Article 9 - Grievance and Arbitration

901

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

902

A Grievance is defined as a difference between the Guild and a Producer, or the Guild and the Association(s), arising out of, or in connection with the administration, interpretation, application, operation or alleged violation of any provision of this Section, 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.

903

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.

904

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 903 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.

905

A grievance shall be considered initiated when the initiating grieving party (the “Grievor”) sets forth in writing (the “Grievance”) the facts giving rise to the dispute, the relevant articles of the Section and the individual contract, and the remedy sought and delivers the Grievance to the other party to the Grievance (the “Respondent”) and to the Association to which the Respondent belongs.  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 one of the Associations, the Grievor shall advise all of the Associations.

906

The Guild or the Association, as the case may be, shall notify forthwith the other parties to this Section of the Grievance and provide each party with a copy of the Grievance.  A representative of the Guild, a representative of the Association, 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 Association.  Such settlement shall be binding on all parties to the Grievance.

907

Those present at the Grievance Meeting shall adduce all and 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 frank discussion of those issues, in order to achieve a fair and workable settlement.

908

In the event that attempts to settle the matter have not resulted in a satisfactory settlement of the Grievance, the relevant Association 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 Association(s) shall be considered a party. The participation of the Association(s) shall be limited to matters of industry-wide significance and/or the interpretation of this Section except in circumstances where the Association(s) is the initiating party or Respondent.

909

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 Associations 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.

910

The Joint Standing Committee shall convene, at a time and place to be agreed by the Guild and the Association, within three (3) weeks of receipt of the notice described in Article 909, or at such time as otherwise agreed between the parties.

911

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

912

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

913

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 intends to make the Joint Standing or Arbitration; and
     
  4.  identifying the remedy sought.
     

Notwithstanding the foregoing, the Joint Standing Committee, Arbitrator or Board of Arbitration may accept any documents or evidence that it considers necessary to reach a fair conclusion.

914

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.

915

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:

 the Grievor shall have up to fifty (50) minutes to make oral representations, which shall be consistent with the material filed;

 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;

 the Association 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;

 the Grievor shall have up to twenty (20) minutes to respond to the Respondent’s submissions;

 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.

916

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.

917

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

918

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 Associations.  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.

919

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 Associations.

920

Arbitration.  Within two (2) weeks of the notice of the intent to refer described in Article 909 or 919, a time and place for arbitration shall be agreed, taking into account the availability of the Arbitrator.

921

The parties to the Section agree that except in exceptional cases agreed by the Guild and the Associations, all arbitrable matters shall be heard by a single arbitrator.  The selection of the single arbitrator shall be the subject of mutual agreement of the parties. In the case of the CMPA, the arbitrator shall be selected from among the following list proceeding sequentially, based on which person has a date available forty-five (45) days from the date of the referral, or as agreed by the parties:

Louisa Davie

Rick McDowell

Paula Knopf

Kevin Burkett

Michel Picher

 

In the event of a failure to agree upon a single arbitrator, the Minister of Labour of the appropriate province or territory, or in Quebec, the Minister of Culture, Communications and the Status of Women will be asked to appoint an arbitrator.

 

In exceptional cases, subject to agreement of the Guild and the Associations, an arbitrable matter may be heard by a Board of Arbitration.  The Board of Arbitration will be composed of one person, appointed by the Guild; and one person appointed by the Associations; and a third person to act as chair chosen by the other two members of the Board.  Each party will notify the other in writing of the name of its appointee within five (5) business days of the request by either party for a Board.

 

Should the person chosen by the Guild and the person chosen by the Associations fail to agree on a third person within ten (10) days of the notification mentioned above, the Minister of Labour of the appropriate province or territory, or in Quebec, the Minister of Culture, will be asked to appoint a person to act as chair.

922

The Arbitrator or Board of Arbitration 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.

923

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

924

The costs and expenses of the Arbitrator or Board of Arbitration shall be shared equally by the Guild, the Producer and/or the Association(s), when participating.

925

The decision of the Arbitrator or Board of Arbitration shall be issued in writing to the parties to the dispute, and the Associations, and shall be final and binding on the parties.

926

Any time limitations prescribed herein may be extended by mutual agreement of the parties to the Grievance, the Guild and the Association(s).

927

Notices required to be given or sent pursuant to this Section 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 Associations:

Canadian Media Production Association

160 John Street                                           

5th floor                                                      

Toronto, Ontario

M5V 2E5                                                    

FAX: (416) 304-0499                  

Attention:  National Director, Industrial Relations

 

Association des Producteurs de Films et Télévision du Québec

1450 City Councillors
Suite 1030
Montreal, Quebec
H3A 2E6
FAX: (514) 392-0232
Attention: Attorney and Industrial Relations Advisor

 

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