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  • Union Dues and the Rand Formula | Public Service Alliance of Canada | National Capital Region
    all workers and must be responsible for them Two interrelated provisions following from this assumption guaranteed the union the financial means to carry out its programs and established the financial penalties for employees and unions engaging in work stoppages or illegal strikes Collective agreements have incorporated a modified Rand Formula throughout Canada and some provinces have given it legal force What is the Windsor Strike which gave rise to the Rand Formula The Windsor Strike took place at the Ford Motor Co plant in Windsor Ontario The walkout of some 17 000 workers was the first and most significant of the many strikes occurring immediately after WWII as Canada s unions attempted to capitalize on their great wartime advances Most companies were determined to limit organized labour s gains There was really only one strike issue at Ford union recognition The United Automobile Workers demanded it the company refused to grant it Union shop and checkoff had been the union s slogan for some time Negotiations had lasted for almost 2 years and the plant had been subject to many wildcat strikes during the war The company with the help of the provincial government desperately strove to break the strike Police attempts to break through the picket line were thwarted by strikers who blockaded all the streets in downtown Windsor surrounding the plant with their carsparked locked and abandoned On December 13 both parties agreed to binding arbitration under Mr Justice Ivan Rand of the Supreme Court of Canada In his arbitration award rendered January 29 1946 he denied the UAW s demand for a union shop and condemned both the union and the company for their behaviour Most importantly he provided for a compulsory checkoff of union dues for all employees in the bargaining unit whether they were union

    Original URL path: http://ncr-rcn.psacadmin.ca/rand-vs-member/union-dues-and-rand-formula (2015-04-05)
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  • Freedom of Speech in the Union Context | Public Service Alliance of Canada | National Capital Region
    accurately identified Kelly as a scab The evidence of that may have been thin but juries are entitled to weigh evidence These court rulings can be summarized positively by saying that unionists can speak freely to each other concerning union issues and that certainly includes speaking negatively about others However when speaking negatively about fellow members it s necessary to be both 1 honest not reckless with the facts and 2 not primarily motivated by personal malice As long as those conditions are met the speaker runs little risk of legal liability even if it turns out later he was mistaken Freedom of Speech about Management in the Workplace In Municipalityof Metropolitan Torontoand CUPE Local 79 1998 68 LAC 4th 224 a local union steward was given a five day suspension for distributing a leaflet about a contentious workplace issue namely the disciplining of a union activist In the leaflet the steward said the activist had received more than 12 suspensions and all of them had been found by an arbitrator to be without cause The number of suspensions was wrong but the steward had honestly believed it to be true The description of the outcome at arbitration was also wrong but the steward had deliberately lied about this issue in order to mobilize the membership The arbitrator found that the five day suspension was justified for the publication of the knowingly untrue statements The core of the arbitrator s reasoning was as follows Arbitrators have held that inherent in the role of UnionSteward is the right to represent employees and the union in the workplace and that this representation often requires that the Steward forcefully challenge the decisions of management Arbitrators have generally accorded Stewards a wide range of latitude in order that they may carry out their duties free from fear of discipline or sanction Given the adversarial nature of labour relations in this province it is sometimes inherent in the responsibilities of Stewards to criticize the actions of management in an effort to inform the membership or to improve labour management relations Arbitrators have held that Union Stewards are the front line advocates on behalf of bargaining unit members and that they must be able to fully discharge their responsibilities and they must not be muzzled into quiet complacency by the threat of discipline at the hands of their employer Such protection on the activities and statements of Stewards is not however unlimited The concomitant obligations on Stewards is that they not use this broad right to make statements or act in a manner which is knowingly false or which is a reckless disregard for the truth or which is malicious in nature The arbitrator also cautioned that the distribution of leaflets should not be done in a way that disrupts work Once again union activists are free to speak negatively in the workplace about management but they should do so honestly and without malice and for the purpose of dealing with workplace issues Communications with the

