Union Appeal Processes
Section 153(6) of the Labour Relations Code allows unions to apply to the Board for approval of an internal or external appeal process for representation issues. Where a union has a Board approved process, it affects how the Board handles duty of fair representation complaints against the union.
A link to the Board’s “Guidelines for Board Approval of Union Appeal or Review Processes for Representation Issues” can be found below. This document outlines the criteria the Board looks for when considering the union’s process. It also outlines the procedure for a union to apply under section 153(6).
Members wanting to bring duty of fair representation complaints against a union should check whether the union has a Board approved internal or external appeal process for representation issues. The Board publishes a list of unions with approved processes. A link to that list can be found below.
Where the union does have an approved process, in most cases the Board cannot accept any duty of fair representation complaint to the Board unless the member has appealed or applied under the approved process. Once the member does so, the Board cannot accept any complaint until the union process is either complete or has been outstanding for longer than is reasonable in the circumstances. The Board will not accept any complaint where the union appeal or review has been outstanding for less than 90 days.
Once the member has been notified of the result of their appeal or review, any duty of fair representation complaint to the Board must be filed within 45 days.
Where a union does not have an approved process, the Board’s normal duty of fair representation procedures and timelines apply. Further information about the Board’s procedures in all duty of fair representation matters can be found in Information Bulletin #18.
Guidelines for Board Approval of Union Appeal or Review Processes for Representation Issues
List of Unions with Approved Appeal or Review Processes