If you feel that a supervisor, superintendent or even a manager (for simplicity, we’ll call them Team Leaders or TL for short) is treating you in a manner that is unbecoming of their position, there are means to deal with this.
First and foremost, never resort to verbal or physical violence, whether you are on duty or off duty.
With a shop steward, you can approach your TL and ‘have a talk’. Under the Collective Agreement (Urban) 9.07, you can have this ‘talk’ in hopes to come to an understanding. There are TL that will listen and provide you feedback. Perhaps it was a misunderstanding or there is a different perception of the issue. In some other cases, the TL may not be approachable or may take offense or act out in other ways which may include abusing their authority.
If a TL or TLs approach and you are uncomfortable with it and the situation is escalating (they are raising voices etc), remain calm, and know that you have the right to a shop steward, you can say ‘I want my shop steward present’, ask for one or find one. If you cannot find a shop steward call the Local Office.
The Company has the right to manage. If you ‘forgot’ a bundle of mail or missed a scan, they have the right to make you aware of their concern by speaking with you. Again, you should have a shop steward present, ask for one or find one. Ideally, for the error, they’ll let you know verbally and ask you to take greater care and that would be the end of it.
Having a shop steward present is a recommended must.
If it’s the 3rd, 4th, 5th time they ‘coached’ you on the forgotten items, they have the right to interview you. In these cases, it may feel like harassment, and it may not be. The TL Coaching and/or Training you, should do so in a professional and respectful manner. If its not professional and respectful, ask for a shop steward. Shop stewards are not subordinates when they are your representatives and they can challenge the TL on their behaviour as well as help you if you wish to make a complaint.
On the other hand, if you find your TL to be condescending, intimidating, micro-managing, deceitful, bullying, targeting, threatening, disrespecting you or others in a manner that is negatively affecting your physical and mental wellbeing, you have the right to write and send a complaint.
There are multiple channels for a complaint to go through such as a verbal complaint with your shop steward under Articles 9.07 (Urban), you can submit a fact sheet for a Grievance, you can submit a notice of occurrence under Bill C65, you can submit a Human Rights complaint and there are more channels, but we’ll only cover the grievance and Bill C65 in this article.
Note that a complaint does not have to go through only one channel. You can have the same complaint go through multiple channels.
Prior to making any complaint, it is helpful to have documented specific examples of said unbecoming behaviours. The 5Ws and 1H are important: who, what, where, when, why and how.
How is it affecting, how is it communicated, what does it mean when you say ‘disrespecting’, who was involved, where did it happen, when did it occur, who raise voices, are they in your personal space, what do you mean by ‘toxic’, etc.
If there are no witnesses, no details, no documented incidents, it may likely be ruled to be as ‘he said vs she said’.
If there are no witnesses, still document it, and contact the Local Shop Steward as there may be multiple complaints of the same nature to which may count as evidence of the behaviours based on the balance of probabilities.
The Grievance channel simplified:
You may file a grievance fact sheet online or with your shop steward. The grievance fact sheet is your complaint in writing to the Union about an alleged wrong doing, a violation of the collective agreement. The details of your complaint is presented to the Manager for a resolve, if none, and if it violates the collective agreement, it will be turned into an actual grievance with a grievance filing number and moved up to Labour Relations and/or the Arbitrator. The Manager and/or Labour Relations may action a corrective measure or agree to a punitive damages. An Arbitrator can order a punitive damages or order an action similar to that of a Provincial or Federal Judge.
Bill C65 channel simplified:
The company has a Workplace Harassment and Violence Prevention Policy (the Policy). If you go online to your Canada Post Intrapost site and word search the exact phrase ‘Workplace Harassment and Violence Prevention Policy’, you can read the Policies and steps the company is supposed to take in resolving many issues experienced on the floor. This Policy is also created to help come up with preventative measures so they can reduce or eliminate issues on the floor.
The Policy has been modified for Bill C65. Bill C65, it is a legislated complaint process designed to resolve problems; it is not meant to be a disciplinary means.
The way this starts is a member provides a notice of occurrence which is the complaint (if you word search on the Intrapost the exact phrase ‘notice of occurrence’ you will find the form and it is better to use the form vs a verbal complaint). If you have difficulty finding these policies and documents, your supervisor can print them off for you. If there is a concern getting it from supervisor, see your shop steward about getting one from a TL or from the Local.
This notice of occurrence triggers the Bill C65 process.
If you do submit a notice of occurrence, please notify the Local so we can follow up with the employer as the employer may not always inform the Local. You are also entitled to representation throughout the process.
There are meetings with the complainant, respondents and maybe the witnesses if required.
It starts off with the complainant meeting with a designated company representative who will try to clarify and determine if the complaint fits a certain criteria, be it harassment, a human right complaint, violence in the workplace etc., Depending on the type of complaint, it may be handled by an company investigator that specializes in that area.
The parties may possibly meet through mediation and come up with their own solutions for a resolve.
If the initial meetings or subsequent meetings does not fare well or there is a concern with the investigation; a 3rd party investigator selected by the parties from a roster from CCOHS.ca would be contacted to investigate.
Bear in mind the 3rd party CCOHS investigator is not an Arbitrator. The investigator cannot provide a punitive award or give corrective direction or orders to the parties. The 3rd party investigates and provide a generalized report on whether a complaint is founded, unfounded or partially founded. They also make recommendations to the employer on actions to take and the employer may take these recommendations under advisement.
In summary and in conclusion, you have the right to provide a verbal or written complaint if you feel you are being bullied, abused, intimidated, or subjected to other aggressive, vexatious behaviours.
Verbal complaint with your shop steward through 9.07, written complaint through Grievance fact sheet
(https://www.cupw560.ca/grievance-fact-sheet/ ) and/or C65 by submitting a notice of occurrence (form found on Intrapost, or a TL can provide you a copy, or see your shop steward).
The complaint processes are not to be abused, frivolous, vexatious, or trivial. It is a long drawn out and potentially stressful process for the parties involved.
Prior to providing the written complaint to the Union for a grievance and/or to the company under Bill C65, it is recommended that you have specifics details, documents and if witnesses if any.
You may see your shop steward if you have any questions.