Latest News

Partner Organizations

The demise of those bills will be cause for all of us to celebrate. Let’s hope this represents the beginning of a new and important era of respect for labour rights and working people in Canada by our federal government.


Ottawa (01 Feb. 2016) — It’s not just unions and union members who will win when the federal Liberals make good on their pledge to repeal the anti-labour laws Harper forced through in the dying days of his government. The fact is that strong unions matter to every single Canadian.
Strong unions matter because the freedom to join together in groups and speak our minds freely is vital to the health and prosperity of our communities and our country. Put another way, unions matter to us all because they

  • Raise the standards of living for everybody, union members and non-union members alike
  • Reduce inequality, particularly income inequality
  • Protect our human rights by giving us the power to fight discrimination in all its forms
  • Strengthen our democracy by increasing voter participation

The Supreme Court understands
The Supreme Court of Canada understands this. Last year, it issued three strong judgements protecting the right of all Canadians to belong to a union and to exercise their right to strike. Unions, the Court wrote, support “the values of human dignity, equality, liberty, respect for the autonomy of the person and the enhancement of democracy.”
Bill C-377 would have required unions to provide an incredibly onerous level of detailed financial disclosure about their work on behalf of their members, and Bill C-525 would have made it harder for unions to organize in federally regulated workplaces.
Thankfully, our new federal government shares the Supreme Court’s understanding that unions matter. The majority of provincial premiers understand that, too. As do the Canadian Bar Association, the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada, and a whole host of other organizations and civil society groups who spoke out loudly against C-377 and C-525.
Cause to celebrate
The demise of those bills will be cause for all of us to celebrate. Let’s hope this represents the beginning of a new and important era of respect for labour rights and working people in Canada by our federal government.
In solidarity, 

James ClancyNUPGE National President
NUPGE
James Clancy is the National President of the National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE), one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 360,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE
Issues and Campaigns: 

In honour of Black History Month and Family Day, we’re asking for entries that say why unions matter to African Canadians or why unions matter to your family.

Ottawa (18 Jan. 2016) — Since the Unions Matter contest was launched in late 2013, we’ve received hundreds of entries and awarded more than $20,000 in prizes. The winning entries have ranged from elementary school students to seasoned professionals. We’ve awarded prizes for poems (both written and spoken word), songs, music videos, personal reminiscences, and even a schematic.
The most recent winning entry, by a Kitchener retirement home cook named Nadeem Hajee, is something new altogether. It’s a short comic strip that shows why unions matter to three very different people: a first responder concerned about safety, an enthusiastic journalist who wants to be able to freely express her opinion, and a retiree who wants to maintain a comfortable living.
Wanted to be unique
“After looking at all the other submissions, I wanted to submit an entry that was unique and had not yet been done. All the other entries were really good so I made a list of things I could do,” says Nadeem, who is a proud member of Unifor Local 1106. “I was thinking of doing some sort of Power Point presentation or some kind of flowchart."
“But as I was writing down information that I wanted to present it just made more sense to present it through a comic strip.  A comic strip is visually more appealing to the reader and fun to make."

We were so taken by Nadeem’s idea of exploring the different ways in which unions matter to different people that we’ve decided to rework the contest a little bit.
Contest is adopting monthly themes
For the next number of months, we’ll be asking for entries focussed on timely themes. Since February is Black History Month, and also the month in which four provinces celebrate Family Day, we’re asking for entries on one of these two themes:

Contest winner writes: "Do unions matter? I've got a better question. Do human rights matter?"

Ottawa (18 Dec. 2015) — Jenifer Hutt is one of the latest winners of the Why Unions Matter contest because she knows that sometimes the best answer to a question is another question. 
“Do unions matter?” she asks in her winning contest entry. “I’ve a better question. Do human right’s matter? What about the right to fair wages or work conditions where your safety is paramount? Should people be compensated if they are injured due to practices in the workplace?”
Unions a cornerstone of rights
As the Nova Scotian points out, you can’t really say that you believe in human rights or workplace safety without also believing in unions. “Unions have long been the cornerstone to protecting and promoting human rights,” she says.
Charles Partridge would agree with that. But as the other most recent winner of the contest points out, protecting human rights are far from the only reason that unions matter. A social worker in Surrey, B.C., Partridge submitted an excellent short essay that strongly outlines unions’ many contributions to healthy economies and communities:

  • They reduce income inequality
  • They increase democratic participation
  • They reduce poverty

“If we are to break out of this vicious cycle of income inequality and start to rebuild both our economy and our communities in Canada, unions will once again have to lead the way,” he writes.
Contest still open
Congratulations to both Hutt and Partridge. The Why Unions Matter contest is still accepting entries for more prizes. Please email your entry to whyunionsmatter@nupge.ca.
More information: 
Why Unions Matter contest
NUPGEThe National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 360,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE
NUPGE Components: 

Issues and Campaigns: 

"PEIUPSE/NUPGE supports the new federal Liberal government in their commitment to repeal this unjust legislation at the earliest possible opportunity." — Karen Jackson, PEIUPSE President

Charlottetown (17 Dec. 2015) — The Fraser Institute once again took aim at unions in a recent opinion piece published in Charlottetown's newspaper The Guardian. Unhappy with the federal election results and the Prime Minister's commitment to enact policies to make labour laws fairer and more balanced, the authors once again defend Bill C-377 and the restrictive labour laws passed by the Conservatives.  
Karen Jackson, President of the PEI Union of Public Sector Employees (PEIUPSE/NUPGE) wrote the following letter that was published in the newspaper on December 15.

