Back to top

CAUT Bulletin Archives

April 2000

CAUT's Newest Course Gets Rave Reviews

In late March, the Ryerson University Faculty Association hosted CAUT's newest educational program — a three and a half day grievance/arbitration course. The course provides training for faculty association activists in handling grievances and arbitration cases.

Course participants learn basic advocacy skills through case studies, from witness interviews to legal research to the arbitration hearing itself.

"The course is designed to help members handle grievances and basic arbitration cases themselves," said CAUT lawyer and course instructor, Shaheen Hirani. "Throughout the trade union movement, local activists handle a significant percentage of grievance and arbitration cases. This builds stronger locals and effectively defends the interests of the members."

Reaction at Ryerson to the course's debut was positive. According to Michael Doucet, president of the Ryerson faculty association, the nine participants took plenty away with them.

"Even if we don't do many of our own hearings right away, there was still lots of valuable learning," he said. "Pointers on investigating grievances and interviewing witnesses will help us right now with the way we handle cases."

He also noted an unexpected benefit from the course — team-building. "Most of the participants are members of the faculty association's grievance committee. As we sat down and worked our way through the case studies, we really came together as a group. That has strengthened our organization."