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A grievance occurs at any time that a worker or a group of workers may have problems arising from:

  • Violation of any terms or conditions of service
  • Denial of any right enshrined in the Regulations or Laws governing the Public Service
  • Introduction of a policy unknown to the employee or without the concurrence of the PSA through the Joint Consultative Committees
  • Unfair treatment
  • Any other problems affecting the worker(s) employment
    The grievance procedure in the public service is found in Circular No.1 of 1973. For other workers outside the public service, this procedure is normally outlined in the Collective Agreement.

The grievance procedure typically is as follows

Where a grievance arises representations should be made by the local Staff Side representatives (Branch Officers Section Representatives) to the Head of the Division or Institution in which the worker is employed The Section Representatives seek advice from Executive Officers or other reliable sources whenever necessary to ensure that the member gets the best possible representation.

In the event that no action is taken on these representations within 7 days, the matter should be reported by the PSA to the Permanent Secretary ( of the Ministry or Head of Department) Differing Collective Agreements may specify different timeframes and may require reporting to a Chief Executive Officer or Managing Director instead of a Permanent Secretary

If the PSA is unable to obtain a resolution within 14 days, the matter should be raised with the Chief Personnel Officer. If the PS or Head of Department finds that due to extraordinary circumstances, action cannot be taken within the prescribed time, an extension may be agreed to be the PSA For workers whose grievance procedure is outlined in a Collective Agreement, the matter if unresolved should be reported by the PSA Executive to the Minister of Labour within six months of the issue had first arisen.

If there is no resolution of agreement between the PSA or Personnel Department within 21 days or an extended period as agreed, the PSA then refers the dispute to the Minister of Finance. For workers under Collective Agreements, the Ministry of Labour arranges a Conciliation Hearing where an independent mediator meets both parties to attempt to settle the dispute.

According to Section 20, if the Civil Service Act, the Minister of Finance shall refer the dispute for settlement to the Special Tribunal within 21 days If the Minister of Finance fails to do so, the PSA then has 21 days to refer the matter to the Special Tribunal. For those with Collective Agreements, if the matter is not resolved at the Ministry of Labour, an unresolved certificate is issued by the Minister of Labour who may then refer the dispute to the Industrial Court If the dispute is not referred by the Ministry of Labour the PSA may refer the dispute to the Industrial Court.

If you have a workplace grievance please do not hesitate to contact your PSA Representative. Send us a message using our online forms, email us at or call the PSA at 226-5059.