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In this section, we try to answer some of the most basic questions on grievances. If you have any questions you feel should be part of this page, please contact APUO.

  • I have a problem with the employer. What do I do?

    When problems arise, there should be an attempt to resolve the issue as early and informally as possible. If a problem arises between a member and the employer, the member may initially deal with it informally, by discussing it with the dean or an appropriate superior. Such informal steps can be undertaken with or without APUO assistance, but it is often advisable to consult the APUO on how best to proceed.

    If informal steps fail to lead to a satisfactory resolution, and the problem is a grievance (as defined in section 13.1 of the Collective Agreement), the member may have recourse to a more formal procedure. Depending on the nature of the case, it may be adjudicated by the Formal Grievance Committee (FGC) or a board of arbitration.

  • What is a grievance?

    A grievance is a difference between a union and an employer that can’t be resolved informally. Grievances arise from the interpretation, application, administration or an alleged violation of a collective agreement or statute.

    See more

  • What’s the procedure for filing a grievance?

    If a member wishes to grieve a decision of the Joint Committee, the Board of Governors, or the Administrative Committee, or the member has any other grievance that he wishes to submit to the formal grievance resolution procedure, he must file a written notice of grievanceThe notice must be filed with the employer within 15 working days of the event giving rise to the grievance or the receipt of the decision being grieved.The notice should outline the nature of the grievance and the remedy sought; APUO assistance in its preparation is available upon request.

  • What are some examples of recent grievances?
    • tenure and promotion-related decisions taken by the Joint Committee,
    • workload irregularities,
    • contract renewal irregularities,
    • discipline decisions by deans,
    • calculation of vacation credits,
    • procedural irregularities following student complaints.


    Since 2000, approx. 33% APUO grievances have been related to promotion & tenure procedural irregularities or decisions taken by the Joint Committee.

  • Will my personal information be kept confidential?

    APUO collects information only by lawful and fair means and not in an unreasonably intrusive way. Some information is obtained from the employer, as mandated by the collective agreement or the law generally. In most individual situations, we collect your personal information directly from you, although we may obtain that information from third parties with your authorization. For more information on the APUO’s privacy policy, click here.