Regional Trial Panels – Panelists

We are seeking applications from our membership to serve on CUPE’s regional trial panels. If you are interested in being nominated to the roster of trial panelists for your region, apply before February 25, 2022. If you have other questions, please email us at and we will get back to you as soon as possible.


What is the trial procedure?

The trial procedure came into effect on June 1, 2020 and replaced the former local union trials. Under procedure, a complaint from a member of a local union against another member, that alleges an offence under the constitution, is dealt with outside of the local.

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

The 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, a trial committee will be appointed and tasked with deciding the complaint. The main elements of the process outlined in the National Constitution can be summarized as follows:

The National President will appoint three members of the regional 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 decide 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:

  • Will make themselves 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, black or racialized people, and LGBTQ2+ people.

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

Trial panelists are nominated to the regional list for a term of two years and may be called at any time during that period to serve on a trial committee.

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, and most trials will take place virtually, on a platform such as ZOOM.