Steward Resources

Respectful Workplace and Harassment

The employer is morally, socially and legally responsible for ensuring a respectful work environment free of harassment. This responsibility flows from the Saskatchewan Occupational Health & Safety Act (or its successor, the Saskatchewan Employment Act).  Therefore, if the employer is legally responsible for ensuring a respectful workplace harassment complaints should first be processed through the employer's harassment policy, not through the grievance procedure. (A grievance can be filed later if the employer fails to handle the complaint in keeping with their policy or the law).

The following document will assist you on how the steward deals with such complaints...

Respectful workplace and harassment

Know Your Workplace Harassment Procedure

The Occupational Health &Safety Act (or its successor, the Saskatchewan Employment Act) requires all employers to develop, in consultation with the occupational health committee, a written policy to prevent harassment in the workplace. Employers must implement that policy and post it in the workplace. What does your say? For additional info please read the following...

For additional info on this topic please click Know Your Workplace Harassment document below.

Know your workplace harassment procedure

Duty To Accommodate

The duty to accommodate is likely the most common, and one of the most challenging, issues in the contemporary workplace. There are basic steps that the employer, the employee and the union should take when an issue of accommodation arises. What action is required and what processes should be followed? What are the key ingredients of a successful accommodation? There are basic steps involved at each stage of the process, including identifying the need for accommodation, gathering the necessary information, investigating the options, and ultimately fulfilling the duty to accommodate. If a steward is tasked with this issue please advise your rehabilitation committee, if there is one in your bargaining unit.  If not, discuss the issue with your Labour Relations Officer.  The discussion will include:

  • Identifying the need for accommodation: What information does the employer need to have before the duty to accommodate is triggered?
  • Medical information and privacy: How should parties obtain and use medical information in a way that balances the employer's need for information with the employee's privacy rights?
  • Investigating accommodation options: What are the steps that should be taken by employers, employees and unions to investigate and consider the availability of accommodation options?
  • Implementing accommodations/elements of a successful accommodation: What are some examples of accommodations that should/must be considered? Modified work stations or physical environment? Modified job duties or hours? Bundling or reconfiguration of duties? Is transfer to a lower-rated or non-bargaining unit position permitted? If so, when can these options be considered?

As well as, bona fide occupational requirements (BFORs) and undue hardship: What is a "bona fide occupational requirement" (BFOR) and how can workplace parties determine what elements of a job are bona fide occupational requirements?

For additional info on this topic please click The Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission document below.

The Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission


Ten Mistakes A Steward Should Never Make
  1. Miss your deadline.
  2. Never get back to the grievor.
  3. Bad mouth the union.
  4. Drop the routine fly ball.
  5. Sit down and shut up at meetings with management.
  6. Lose control.
  7. Write long grievances.
  8. Meet the grievor for the first time at the grievance hearing.
  9. Wait for the member to come to you with the problem.
  10. Forget to take a breather.

For an explanation of each of these reasons, please click below.

Ten Mistakes A Steward Should Never Make