Your Rights at Work

As an ONA member, you have protection at your workplace against unfair practices and unsafe work conditions. Your workplace rights are outlined in a collective agreement (or contract).

Your collective agreement (a legal contract between ONA and your employer) outlines your terms and conditions of employment including pay rates and benefits, vacation time, sick leave, and short and long-term disability. Your contract also has specific clauses relating to professional responsibility, workload, seniority rights, job postings, scheduling and the grievance procedure which is used to enforce collective agreement rights.

What is a Grievance?

Sometimes, there can be a difference between ONA members and their employers that relates to the collective agreement. These differences can be related to the interpretation, application, administration or alleged violation of the agreement.

If you think that your collective agreement rights have been violated, then you may be able to file a grievance.

A grievance is an agreed-upon process for resolving disputes between ONA and your employer. In 2015 alone, ONA filed more than 6,000 grievances on behalf of our members. The four top grievance issues related to overtime, layoffs, discipline and scheduling.

You should contact your Union representative right away if you think that your rights have been violated. There are mandatory timelines to raise issues. Your Union representatives will be able to assist you with next steps and represent you throughout the process.

Ontario labour laws and your collective agreement protect you against repercussions when you file a grievance.

If ONA and the employer cannot resolve the grievance at the workplace level, ONA may elect to take the issue to arbitration. Arbitration is a way to resolve grievances in which the Union and the employer present their cases before a neutral third-party arbitrator. The decision by the arbitrator is binding – meaning that her/his decision is final.

ONA has had many, many successes and wins in upholding members’ contract rights. We continue to work on behalf of all of our members.

If you have any questions about your contract or about how your contract is enforced, please contact your Bargaining Union President.