Canadian Professional
Management Services

Winning Grievances & Arbitrations - Online

Grievances that lead to arbitration are not only financially draining, but the results of the arbitration can have a significant impact on the morale and operations of the organization. In some situations, the win or loss of an arbitration can completely change the culture and the perceived rights of Management or Union. Therefore, it is in the best interest of both parties to resolve disputes as quickly as possible. However, in some circumstances if you must defend a business decision, and take a grievance to arbitration then you must be prepared to win.

This comprehensive program will highlight the considerations that you first need to make before you take a grievance to arbitration. Have you exhausted all of the available options for a settlement? Or is this a business or principled decision that requires the award of an Arbitrator? Have you considered both mitigating and aggravating factors? In this program, you will learn how to use the grievance process to resolve disputes.

If arbitration becomes the only option, then you must be prepared to WIN. Learn what documents are required to build your defense, how to develop a ‘theory’ for your position, and how to use case law. Learn how to develop questions in order to ensure that the responses will support your argument. Learn that witness preparation is crucial, as their testimony can potentially destroy the credibility of your case.

During this program, you will participate in an arbitration hearing simulation; however, the case and facts are real. The outcome of this arbitration will be decided upon your preparation, your presentation skills and your ability to convince the Arbitrator. Successful presenters are able to showcase the merits of their position in a coherent, logical and convincing manner. It is these skills that will WIN your case. Can you afford not to do it right?

Program Content

Grievance Management
  • 7 steps to an effective grievance investigation
  • Understanding grievances and hidden issues
  • What the Union and Management are responsible for in this process
  • Writing effective grievance replies
  • What information must you gain from interviewing the grievor and the witnesses
  • How to effectively use “Step 1” and “Step 2” meetings to your advantage
  • Who should be involved
Using 3rd Step Grievances to Resolve Disputes
  • Conducting 3rd step grievance meetings
  • What information should and must you reveal
  • Preparing grievance settlements
  • Who has the authority to sign settlement letters
  • What is the full meaning of “without prejudice”
  • Principled versus business decisions
  • 3 purposes of grievance meetings
  • Using 3rd step meetings to develop last chance agreement
Preparing for Arbitration
  • Selecting a single arbitrator versus an Arbitration Board
  • Gathering the evidence that you will require
  • Understanding the law
  • Preparing witnesses and gathering facts
  • Preparing witness statements
  • Developing the theory for your case
  • Preparing exhibits – finding the smoking gun
  • Researching legal authorities – Case Law
  • Final preparation and presentation in advance
  • Avoid pitfalls of asking the wrong questions
  • How to help an Arbitrator understand the theory for your case
Conducting the Arbitration Hearing
  • Understanding the process
  • Designing an opening statement
  • Presenting your evidence
  • Asking the right questions in direct examination
  • Cross examining witnesses
  • Re-examination – when should you do it
  • How to use rebuttal evidence to your advantage
  • Designing your rebuttal argument
  • Know when you have talked enough
The Arbitration Process
  • The rules of natural justice – what are they
  • Preliminary objections - when and how to use them
  • Production of documents – what do you need to give to the other side
  • What must you include in your arbitration brief
  • Subpoena – when should you give one
  • Exclusion of witnesses
  • When can an Arbitration award be reviewed or set aside
  • Decision making process and the award
The Rules of Evidence
  • Who has the burden of proof
  • Balance of Probabilities – how Arbitrators make decisions
  • The rules against hearsay
  • What power does an Arbitrator have to admit evidence
  • How to submit documentary evidence
  • Video surveillance evidence and tape recordings – when and if these are admissible
  • Parole evidence - what is it and how to use it
  • What is the estoppel argument

Arbitration Hearing Simulation

Winning-Grievances-and-Arbitrations2You will be presented with a real grievance about a termination that went to arbitration. Representing either Management or Union, your team will develop the theory of your case, which will be supported by case law. You will also request a remedy from the Arbitrator that should be consistent and in keeping with the merits of your argument and theory.

During this simulation, you will have the opportunity to role-play – to take the stand as a witness or the grievor. Your team will develop and present the opening arguments, which must also be consistent with the facts that will be brought forward by the witnesses. Experience first hand how quickly your case can turn because you have said too much or not enough during direct and cross examination. After your final arguments, the Arbitrator will make an award based on the evidence brought forward which supports the more "probable" story.

Learning Objectives

  • Practice your presentation under pressure
  • Learn how to argue your case
  • Learn how to develop questions in response to new information
  • Learn first hand why preparation is the key
  • Witness preparation – why this must be done thoroughly
  • Why cases with merit are still lost in arbitration
  • How to determine if you and your advocates are doing a good job
  • Participate in a detailed debriefing

General Information

Why should you attend?
  • Learn how to prepare your case
  • Learn why you must consider aggravating and mitigating factors
  • Learn effective presentation skills and techniques
  • Learn why witness preparation is crucial
  • Learn revealing questioning techniques
Who Should Attend?
  • Human resources advisors
  • Union Shop Stewards
  • Business Agents and Presidents
  • Managers and Supervisors
  • Board members
  • Owner operators