When a grievance cannot be resolved through the efforts of the union and management, or management refuses to act, the union can decide to take the grievance to arbitration.
In federally regulated workplaces, such as banks, airlines, railroads and radio broadcasters, binding arbitration is also the final step in resolving a grievance.
Arbitration is the final step in the grievance process. Before a grievance can be taken to arbitration any process for resolving a grievance set out in the collective agreement must be used. The decision of the Arbitrator is final and binding.
Arbitrators are neutral people, acceptable to both the union and the employer, appointed to resolve grievances.
The law gives Arbitrators the authority to make a final, binding decision about any alleged breach of a collective agreement. They can also determine if the case is something they can deal with. Arbitrators have broad powers to look into the facts of the case and to help the parties resolve their issues.
During arbitration both the employer and the union can present evidence to support their case. The union must prove, on a balance of probabilities, that a breach of the collective agreement occurred.
If an Arbitrator finds that the collective agreement was breached or that an employee was inappropriately disciplined, there are a number of orders an Arbitrator can make to correct the situation.
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