Public Service Staff Relations Act (PSSRA) gives employees the right to present grievances unless another administrative process for redress exists under any other Act of Parliament. Three types of grievances may be referred to adjudication under PSSRA Section 92:  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 responsibilities of the Treasury Board Secretariat (TBS) and departments and agencies with respect to requirements under PSSRA Section 91, the collective agreements, and Part VIII of the Public Service Staff Relations Board Regulations and Rules of Procedure.


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.


complaint means a verbal expression of dissatisfaction by an employee relating to his or her employment addressed to his or her supervisor (plainte);

employee means an employee as defined in the PSSRA, and includes for the purposes of grievances, a person who occupies a managerial or confidentiai.position (fonctionnaire);

final level means the final level of the grievance procedure, normally the "deputy head" or his or her authorized representative (dernier palier);

grievance means 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);

level means a level of management designated to reply to grievances (palier);

specified officer means the immediate supervisor, local officer-in-charge or other officer designated by management as a person authorized to accept a grievance. This officer may or may not be a level in the grievance procedure (agent désigné).


Treasury Board Secretariat

TBS is responsible for:

  • establishing guidelines concerning the grievance procedure;
  • negotiating grievance procedures in collective agreements;
  • reviewing and approving departmental grievance procedures and any significant amendments to them;
  • providing advice to departments and agencies about grievances, particularly those at the final level.

Departments and agencies

Departments and agencies are responsible for:

  • establishing an internal grievance procedure for represented employees in keeping with collective agreements, and for excluded and unrepresented employees in keeping with the PSSRB Regulations and Rules of Procedure;
  • obtaining approval of the grievance procedure, and any significant amendments to it, from the Employer Representation Group of TBS;
  • complying with the grievance procedure provisions of collective agreements, PSSRB Regulations and Rules of Procedure, and the departmental grievance procedure, including posting of notices concerning steps in the grievance procedure;
  • consulting on and responding to grievances in the official language in which they are presented. Employees have the right to present grievances in the official language of their choice, regardless of location, the internal language used, or the language requirements of their positions.


Public Service Staff Relations Act

Public Service Staff Relations Board Regulations and Rules of Procedure

Treasury Board Manual, Staff relations volume, chapter 5 entitled Adjudication

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

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