Your Rights

In addition to negotiating collective agreements for better salaries, benefits and working conditions, the Manitoba Nurses Union (MNU) represents nurses' issues and grievances against employers who are in violation of the collective agreement.

Prior to unionization, nurses had few rights or avenues for recourse. The grievance and arbitration process protects the nurse by providing the opportunity of a fair hearing and the right to grieve an unjust situation.  

The MNU represents numerous nurses in grievances each year, and settles many more before they reach the grievance stage. If the complaint cannot be resolved through the steps of the grievance, the MNU is able to refer the matter to an arbitrator, who will provide a final and binding decision on the grievance. The decision to refer the matter to arbitration rests solely with the MNU, and occurs after a thorough examination of the facts.

You can find out more about filing grievances in MemberLinks. But for now, here is a quick overview of the three main types of grievances.

Individual Grievance

The most common types of such grievances are those involving discipline, termination of employment, improper layoff, or denial of a benefit. It is an individual grievance as only one person is affected, and so the grievance is filed in the name of the individual.

Group Grievance

A group grievance is a complaint that a group of individuals has been affected in the same way, at the same time, by an action taken by the employer. For example, the employer unilaterally decides to reclassify a group of Perinatal Nurses to a lower paying classification, without a corresponding change in job function. It would likely be more practical to grieve the matter as a group rather than filing a number of individual grievances.

Union (Policy) Grievance

A Union (policy) grievance is a complaint by the Union that an action of the employer is in violation of the Collective Agreement that could affect all who are covered by that agreement. For example, management posts a policy stating that no one will be permitted to take vacation between December 15 and January 15.  The Union might grieve because the Collective Agreement contains no such limitations and further, the employer is required to give individual consideration to each vacation request.

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