Industrial Relations (IDRL) 404

Rights at Work: Grievance Arbitration (Revision 1)

IDRL 404

Delivery Mode: Individualized study online with video component.

Credits: 3

Area of Study: Applied Studies (Business and Administrative Studies). IDRL 404 can also be used to fulfill the Social Science area of study (credential students only).

Prerequisite: None. IDRL 312 is strongly recommended.

Precluded course: IDRL 304. (IDRL 404 may not be taken for credit if credit has already been obtained for IDRL 304)

Faculty: Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences

Human Resources & Labour Relations home page

IDRL 404 is not available for challenge.

check availability


IDRL 404, Rights at Work: Grievance Arbitration, is a three-credit, senior-level course examining how disputes in unionized workplaces are resolved. When unionized workers discover a violation of a collective agreement, they may ask their union to file a grievance. Grievance arbitration is the final step in this process, wherein the parties agree to have a neutral third party (an arbitrator or arbitration board) resolve their differences. Grievance arbitration (also known as "rights arbitration") casts a long shadow over how employers and unions negotiate and interpret collective agreements. It is therefore essential that union and management labour relations representatives have a thorough grounding in the principles, conduct, and changing face of grievance arbitration.


IDRL 404 has four units:

  • Unit 1: An Introduction to Grievance Arbitration
  • Unit 2: Substantive Issues in Grievance Arbitration
  • Unit 3: Procedural Issues in Grievance Arbitration
  • Unit 4: Preparing and Presenting a Grievance at Arbitration


To receive credit for IDRL 404, you must complete and submit three assignments and achieve a composite course grade of at least ā€œDā€ (50 percent). The weighting of the composite course grade is as follows.

Assignment 1 30%
Assignment 2 30%
Assignment 3 40%
Total 100%

To learn more about assignments and examinations, please refer to Athabasca University's online Calendar.

Course Materials


M. Mitchnick and B. Etherington, Labour Arbitration in Canada, 2nd Edition. ( Toronto, Lancaster House, 2012 )

J. B. Sanderson and M.R. Wilson, Labour Arbitration and All That: A Handbook on the Preparation and Presentation of Labour Arbitrations, 4th Ed. (Aurora: Canada Law Book, 2013) .

Other Materials

All other materials are available online.

Athabasca University reserves the right to amend course outlines occasionally and without notice. Courses offered by other delivery methods may vary from their individualized-study counterparts.

Opened in Revision 1, April 6, 2011.

Updated May 18 2016 by Student & Academic Services