There is a solemn promise between a Union and its members that has existed from the very beginning of, and is at the core of, the workers’ rights movement. Franklin Law not only helps Union members and representatives to better understand that promise, we hold Unions and Union members accountable if and when their actions depart from that promise. While many employee-side firms shy away from this extremely important but often misunderstood and under-serviced area of labour law, we are unapologetic about and take pride in our willingness to put the interests of workers first…regardless of who has to be held accountable in the process.
Every Union has a duty to represent its workers fairly. But this duty does not mean that a Union has an obligation to pursue a grievance simply because you request that it do so. Unions act in the interests of all of their workers and have broad discretion to make decisions on how best to handle grievances. Their only obligation is to consider your request and make decisions with respect to your rights in a good faith, non-discriminatory and non-arbitrary fashion.
If you believe that you have been deprived of the redress you deserve or have been represented unfairly, Franklin Law, as an objective third-party, is well positioned to help you and your Union come to a common understanding of what the duty of fair representation might involve in a particular set of circumstances.
In exceptional cases, where your interests and rights are clearly being violated because a Union simply refuses to comply with its most fundamental obligation, we can provide you with advice and representation in a duty of fair representation complaint, or in appealing the Union’s decision using an internal review/appeal process, if one exists.
Designed by Ron Franklin, the Duty of Fair Representation course is a hands on and practical no frills workshop that introduces participants to Unions’ often cited but rarely understood duty to represent their members fairly. This course is essential for any Union member who is considering whether or not to file a duty of fair representation complaint at the Ontario Labour Relations Board (OLRB) or at another venue. It is also essential for any Union representative who wants to know more about the duty of fair representaion or needs a refresher. Topics include: (1) the origins and nature of the duty; (2) the OLRB, its jurisdiction and the DFR process; (3) establishing a violation of section 74; (4) DFR remedies; and (5) practical considerations. Please visit our Courses section for information on upcoming sessions.