    Original URL path: http://ncr-rcn.psacadmin.ca/union-rights/freedom-of-speech-union-context (2015-04-05)
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  • Discipline: Rights to Union Representation | Public Service Alliance of Canada | National Capital Region
    of discipline varies in its strength and scope Most collective agreements covering PSAC members contain a provision providing an employee with the right to union representation at the time s he is interviewed regarding allegations of misconduct or alternatively at the time discipline is imposed Some agreements oblige the employer to remind the employee of his her rights to representation Or an employer may be required to notify both the union and the employee in advance of the meeting and to indicate its purpose The employer may be required to furnish grounds to an employee prior to imposing a disciplinary measure Other language refers to time limits for placing items of a disciplinary nature on an employee s file and notifying the employee of whether or not the file will be used at the meeting The scope of representational rights is found in the precise wording of the collective agreement Trends in Arbitral Jurisprudence Brown and Beatty Canadian Labour Arbitration Third Edition at p 7 8 7 2100 notes that arbitrators in more recent cases are inquiring into the purpose and importance of the obligation rather than focusing on details such as whether the word shall was used or whether the consequences of non compliance were expressly described in the agreement This has been described as the purposive approach According to Arbitrator Mervin Chertkow 3 The purposive approach to interpretation of union representational rights has now gained wide recognition The Industrial Relations Council of British Columbia in Fording Coal Ltd 4 characterized representational rights as substantive mandatory and fundamental In Highland Valley Copper 5 I adopted the reasoning of the Council in Fording Coal Where there are provisions in a collective agreement granting such representational rights they are substantive They ought to be given a broad purposeful interpretation I agree that the purpose of such representational rights is to give the employee advice and support that is akin to and which in other circumstances would be found between a lawyer and his client That is so in my view both before the actual decision to discipline an employee is made as well as at the time discipline is imposed Simply put where the contract language so provides an employee is entitled to have a union representative present to assist him in explaining the circumstances surrounding the incident to plead on his behalf that either an employment offence did not occur or if it has occurred to argue for a quantum of discipline as minimal as the company would be prepared to accept That is the purpose for granting such representational rights For the reasons set out in the Fording 4 decision such rights serve a constructive and useful purpose for both parties in furthering a harmonious relationship between an employer and a union Results of Non Compliance Where supported by the collective agreement an abuse of an employee s rights to representation will likely result in the disciplinary measure being overturned In Wendy Evans 6 where the collective agreement provided

    Original URL path: http://ncr-rcn.psacadmin.ca/union-rights/discipline-rights-union-representation (2015-04-05)
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  • Duty of Fair Representation | Public Service Alliance of Canada | National Capital Region
    union would need to provide more generous time limits for receipt of documents The particular circumstances will dictate whether or not treatment is found to be arbitrary discriminatory or in bad faith Conduct is arbitrary if it is superficial indifferent or in reckless disregard of an individual s interests Discriminatory practices are when members of the bargaining unit are dealt with unequally on account of factors such as race or sex or through simple personal favouritism unless there are valid reasons for doing so Bad faith decisions are those based on ill will hostility revenge or dishonesty Origins of the duty of fair representation For some stewards the notion of providing representation to a scab or someone who has refused to sign a union card runs counter to principles they hold in high esteem For others the thought of not providing representation on a member s grievance is just as unprincipled Therefore some awareness of how DFR evolved may lead to a better understanding of how it attempts to balance a number of important principles The term duty of fair representation was first used in the United States in the 1940s In 1944 the U S Supreme Court dealt with the refusal of a union to admit African Americans as fully equal bargaining unit members in the case of Steel v Louisville Nashville Railroad Co 323 U S 192 The court ruled that the union s exclusive right to represent all employees in the bargaining unit included the accompanying obligation to represent all employees without hostile discrimination fairly impartially and in good faith The development of Canadian law was influenced in part by the views of Archibald Cox In his 1957 article Individual Enforcement of Collective Bargaining Agreements Professor Cox argued that permitting individuals to advance claims to arbitration would impede the development of good labour relations in four ways The pursuit of ad hoc individual claims would lead to divergent rulings If some individuals could secure better settlements through their own efforts it would undermine the effectiveness of the union This could lead to dissenting groups and competition with the union and lead to labour relations instability The possibility of competition and dissension could result in a reluctance of union representatives to settle issues early in the grievance process and lead to more arbitrations It would be difficult to distinguish between those claims that could be legitimately brought by individuals and those that could only be brought by a union While agreeing that permitting individuals access to the arbitration process would provide the best protection against incompetent or arbitrary union representatives Professor Cox argued that the cost of such an arrangement would be too high Ultimately he called for the development of a duty of fair representation rather than giving individuals access to arbitration Unless the collective agreement or a statute so provides an employee cannot refer a grievance to arbitration without the union s approval For example the PSLRA provides for individual access to adjudication in cases of disciplinary action resulting in termination demotion suspension or financial penalty and certain types of non disciplinary termination demotion or deployment It should be noted that the right of the employee to proceed to adjudication does not absolve the union of its duty of fair representation In addition when a union declines referral and representation at adjudication it is incumbent on the union to notify the person of his her right to proceed without union support It s about a Union s Right to Choose The exclusive power of a union to choose whether or not to provide representation is a necessity The right of a union to make a choice is vital To suggest we must represent on every grievance is to remove our ability to choose to further certain causes or to promote certain fundamental interests How for example can we protect and extend workers rights to an harassment free workplace if we are forced to provide representation in the case of every member of the bargaining unit accused of harassment How for example can the union promote the accommodation of persons with disabilities or the employment of underrepresented equity group members if we must process the grievance of every member of the bargaining unit who perceives a lost opportunity for themselves as a result How can we protect and expand collective rights if we must proceed with a grievance with no chance of success and the knowledge that bad facts make bad case law How can the union remain fiscally viable if we must shoulder the huge costs of arbitrating each and every case that an individual member of the bargaining unit believes has merit It is true that the pursuit of individual claims in many cases advances the interests of the collective However that is not always the situation There are times when individual and collective rights and interests are in conflict and the union must make a choice The duty of fair representation recognizes that reality The duty of fair representation provides the necessary checks and balances to ensure that unions are not motivated by improper considerations in their decision making It is the quid pro quo for a union s right to make choices If the union could refuse to represent a scab or someone who refuses to sign a union card based on those grounds it would stand to reason that those persons should have the ability to seek representation elsewhere or represent themselves This would surely place collective interests in jeopardy The possibilities of private deals with the employer would undermine the principles of collective bargaining The risks of conflicting case law and bad precedent would become unacceptably high The opportunities to advance social principles and causes would be threatened The Supreme Court of Canada recognizes that a union must be free to pursue its legitimate goals and protect its legitimate interests Protecting and advancing collective interests and rights will mean that the union will have to make some tough decisions Some will

