Skip to main content

A Guide to filing a Grievance

Social share icons


afa banner



Good Day FAs, 

I’d like to put some guidelines out there so people can better understand how our grievance system works. 

First:If the company notifies you of a disciplinary meeting, you have the right to have a Union representative present with you.  Sometimes the meetings are in person and sometimes they are via conference call. Either way, contact a union rep immediately so one can be present with you for the meeting. 

Second:If you feel the contract has been violated, make sure before contacting a union rep you have all necessary information and documentation. 

Who, What, Where, When and Why. 


WHO was involved? A scheduler? A manager or supervisor? Another FA (trades)? Etc. 

Also, which manager did you speak with about the issue to get resolution prior to pursuing a grievance?  The company has to be given the opportunity to correct a violation before the union can take further action. 

WHAT occurred? What section/page of the contract language was not followed? What conversation ensued? 

WHEN did you speak with schedulers (so recording can be pulled for review-everything is recorded. Everything) or managers about the issue? When were trades/bids/etc submitted? 

WHERE did the the violation occur or where can it be found in the contract? 

WHY do you think the violation happened? Do you think the scheduler was misinformed or a bid received confirmation was not received?  


Know that just because it’s unfair, it may not be a grievance. It takes awhile sometimes to understand the difference between a gripe and an actual grievance. A gripe is something that feels wrong and should not be legal because it’s not fair, and that happens a lot (we are always working to change things), but if there’s no language addressing it then it can’t be grieved. 

I know there’s gray area in our language sometimes. We have staff negotiators and attorneys working with the negotiating team to try and cover every circumstance and incorporate language we feel would successfully address that, but we cannot foresee every single possible circumstance and changing 1 word from “May” to “Shall” could be days or weeks of arguments with the company at the table and may not always get changed unless it is at the expense of another provision. So we really have to prioritize and take into consideration if the change in one provision is worth a loss in another because everything comes at a cost. That’s why it’s called “negotiations” instead of “demands”. 


That being said, if you don’t understand a provision, ask a union rep what the intent of the language is. 

Know that there are TIMELINES. We only have 30 days from a known violation to file a grievance. If that time period lapses and we don’t have enough documentation from you to present a valid grievance then it’s too late. 


You need to know what’s in your contract. 

I can’t tell you how many times people have told me things that are a blatant violation but it’s too late to do anything about it. Or they didn’t save the details and can’t prove what happened. But most importantly, if they’d known the contract, they could’ve been helped. 


The Union is only as good as its members. It’s like a gym membership, really. 

You pay the dues to belong but if you don’t go (know your rights via the CBA) or use the equipment (have the documentation necessary) it won’t help you. You need to contribute or you won’t see results. 

The fitness trainers (representatives) are here to guide and help you but you have to do some of the work or you won’t see the results you want. 


Remember that we are Better Together, Stronger Together! 

Thank you for your time and consideration. 


Yours in Solidarity, 

Megan Robinson