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Progressive Discipline & Collective Agreements

QUESTION
Can I adopt a new progressive discipline policy for my union employees?

-- Name withheld
ANSWER
Probably not, but with some qualifications.
EXPLANATION
Disciplinary policies aren’t like other employment policies that you can unilaterally impose on the employees at your work site, especially if those employees are in a union. Discipline affects employees’ rights typically covered in the collective agreement negotiated between the union and employer. More precisely, most collective agreements typically include express terms explaining how discipline is administered.

Result: A progressive discipline policy that you impose unilaterally is invalid to the extent it contradicts or is in any way inconsistent with the collective agreement.

Having said that, let me quickly add that there are 3 ways a unilaterally imposed progressive discipline may be valid notwithstanding the existence of the collective agreement:

The collective agreement does not specifically address progressive ...

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