ARTICLE A5 GRIEVANCE PROCEDURES AND RESOLUTION

 

A501
A party exercising its rights under the provisions of the Agreement does so without prejudice to its relations with the other parties.

A502
A Grievance is defined as a difference between the Guild and a Producer, or the Guild and the APFTQ, arising out of, or in connection with the administration, interpretation, application, operation or alleged violation of any provision of this Agreement, or any deal memorandum or contract between a Writer, Story Editor or Story Consultant and a Producer, including a question as to whether a matter is arbitrable. All Grievances shall be resolved in accordance with the procedures set out in this Article.

A503
The parties acknowledge and agree that the timely and prompt settlement of all disputes between the parties should be encouraged and that therefore any dispute may be settled at the time of its occurrence by the Guild and the authorized representative of the Producer, without recourse to the formal Grievance Procedure.

A504
In recognition of the distinct nature of the writing craft, in the event that the complaint is not resolved in the manner described in Article A503 above, the grieving party may initiate a grievance within one hundred and twenty (120) days of the date on which the grieving party becomes, or ought reasonably to have become aware of the act or omission giving rise to the grievance.

A505
A grievance shall be considered initiated when the grieving party (the "Grievor") sets forth in writing (the "Grievance") the facts giving rise to the dispute, the relevant articles of the Agreement and the individual contract, and the remedy sought and delivers the Grievance to the other party to the Grievance (the "Respondent") and to the APFTQ. In all cases concerning a Writer, Story Editor or Story Consultant, the Guild will be the Grievor or the Respondent, as the case may be. When the Producer is not a member of the Association, the Grievor shall advise the APFTQ.

A506
The Guild or the APFTQ, as the case may be, shall notify forthwith the other parties to this Agreement of the Grievance and provide each party with a copy of the Grievance. A representative of the Guild, a representative of the APFTQ, the Producer or its duly authorized representatives, and the Writer, Story Editor or Story Consultant if the Guild deems it necessary, shall meet within five (5) business days to attempt to settle the Grievance informally. The persons present at the Grievance Meeting on behalf of the parties to the Grievance shall have the authority to settle the Grievance. Any written settlement, shall be signed by the representatives of the parties to the Grievance, each of whom shall receive a copy of the terms of the settlement. A copy shall be sent to the APFTQ. Such settlement shall be binding on all parties to the Grievance.

A507
Those present at the Grievance Meeting shall adduce all relevant facts, documents and evidence available at the time of the grievance meeting in order that the parties may have the clearest understanding of the issues. At the meeting there shall be a full and frank discussion of those issues, in order to achieve a fair and workable settlement.

A508
In the event that attempts to settle the matter have not resulted in a satisfactory settlement of the Grievance, the APFTQ shall notify the Guild ten (10) business days prior to a Joint Standing Committee or fifteen (15) business days prior to an Arbitration of its intention to further participate in the Grievance and Arbitration process. On providing such notice, the APFTQ shall be considered a party. The APFTQ's participation shall be limited to matters of industry-wide significance and/or the interpretation of this Agreement except in circumstances where the APFTQ is the initiating party or Respondent.

A509
Within twenty (20) business days of the Grievance meeting, the referring party may give written notice to the other parties attending the Grievance Meeting and to the APFTQ to refer the Grievance to the Joint Standing Committee, or in the discretion of the referring party, directly to Arbitration. If the referring party refers the matter to the Joint Standing Committee and the responding party wishes to have the matter referred to Arbitration (instead of the Joint Standing Committee), said party shall have the right within five (5) business days from receipt of the notice, to refer the grievance to Arbitration.

A510
The Joint Standing Committee shall convene, at a time and place to be agreed by the Guild and the APFTQ, within three (3) weeks of receipt of the notice described in Article A509, or at such time as otherwise agreed between the parties.

A511
The Joint Standing Committee shall be a panel of an equal number of representatives of the APFTQ and the Guild consisting of four (4) or six (6) representatives in total (excluding Guild's and APFTQ's staff).

A512
The APFTQ's representatives shall be directors, officers or permanent employees of Producers signatory to the Agreement at the time of the meeting of the Joint Standing Committee, or persons who are themselves signatory to the Agreement. No one appointed to the Joint Standing Committee shall have been involved in the Grievance prior to appointment to the Joint Standing Committee. The APFTQ shall advise the Guild as to the number of representatives to be appointed to represent the APFTQ.

