4 Credits

Strategic Grievance Handling

Developing techniques and processes to strategically prevent and manage grievances.
A chess set.

Upcoming Sessions


Program Overview

Developing Techniques and Processes to Strategically Prevent and Manage Grievances

The number of outstanding grievances is one of the most telling indicators of the state of labour relations in a unionized environment. Considering legal costs, damage to labour-management relationships and reduced productivity, grievances can also be very expensive for both employers and unions. Like taxes, grievances are a part of the unionized workplace but many can be avoided and strategic practitioners can play a role in reducing their frequency. There are measures that can be taken before grievances are launched. There are steps that you can take during the grievance procedure, during mediation and in advance of the arbitration process to lessen the impact on employees, the union, and the organization. That’s where this program comes in.

Strategic grievance handling is a thoughtful approach to labour relations. It involves identifying workplace-wide issues or problems, then analyzing the way in which proactive individual grievance management can address those issues. A long-term goal can then be developed for solving the systemic issues. You will come away from this program with the big-picture perspective, as well as some skills that you can use back at work to confidently handle all steps in the grievance process.

Learning Outcomes

Learning Objectives
  • Diagnose when and how conflict escalates
  • Understand the context, purpose and details of a grievance
  • Consider your options both before and when a grievance is filed
  • Prepare for and take control of the grievance meeting
  • Deploy your skills more effectively during the grievance process
  • Strategically consider options for resolution such as mediation, arbitration or med-arb
  • Conduct a grievance analysis before a round of collective bargaining
  • Understand how strategy can feed a positive relationship cycle
Organizational Benefits
  • Better understanding of the risks and opportunities of the grievance process
  • Enhanced in-house capacity to handle grievances
  • Reduced time and legal costs spent on arbitration
  • Poised and well-grounded responses to changing labour laws and legal issues
  • Clear and supportable positions going into collective bargaining



Who Should Attend

Supervisors and Managers

Learn a thoughtful approach to labour relations.

Union Officials

Confidently identify workplace-wide issues and problems and learn how to analyze them.

Shop Stewards

Gain skills in proactive grievance management.

Facilitators and Speakers

Takeaway Tools

  • Five-Stage Conflict Escalation Model
  • Grievance Preparation Checklist
  • Understanding the grievance process versus other complaint processes
  • Insights into planning personal or workplace strategies for prevention of grievances

Thought Leadership

Stay ahead of trends in your career with articles and papers written by industry experts.

Alison Darling
Queen’s IRC has a new website and participant portal!
As Queen’s IRC’s Director of Professional Programs, I am delighted to share we have launched a new website, compl...
Do employees have the right to work from home?
Labour Relations
Do Employees Have the Right to Work from Home?
At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, global workforces experienced a sudden and forced shift into remote wo...
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.