Alternative Dispute Resolution Processes

The following categories are alternative dispute resolution processes implemented by the management and union as a means to resolve workplace disputes.


Arbitration is a form of alternative dispute resolution (ADR).  It is a process for the resolution of disputes outside the courts, where the parties to a dispute refer it to one or more persons by whose decision (the "award") they agree to be bound. When the union and employer are unable to resolve a dispute within the terms and conditions outlined in the CBA or through the grievance process, some disputes are taken to Arbitration.   The arbitrator, the “third party” hears evidence and arguments, reviews the evidence in the case and imposes a decision that is legally binding for both sides and enforceable.   The Arbitrators’ decisions may lead to a precedent that could affect change in the workplace or in other jurisdictions.

"Ready" Case Management

“Ready” Case Management is another form of alternate dispute resolution (ADR).  The “Case Management Process” is an expedited arbitration designed to settle grievances agreed to by the parties and set out in a Letter of Understanding.  “Ready” is a term which refers to Mr. Vincent Ready, a well-known highly respected Arbitrator who hears the arguments from both parties, the Public Service Commission and the PS/GE bargaining unit on any particular issue.  The Ready awards are restricted to enforcement within this bargaining unit.

Duty of Fair Representation

Unions have a duty to represent workers in good faith, which means that unions must make decisions about grievances and representation that are not arbitrary or discriminatory or in bad faith.

#18 The Duty of Fair Representation, Alberta Labour Relations Board

Following are a list of "Duty of Fair Representation" cases:

Beauchamp, Tanya  2013 12 30
Kasper, Frank 2009 09 24
Kaufmann, Audrey 2012 07 17
Koop, Stewart 2009 10 01
Lucyshyn, Dwayne 2010 04 08
Mowat, Donna 2011 10 28
Olbrich, Darrell 2009 09 24
Poitras, Rhonda 2013 07 24

Mediated Arbitration

Mediated arbitration is another alternative dispute resolution process that the arbitrator attempts to mediate the dispute between the parties, failing the successful outcome the arbitrator will issue a binding decision.

Legal Tests

The jurisprudence relied upon by arbitrators to determine the merits of a grievance and based on the balance of probability.

Recent Court Decisions

The Supreme Court of Canada ruled that employee privacy interests outweighed employer safety concerns in Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union, Local 30 v Irving Pulp & Paper, Ltd., 2013 SCC 34 (“Irving”). Irving marks the first time the Supreme Court of Canada has considered workplace drug or alcohol testing.

Melanie D. McNaught, Partner, Filion Wakely Thorup Angeletti LLP; Publication date: October, 2013 Queens University

Read the full article here:

Random Drug and Alcohol Testing in the Workplace; Balancing Employee Privacy Interests with Workplace Safety.


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