I am a Grievor
Grievors wishing to verify the status of their Registered grievance must consult DGCFGA's monthly listing on the DGCFGA's DIN site.
Step by Step
STEP 1: Before taking any further action, you should always first try to get your complaint resolved at the lowest level keeping in mind that you have 6 months in which to submit your grievance (When does the clock start ticking? Refer to QR&O Article 7.02 (Time Limit) ):
- Discuss with your supervisor, even if the supervisor is the reason for your complaint; perhaps your complaint can be resolved.
- If you are not comfortable talking to your supervisor, you can request a meeting with another level in your chain of command to try to resolve your issue. QR&O Article 7.01 (Right to Grieve) indicates that you are not precluded from making an oral complaint to the CO prior to submitting a grievance.
- Another option is to request a mediated attempt at informal resolution through the CF Alternate Dispute Resolution (ADR) process.
STEP 2: If your attempt to resolve your complaint informally fails, the next step is to determine whether the grievance process is the right method for handling your complaint.
- If your complaint is about or contains harassment allegations, the harassment complaint process should be used before the grievance process. If you are dissatisfied with the result, you can then grieve the outcome of the harassment investigation.
- If you have a complaint for which you are requesting a lump sum payment, e.g., for pain and suffering, you should be applying to the Director Claims and Civil Litigation (DCCL) since the Chief of the Defence Staff (CDS) does not have the authority to make such payments.
- If you have determined that you have a valid grievance (see QR&O Article 7.01) and the grievance process is the correct process for handling your complaint, a very important first step is to request that your CO appoint an Assisting Member to help you to prepare and submit your grievance.
STEP 3: You have an Assisting Member and are now ready to start writing your grievance.
- A Grievance Template is available to help you write your grievance. You are highly encouraged to use the template as it will ensure that your grievance contains all the information that is required by QR&O Article 7.02 (Time Limit) and QR&O Article 7.04 (Submission to CO).
- Remember that you must submit your grievance to your CO in order for your grievance to be a proper submission under law.
- You will receive confirmation when your grievance is registered.
- Note that although you are not entitled to legal counsel at public expense, you always have the option of hiring a lawyer at your own expense.
STEP 4: You have submitted your grievance but the Initial Authority (IA) has requested an extension for adjudication of your grievance. What are your options now?
- Although you have the right to not grant an extension and to ask that your grievance be forwarded to the final authority (FA) for final adjudication, it really is in your best interest to grant one or even more extensions if they are requested. Why? Because quite often your grievance will be resolved to your satisfaction by the IA and it may take much longer if you wait for a decision by the FA. Furthermore, if there is no IA decision on your file when it gets to the FA, your file will very often be sent back to the IA for his/her input as the subject matter expert, and this will probably cause more delays than if you had granted an extension in the first place.
STEP 5: The IA has sent you a disclosure package. What do you do with it ?
- Before a decision is made by the IA, any information that may influence the decision and that you are not in possession of will be disclosed to you. This will be your opportunity to make sure that your grievance has been clearly understood and will also allow you to add any relevant information that is missing or that may have just become known to you. The IA will consider all of your relevant comments before making a final decision.
STEP 6: The IA has adjudicated your grievance but you are not satisfied with his/her decision. What is the next step?
- If you are not satisfied with the IA's decision, you have 90 days from receiving the decision in which to request that your grievance be forwarded to the FA for adjudication. The Submission to the CDS form will provide you with all the information that you require to initiate this step or you may submit your request in writing to the IA.
STEP 7: Your grievance is at the FA level. What happens now?
- Your grievance file will be reviewed and depending on the subject of your grievance, will be assigned either to a Director General Canadian Forces Grievance Authority (DGCFGA) analyst or sent to the Canadian Forces Grievance Board (CFGB) for assignment to a CFGB analyst. Once the file has been assigned, you will receive a phone call from the analyst. However, it is important to note that there is no time limits at the FA level and also, your file may not be assigned right away depending on the number of other files that are being worked on.
- At the FA level, again depending on the subject of your grievance, it will be either the CDS or his delegate, DGCFGA, who will be making the final decision.
- Before your file goes before the FA for adjudication, you will be provided with a disclosure package and one last opportunity to provide comments in support of your grievance, which the FA will closely consider before making a final decision.
- It should be noted that the decision made by the FA is final and binding. If you are not satisfied with the decision, your only option is to go the Federal Court of Canada,which means either hiring a lawyer or representing yourself.
Related Forms and Templates
Policies and Directives
Visit the Policies and directives concerning the grievance process.