A513
At least three (3) business days prior to the Joint Standing Committee hearing, or in the case of a grievance referred directly to Arbitration, fifteen (15) business days prior to the first scheduled day of the hearing, the parties to the Grievance shall inform the Guild and the Association of their representatives, and any witnesses they intend to call, and provide a copy of all documents, including all correspondence, to which they intend to refer during the course of the meeting, as well as a summary:

  1. identifying the issues in the grievance
  2. outlining the relevant facts of the grievance
  3. setting out a succinct statement of the submissions that each party
  4. intends to make the Joint Standing or Arbitration; and
  5. identifying the remedy sought.
Notwithstanding the foregoing, the Joint Standing Committee or the Arbitrator may accept any documents or evidence that it considers necessary to reach a fair conclusion.

A514
The Joint Standing Committee members shall appoint a chair-person from among themselves. The Joint Standing Committee may establish its own procedures and guidelines for the hearing, including the recording of minutes or notes. The Joint Standing Committee shall be governed by the following principles:

  1. both parties shall have full opportunity to be heard;
  2. neither party shall be surprised by evidence or facts adduced before the Joint Standing Committee; and
  3. the Joint Standing Committee may recognize common industry practice where reasonable to do so under the circumstances.

A515
The hearing portion of the Joint Standing Committee meeting shall be scheduled for no more than a total of four hours, and will proceed as follows:

  1. the Grievor shall have up to fifty (50) minutes to make oral representations, which shall be consistent with the material filed;
  2. the Respondent shall have up to fifty (50) minutes to make oral representations including response to the Grievor's submissions, which representations shall be consistent with the material filed;
  3. the APFTQ acting as Intervenor shall have up to fifty (50) minutes to make oral representations including response to the submissions, which representations shall be consistent with the material filed;
  4. the Grievor shall have up to twenty (20) minutes to respond to the Respondent's submissions;
  5. the Joint Standing Committee shall have up to sixty (60) minutes to ask questions and clarify issues raised by the material and oral submissions.
Any time limitations prescribed herein may be extended by the Joint Standing Committee.

A516
When the Joint Standing Committee is satisfied that it has heard fully from the parties to the Grievance, the Joint Standing Committee shall dismiss the parties in order to consider and render its decision.

A517
The Joint Standing Committee shall not have the authority to amend or modify, add to or delete any provision of this Agreement.

A518
All decisions of the Joint Standing Committee shall be in writing and shall be signed by all members of the Joint Standing Committee before being issued. When a decision has been reached, it shall be issued in writing before the Joint Standing Committee meeting has concluded, and copied forthwith to the parties to the Grievance and to the APFTQ. If the members of the Committee have not yet concluded their deliberations, they may reconvene and issue a decision in writing to all parties named above no later than three (3) business days after the Joint Standing Committee meeting has concluded.

A519
A majority decision of the Joint Standing Committee shall be final and binding on all parties to the Grievance. If the Joint Standing Committee fails to reach a majority decision, either party to the Grievance may, within two (2) weeks of the date of the hearing, refer the matter to arbitration by giving notice to the other party to the Grievance, and to the APFTQ.

A520
Arbitration.
Within two (2) weeks of the notice of the intent to refer described in Article A509 or A519, a time and place for arbitration shall be agreed, taking into account the availability of the Arbitrator.

A521
All arbitrable matters shall be heard by a single arbitrator. The selection of the arbitrator shall be the subject of mutual agreement of the parties. In the event of a failure to agree upon an arbitrator, the Commission will be asked to appoint an arbitrator.

Nothing herein shall prevent the parties to the grievance from mutually agreeing upon the appointment of an individual who is not on the list of arbitrators drawn up by the Commission to act as the Arbitrator.

A522
The Arbitrator shall have all remedial powers vested in arbitrators under the labour relations legislation in the applicable province or territory. The Arbitrator has no jurisdiction to award punitive damages.

A523
The Arbitrator shall not have the power or authority to set aside, amend, modify, delete or add to any provision of this Agreement.

A524
The costs and expenses of the Arbitrator shall be shared equally by the Guild, the Producer and/or the APFTQ, when participating.

A525
The decision of the Arbitrator shall be issued in writing to the parties to the dispute, and the APFTQ, and shall be final and binding on the parties.

A526
Any time limitations prescribed herein may be extended by mutual agreement of the parties to the Grievance, the Guild and the APFTQ.

A527
Notices required to be given or sent pursuant to this Agreement shall be mailed, postage pre-paid, delivered personally or by courier, or sent by telefax, or other means of near instantaneous communication (excluding electronic mail) addressed as follows:

To the Guild:

Writers Guild of Canada
366 Adelaide St. W., Suite 401
Toronto, Ontario
M5V 1R9
FAX: (416) 979-9273
Attention: Director of Industrial Relations

To the APFTQ:

APFTQ
1450 City Councillors
Bureau 1030
Montreal, Quebec
H3A 2E6
FAX: (514) 392-0232
Attention: Labour Relations Counsellor

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