    Original URL path: http://ncr-rcn.psacadmin.ca/union-rights/duty-of-fair-representation (2015-04-05)
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  • Our Rights Under the Law | Public Service Alliance of Canada | National Capital Region
    activities Manitoba Labour Relations Act Section 5 1 Every employee has the right to be a member of a union to participate in the activities of a union and to participate in the organization of a union Quebec Labour Code Section 3 Every employee has the right to belong to the association of employees of his choice and to participate in the formation activities and management of such association THE RIGHT TO PARTICIPATE IN UNION ACTIVITIES The law not only protects a worker s right to join a union but also recognizes the worker s right to be an active union member Many of us know members who do not want to get involved in the union Some of the reasons why they do not want to be active may include fear that their employer or manager might prevent them in some way from being promoted fear of presenting a grievance because they might get fired fear they might get a reputation as a complainer or fear of disturbing a friendly relationship with management The law protects employees from employer interference by prohibiting unfair labour practices on the part of manage ment Some examples of these outlawed practices include interference in the formation or administration of a union Local interference with the union representing its members discrimination because of union activity Unfair Labour Practices can be about Interference in the formation or administration of a union Local The employer or manager cannot participate or interfere with the process of certification starting a union by a group of employees Interference with the union representing its members The employer or manager cannot prevent or interfere with the process of representation of employees by a union Discrimination because of union activity The employer or manager cannot refuse to employ or to continue to employ suspend lay off intimidate threaten or otherwise discipline any person because the person is involved in the union and its activities Discrimination against members and intimidation The following kinds of actions might be leading indicators of a pattern of discrimi nation Unequal Treatment Assigning you more than your fair share of dirty work Taking away the more interesting parts of your job Suddenly hassling you about how long you take for lunch while continuing to be flexible about other people s lunch breaks Unfair Treatment Suddenly giving you too much work Suddenly giving you too little work Deciding that your job performance is no longer satisfactory even though it hasn t changed Intimidation Refusing to promote you because you spend too much time on union business Complaining that you file too many grievances Threatening to discipline you if you continue to be involved in the union Noting in your personal evaluation that your job performance is affected by your union involvement We all want to have a good working relationship with our managers However if the price of that relationship is to deny our rights or refuse to exercise them for fear of upset ting the boss then surely

    Original URL path: http://ncr-rcn.psacadmin.ca/union-rights/our-rights-under-law (2015-04-05)
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  • Minumum Standards for Union-Management Meetings | Public Service Alliance of Canada | National Capital Region
    process while ensuring that confidentiality requirements are met Both parties should be well prepared in advance of joint meetings and should be committed to implementation of meeting outcomes Where parties are unable to come to agreement respective positions should be clearly understood and any common ground or proposals for resolution should be clearly identified and captured in writing before ending joint discussion Joint Committee Specific Terms of reference should be co developed by members of a joint committee Clear objectives should be established from the outset Participants should have clear mandates influence over the outcomes and a stake in implementation of actions jointly agreed upon Mutual respect for the legitimacy and point of view of all parties is basic to successful joint meetings Appropriate training should be provided to joint committee members Union Representatives should be given time with pay to perform their duties as a member of a joint committee including preparation for meetings implementation of meeting decisions and necessary consultation with the membership There should be a commitment of adequate time resources and necessary supports for joint work Where possible the parties should develop both short and long term plans and strategies for joint work Parties should come

