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We are seeking applications from our membership to serve on CUPE’s new regional trial panels. If you are interested in being nominated to the roster of trial panelists for your region, apply before February 14, 2020. If you have other questions, please contact Tanya Paruch at tparuch@cupe.ca and we will get back to you as soon as possible. For more information click LEARN MORE and QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS ABOUT BEING A TRIAL PANELIST

Learn more

At our last National Convention in October of 2019, delegates adopted a new trial procedure to deal with complaints and offences under the National Constitution. With this new procedure, trials will be conducted outside the local union, by three members from the region. These trial committees will be appointed by the National President, from a regional roster of trial panelists nominated by the National Executive Board.

If you are interested in being nominated to the roster of trial panelists for your region, apply before February 14, 2020.

We are looking for members who:

  • Are available on short notice to hear and decide cases
  • Have the capacity to listen and understand different perspectives
  • Have an understanding of human rights
  • Are comfortable explaining a decision in writing

For this first set of nominations, terms will be for two or three years.

Any CUPE member in good standing is eligible to apply, and we encourage you to seek the support of your local union for your application. As part of CUPE’s commitment to equality, we encourage applications from women, Indigenous peoples, persons with disabilities, racialized people and LGBTQ2+ people.

We ask all interested members to complete the application below and attach a resume or a letter outlining their work and union experience.

Questions and answers about being a trial panelist

What is the new trial procedure?

The new trial procedure comes into effect on June 1st, 2020 and replaces the former local union trials. Under the new procedure, a complaint from a member of a local union against another member, that alleges an offence under the constitution, will be dealt with outside of the local.

The complaint will first be reviewed by an investigator who will determine if there is sufficient evidence to warrant a trial. If there is, the National President will appoint a trial committee of three members to hear the complaint and decide if there was an offence. These trial committee members will be selected from a regional roster of trial panelists appointed by the National Executive Board.

The new procedure can be found at Appendix F of the National Constitution.

What is the role of a trial panelist?

Where an investigator has determined that there is sufficient evidence to warrant a trial, and the matter has not been settled through mediation, trial panelists will be selected to serve as a member of the trial committee and tasked with deciding complaints. The main elements of the process outlined in the Constitution can be summarized as follows:
  • The National President will appoint three members of the trial panel to serve as the trial committee.
  • The trial committee will convene a teleconference with the complainant and respondent and their respective representatives to deal with preliminary matters.
  • The trial committee will hold a private hearing into the complaint. It will decides its own procedure in accordance with the rules of natural justice. The committee can accept any oral or written evidence that it considers proper, so long as every member receives a fair and impartial hearing.
  • The trial committee decides whether the respondent is guilty of the offence and if so, the trial committee will decide any penalty and what, if anything, the respondent must do or not do. The committee will issue a decision with reasons in writing.

The details can be found at sections Appendix F, sections F.4 and F.5 of the National Constitution.

What are the requirements to apply?

  • We are looking for people who
  • Are available on short notice to hear and decide cases
  • Have the capacity to listen and understand different perspectives
  • Have an understanding of human rights
  • Are comfortable explaining a decision in writing

Any CUPE member in good standing is eligible to apply, and we encourage you to seek the support of your local union for your application. As part of CUPE’s commitment to equality, we encourage applications from women, Indigenous peoples, persons with disabilities, racialized people and LGBTQ2+ people.

What is the term of the trial panelist’s mandate?

For this first series of nominations, we will appoint trial panelists for terms of two or three years so that starting in 2022, we will have nominations each year for two year terms.

Will there be training for this role?

Yes. CUPE will offer specific training to members who will have been selected as trial panelists so they can be ready to serve on a trial committee on short notice when a case arises.

Are there any costs for my local union associated with this role?

No. The National Constitution provides that the cost of the trial will be borne by the local union where the complaint originates. The cost of conducting a trial include lost wages and reasonable expenses for the trial committee members.  Trial panelists will not be assigned to hear complaints from their own local.

Where will the trials take place?

Trials may take place anywhere within each region depending on where the complaint originates.