In Grievance Corner

By Nancy Taber

CAUT Grievance Training

Due to facilitator illness, this training has been delayed until early in the New Year. Once we have confirmed dates, an invitation will be sent to the membership – all members are welcome and there will be a few seats open. Please contact the BUFA Office if you are interested in attending. Participants will receive practical training in problem solving and conducting investigations of problems, complaints, and grievances. Such training is required for all Grievance Panel members and is very useful for BUFA Executive members, negotiating team members, committee members, and all members who have an interest in solving problems and resolving conflicts effectively. This workshop is available at no cost to our members but space is limited and will be allocated on a “first come” basis. Note: This workshop has been revised so it will be a new version of the training.

GP Review of Departmental Rules of Procedure

The GP is completing the review of the latest versions of the Departmental Rules of Procedure.

Policy Review

Multiple policies were discussed with the Employer. BUFA gave feedback and asked for revisions on the following policies:

Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Policy
Accommodation for Employees with Disabilities Policy
AODA and Copyright Compliance
statement for SAKAI
Biosafety Policy
IT Change Management Policy
IT Database Access Policy
IT Firewall Policy
IT Remote Access Policy
IT Service Provider Policy
IT System Security Policy
Safe Disclosure Policy
Sustainability Policy
Tobacco and Smoking Policy
Code of Conduct
and Conflict of Interest policy discussions are ongoing.

Thank you to the members who submitted comments on these policies.

Summaries of ongoing complaints, grievances, and arbitrations*

  • grievance filed and submitted to arbitration arguing that the Employer violated the Collective Agreement because a member’s claim to be reimbursed for medication for a dependent child was unreasonably denied. The first arbitration date is Jan. 28, 2016.
  • grievance filed arguing that the Employer has violated the Collective Agreement by refusing to recognize an “N” course, which was on the timetable, as scheduled teaching. The grievance was successful – the course is now considered a scheduled course and the member was given appropriate workload credit.
  • grievance filed arguing that the Employer has violated the Collective Agreement by failing to follow the Travel and Expense Reimbursement Policy with respect to paying per diem expenses in US funds for travel to the United States on university business.
  • multiple concerns with the low per diem in the travel policy. This was discussed at JCAA. BUFA made an argument for increasing the per diem but it was denied. Concerns have also been expressed that members need to get prior approval to buy groceries, even in areas where restaurants are overly expensive and/or not available. With respect to groceries, BUFA received the following response:

The Ontario Broader Public Sector Expense Directive sets out guidelines for managing public funds and requires that all expenses be documented in accordance with institutional policies that must be aligned with the directive. Quoted directly from the directive, “Reimbursement for groceries must have prior approval and a written rationale must be submitted with the claim”. “Good record-keeping practices must be maintained for verification and audit purposes.” To satisfy the directive and audit requirements the following 2 options are available to departments.

  1. Prior approval for groceries is required from the claimant’s SAC member (Dean). Sufficient documentation for approval is considered a copy of an email to the Dean requesting approval for groceries and his/her response stating they approve.
  1. Alternatively, a SAC member may also provide a general approval for groceries to financial services, up to the end of the current fiscal year, for all employees claiming against their cost centres, or for a specific list of employees claiming against their cost centres. In this situation, Financial Services requires a signed memo from the Dean explaining the rationale for groceries and who has approval.
  • There are multiple concerns with respect to members feeling that they are being harassed by other members. These member-member complaints are typically complicated and difficult to resolve. It is important to note that it is the Employer’s responsibility to provide a workplace safe from harassment and discrimination. Deans should be taking steps to ensure this takes place.

If you are experiencing difficulty with these or any other issues as relates to your working conditions, please contact the BUFA office directly.

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