Policy for Scheduling of Hearings and Requests for Postponements

1. PURPOSE

The FPSLREB has developed the present policy to ensure that all parties to a complaint have their matter heard within a reasonable time and that PSLREB resources are used in an efficient and effective manner.


2. HEARINGS

2.1 Scheduling Hearings

A matter will be set down for a hearing approximately 60 days after the deputy head's (the respondent's) reply has been received by the FPSLREB. Normally, two days will be set aside for the hearing unless the FPSLREB determines otherwise. The parties will not be consulted about these dates. The Director, Staffing Registry Services will notify all parties of the date, time and location of the hearing via e-mail (Notice of Hearing). The exact address will be communicated no later than seven days, but usually one month, before the date of the hearing.

Once they have received the Notice of Hearing, the parties and their representatives must ensure that they are available on the scheduled dates. Parties should also ensure that their witnesses are available on those dates. If not, a request for postponement must be submitted within the first 30 days of receiving the Notice of Hearing.


3. REQUESTS FOR POSTPONEMENT

3.1 What to do if you are making your request within 30 days of receiving the Notice of Hearing

If you or your witnesses are not available on the dates indicated in the Notice of Hearing and wish to request a postponement, you must submit your request within 30 days of receiving the Notice of Hearing and follow the steps outlined below.

Step 1:

Communicate with the other parties to find out whether they consent to the postponement. DO NOT COPY THE FPSLREB ON THESE EXCHANGES.

The parties to a complaint can include:

Step 2:

Agree with the other parties on different dates for the hearing.
DO NOT COPY THE FPSLREB ON THESE EXCHANGES.

Step 3:

Provide your request in writing to the FPSLREB and the other parties at the same time, with the following information:

The FPSLREB WILL NOT consider a request for postponement if the information in Step 3 has not been provided. The request will be returned to the requestor immediately.

The other parties have five days from the time the request is received to respond to it if they wish. If no response is received within the five-day period, the FPSLREB will render a decision on the basis of the information it has received.

The FPSLREB may, in appropriate circumstances, take the opportunity to hold a teleconference.

3.2 What to do if more than 30 days have elapsed since you received the Notice of Hearing

You may request a postponement after the 30 days have elapsed since you received the Notice of Hearing where there are exceptional circumstances that have arisen that prevent you from proceeding with the hearing as scheduled.

Before submitting your request for postponement, you must follow the steps outlined below:

Step 1:

Same process as described in the Step 1 above.

Step 2:

Same process as described in the Step 2 above.

Step 3:

Provide the request in writing to the FPSLREB and the other parties at the same time, with the following information:

The FPSLREB WILL NOT consider a request for postponement if the information in Step 3 has not been provided. The request will be returned to the requestor immediately.

The other parties have five days from the time the request is received to respond to it if they wish. If no response is received within the five-day period, the FPSLREB will render a decision on the basis of the information it has received.

Requests for postponement are not automatically granted, even when all parties consent to the postponement. The FPSLREB will consider the request, but will grant a postponement only where there are exceptional circumstances that justify granting the postponement.

The FPSLREB may, in appropriate circumstances, take the opportunity to hold a teleconference.

3.3 Request for postponement to allow for mediation

Requests for postponement to allow for mediation are not automatically granted, even when all parties consent to the postponement. The FPSLREB will consider the reasons for the request and the dates proposed by the parties. In some cases, the FPSLREB may wish to hold a teleconference.


4. EXAMPLES

Example 1: Request for Postponement Where There Are Exceptional Circumstances

The Notice of Hearing was received by the parties on March 8, 2013, indicating that the hearing will be held on July 17 and 18, 2013. The last week of May, the complainant is hospitalized for a serious illness which requires a few weeks of convalescence. His convalescence prevents him from attending the hearing. The complainant must therefore make a request to postpone the hearing. However, given that the Notice of Hearing was received more than 30 days ago, the complainant must provide exceptional circumstances that justify the postponement. In this particular case, the exceptional circumstance is his convalescence time.