    Original URL path: http://ncr-rcn.psacadmin.ca/union-management-consultations/minumum-standards-union-management-meetings (2015-04-05)
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  • Terms of Reference | Public Service Alliance of Canada | National Capital Region
    Co Chairpersons will have the responsibility for decision making where time sensitive issues arise between meetings It is expected that these decisions will have the appropriate support of respective committee members The Co chairpersons will be responsible for communication with their respective representatives on the Joint UMCC including keeping their representatives informed of ongoing issues and discussions between Joint UMCC meetings UMCC Members Roles and Responsibilities Members of the Joint UMCC will ensure that they are properly informed on issues being discussed at each meeting Members of the Joint UMCC will undertake to obtain provide information guidance and direction from to the individuals and groups they represent The Joint UMCC is responsible for any communication requirements concerning the status and progress of their work The parties agree to provide timely reports in a format and manner to be determined and jointly agreed to on a regular basis but at a minimum after each Joint UMCC meeting All joint communication from the Joint UMCC will be released in both official languages simultaneously The Joint UMCC may create sub committees with equal participation from both parties to look into specific areas and to formulate recommendations to the appropriate parties for action UMCC Process Joint UMCC members are expected to fully participate including offering differing perspectives and or dissenting opinions Such discussions will be held in a thoughtful and respectful manner Each committee member will make every effort to hear all the views and perspectives tabled and to thoroughly explore all issues and concerns with an open and creative approach to jointly resolving problems and addressing concerns The Joint UMCC will seek to operate on a consensual basis whenever possible Where all avenues for consensus have been exhausted and issues remain outstanding the Joint UMCC will note in its proceedings and minutes any issues that require referral to another committee for further action or any points of disagreement In the event of a serious dispute or the inability for committee members to reach a decision on the interpretation of these Terms of Reference or on key issues that might impede the progress of the work of the Joint UMCC the committee may decide to call upon a third party to mediate and settle the dispute The Joint UMCC will hold meetings on an as needed basis but no less than once every three months Joint UMCC meetings should be scheduled in blocks 2 3 in advance and should be considered a priority responsibility for all committee members The parties will endeavour to respect identified priorities and timeframes set out on meeting agendas Suggested adjustments to the agenda during the course of the meeting should be agreed upon by the parties accordingly All members appointed to the Joint UMCC will be provided with paid leave in order to allow them to prepare for participate in and follow up on meetings of the Joint UMCC Meeting Preparation Where possible the parties agree to share pertinent information related to issues being addressed at the meeting at

    Original URL path: http://ncr-rcn.psacadmin.ca/union-management-consultations/terms-of-reference (2015-04-05)
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  • Useful Web Resources for PSAC-NCR Locals | Public Service Alliance of Canada | National Capital Region
    and happy reading PSAC Public Service Alliance of Canada Constitution and Regulations PSAC Policies Component and Regional Council By Laws PSAC Representation Section PSAC BC Stewards page PSAC Human Rights Program PSAC Disability Insurance PSAC Health and Safety Program Occupational Group Structure PSAC Work Force Adjustment Our Components Member Self Help Kiosk Key Info Clé CEIU Resources UCTE Tool Box USGE Tool Box Federal Legislation Public Service Labour Relations Act and Regulations Public Service Employment Act and Regulations Canada Labour Code Canadian Human Rights Act Employment Equity Act Official Languages Act Financial Administration Act Provincial Resources Occupational Health Clinics for Ontario Workers The Workers Health Safety Centre WSIB Workplace Safety and Insurance Board CSST Commission des droits de la personne et des droits de la jeunesse Ontario Human Rights Commission Federal Government Treasury Board Secretariat Public Service Commission Public Service Labour Relations Board Public Service Staffing Tribunal Human Resources and Skills Development Broader Labour Canadian Labour Congress Union Leadership Workers of Tomorrow Politics Democracy Watch Fair Vote Canada Three hundred and eight Legal Canadian Legal Information Institute FaceBook pages Solidarity Against Austerity Occupy Together Filed in Shop Stewards Web Resources Stewards Published January 14 2013 Tweet Receive our E Newsletter

    Original URL path: http://ncr-rcn.psacadmin.ca/web-resources-stewards/useful-web-resources-psac-ncr-locals (2015-04-05)
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