Complaints under the Federal Public Sector Labour Relations Act

The Federal Public Sector Labour Relations Act (FPSLRA) allows employees, bargaining agents and employers to make a complaint to the Federal Public Sector Labour Relations and Employment Board (FPSLREB) under certain circumstances. A few examples of complaints that could be filed are:

  • an employer is alleged to have committed an unfair labour practice (interfering with the creation of a union or its administration, discriminating against someone because he or she is a member of the union, etc.);
  • a bargaining agent is alleged to have acted in bad faith in the representation of an employee;
  • an employer or bargaining agent has failed in its duty to bargain collectively in good faith

A complaint under the FPSLRA should contain sufficient information to enable the FPSLREB to determine the nature of the complaint, the parties to the complaint and their addresses, and the nature of the relief sought. Therefore, each complaint filed with the FPSLREB must identify the respondent(s) by name and address. The complaint must also identify the specific paragraph in the FPSLRA under which the alleged action or failure is covered, as well as the section of the FPSLRA that is alleged to have been contravened. It should further set out particulars of the matters complained of and the remedy being sought and should describe the steps taken by or on behalf of the complainant or the complainant's representative to adjust the matters giving rise to the complaint.

A complaint must be filed with the FPSLREB within 90 days following the date on which the complainant became aware of, or ought to have known about, the actions giving rise to the complaint.

A complaint is filed with the FPSLREB on Form 16, in duplicate.

Once a complaint is submitted to the FPSLREB, a copy is served on each respondent, who is afforded an opportunity to reply. The complainant is entitled to respond to any reply submitted by a respondent. A hearing is then scheduled if necessary. The complainant may represent himself or herself or may have a representative, including legal counsel. The responsibility for retaining a representative and the cost thereof rest with the complainant.