Step 1:

The complainant must communicate with the other parties to obtain their consent to postpone the hearing. In this case, it is the respondent and the Public Service Commission (PSC) only. The appointee did not respond to the allegations, therefore there is no requirement to communicate with her. Note that the FPSLREB is not copied on this communication.

Sample of email exchange between the parties:

Complainant:
Due to a serious illness requiring a few weeks of convalescence, I will not be able to attend the hearing on July 17th and 18th, 2013. I would therefore request your consent to postpone the hearing to a later date.
Respondent:
Yes, we consent to the postponement request.
PSC:
Yes, we consent to the postponement request.

Step 2:

The complainant must also ask the other parties for other dates on which they are available for the hearing. Note that the FPSLREB is not copied on this communication.

Complainant:
I propose the following alternative dates for the hearing: the week of September 9th, 2013, September 18th and 19th and the week of September 30th. Please provide me with your availability.
Respondent:
The respondent is available the weeks of September 9th and 30th, 2013.
PSC:
The PSC is available the weeks of September 9th and 30th, as well.

Step 3:

The complainant sends his request for postponement in writing to the FPSLREB and to the other parties. See sample email below.

Complainant:
The last week of May, I was hospitalized due to a serious illness and require a few weeks of convalescence. Consequently, I would like to request a postponement of the hearing scheduled for July 17th and 18th. I have contacted the respondent and the PSC and they consent to the postponement. As for alternate dates, we are all available the weeks of September 9th and 30th, 2013. Consequently, I would request that the hearing be rescheduled during one of those weeks.

The other parties have five days to respond to the postponement request.

Respondent:
The respondent consents to the postponement and is available the weeks of September 9th and 30th.
PSC:
The PSC consents to the postponement and is also available the weeks of September 9th and 30th.

Step 4:

The FPSLREB will render its decision after reviewing all of the information.


Example 2: Making a Request for Postponement Within 30 Days of Receiving the Notice of Hearing

The Notice of Hearing was received by the parties on March 8, 2013, indicating that the hearing will be held on July 17 and 18, 2013. Upon receipt of the Notice of Hearing, the complainant realizes that she will be on vacation during that week and will not be able to attend the hearing. The complainant must therefore make a request for postponement of the hearing.

Step 1:

The complainant communicates with the other parties to obtain their consent to postpone the hearing. In this case it is the respondent and the Public Service Commission (PSC) only. The appointee did not respond to the allegations, therefore there is no requirement to communicate with him. Note that the FPSLREB is not copied on this communication.

Sample of email exchange between the parties:

Complainant:
Following receipt of the FPSLREB's Notice of Hearing, I realized that I will be on vacation on July 17th and 18th, 2013. I would therefore request your consent to postpone the hearing to a later date.
Respondent:
Yes, we consent to the postponement request.
PSC:
Yes, we consent to the postponement request.

Step 2:

The complainant must also ask the other parties for other dates on which they are available for the hearing. Note that the FPSLREB is not copied on this communication.

Complainant:
I propose the following alternative dates for the hearing: August 5th to the 16th, 2013 and I am also available all of September. Please provide me with your availability.
Respondent:
The respondent is available the weeks of August 12th, 2013 and September 9th, 2013.
PSC:
The PSC is available the weeks of August 5th, August 12th and September 9th, 2013.

Step 3:

The complainant sends his request for postponement in writing to the FPSLREB and the parties within the 30 days of receiving the Notice of Hearing. See sample email below.

Complainant:
I would like to request a postponement of the hearing scheduled for July 17th and 18th because I will be on vacation. I have contacted the respondent and the PSC and they consent to the postponement. As for alternate dates, we are all available the weeks of August 12th and September 9th, 2013. Consequently, I would request that the hearing be rescheduled during the week of August 12th or September 9th, 2013.

The parties have five days to respond to the postponement request.

Respondent:
The respondent consents to the postponement and is available the weeks of August 12th and September 9th.
PSC:
The PSC consents to the postponement and is available the weeks of August 12th and September 9th.

Step 4:

The FPSLREB will render its decision after reviewing all of the information.