Federal government to introduce legislation allowing RCMP members to join a union and engage in collective bargaining.
Ottawa (08 Dec. 2015) — RCMP officers are a step closer to exercising their rights to join a union and engage in collective bargaining, granted to them nearly a year ago by the Supreme Court of Canada.
On December 7, Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale announced that the government will introduce legislation providing a collective bargaining framework for the RCMP in the next several months. This proposed legislation is in response to a decision earlier this year by the Supreme Court that found the current labour relations system, which is dominated by management, is unconstitutional.
Proposed legislation the result of Supreme Court of Canada decision earlier this year
On January 16, 2015, the Supreme Court ruled that RCMP officers have the right to join a union of their own choosing and participate in collective bargaining, free of management interference. The Court gave the government one year to come up with new legislation. Failing that, the RCMP would have automatically fallen under the Public Service Staff Relations Act, legislation that governs collective bargaining for all other federal public service employees.
It appears that the government won't meet that January 2016 deadline and is expected to ask for an extension. Minister Goodale said yesterday that the government will not be in a position to table legislation until the end of February.
Disputes to be settled through binding arbitration and with no right to strike
It is expected that the new legislation will allow RCMP members to be represented by a bargaining agent that is independent from RCMP management. The officers will be declared essential employees, meaning that any disputes not settled through collective bargaining would go to binding arbitration, and officers would not have the right to strike.
Currently, RCMP operate under a non-unionized labour relations system called the Staff Relations Representative Program, which is financed by the RCMP. Officers have the right to be consulted over their pay, benefits and working conditions, but management ultimately has the right to decide on the outcome off those consultations.
RCMP only police force in Canada without a collective agreement
In its 6 to 1 majority decision, the Supreme Court said the current Staff Relations Representative Program "is simply an internal human relations scheme imposed on RCMP members by management. The element of employee choice is almost entirely missing and the structure has no independence from management."

Request for Proposals (RFP) for highways maintenance in the East Kootenay does not include successorship for our members. Will likely result in loss of dedicated and trained employees.

Vancouver (26 Nov. 2015) — The British Columbia Government and Service Employees' Union (BCGEU/NUPGE) is disappointed to learn the Request for Proposals (RFP) for highways maintenance in the East Kootenay does not include successorship for our members. BCGEU/NUPGE members have the training, local knowledge and many years of experience that is crucial for the maintenance of the roads, bridges and highways in the region.
Trained and professional employees will be lost
“Successorship would have ensured these skilled, experienced workers are employed by the successful bidder,” said BCGEU president Stephanie Smith.
“This is good for the travelling public and stakeholders who rely on professionally maintained roads. Successorship would also deliver value to British Columbia’s taxpayers and protect good, family supporting jobs in the region.”
Union planning next steps
“Our union is reviewing the RFP. It is disappointing that there is no retention of current employees. This would provide continuity of service by highways workers who know the area.  This part of the province includes two mountain ranges and several months of challenging winter driving conditions. Our members know what it takes to keep roads safe in the region,” said Rory Smith, BCGEU vice president Operational Services – Component 10.
“We will be meeting with our members in the East Kootenay to discuss our next steps to protect our member’s jobs and defend the safety and interests of the travelling public. It is important that our members know their options and that we will be there to support them.”
Highway maintenance contract to cover large area of B.C.
The successful bidder will be responsible for highways maintenance in the East Kootenay for seven years beginning on September 23, 2016. The service area includes Invermere, Kimberley, Cranbrook, Fernie, Elko, Sparwood and Elkford. 
NUPGE
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 360,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE
NUPGE Components: 

Occupational Groups: 

Issues and Campaigns: 

"With Prime Minister Trudeau, we seem to have an opportunity to put the concerns of working Canadians back on the agenda. It’s up to us to seize that opportunity and ensure our concerns stay on the agenda," says NUPGE National President James Clancy.
OTTAWA (10 Nov. 2015) – The National Union is congratulating Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for recommitting this morning to repeal two recent anti-labour laws, and also for taking an important symbolic step towards rebuilding trust between the federal government and the country’s workers.
“It was heartening to hear first-hand that Prime Minister Trudeau intends to honour his campaign commitment to repeal laws C-377 and C-525,” said NUPGE National President James Clancy. “Those laws would have hurt millions of Canadians, and it is important that they be repealed as soon as possible.”
First time in 50 years that a PM has met with the CLC
Trudeau explicitly committed to repealing those two bills during an address to the Canadian Council of the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC). The Canadian Council is the democratically elected group of more than 120 labour leaders from across the country who govern the CLC between its conventions. It was the first time in more than 50 years that a sitting Prime Minister had met with the leaders of the CLC.
“Not since John Diefenbaker has a Prime Minister met with the largest labour organization in the country. That speaks volumes about just how unrepresentative our governments have become,” said Clancy.
“With Prime Minister Trudeau, we seem to have an opportunity to put the concerns of working Canadians back on the agenda,” he said. “It’s up to us to seize that opportunity and ensure our concerns stay on the agenda.”
NUPGEThe National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 360,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. 
Issues and Campaigns: 

“The Premier should offer a sincere apology for his government’s reckless actions and for the harm done to union members and all working people." — Bob Bymoen, SGEU President

Regina (21 Oct. 2015) — New proposed essential services legislation introduced by the Saskatchewan Party government on October 15 does not erase the harm done to tens of thousands of Saskatchewan workers who were stripped of their right to collective bargaining for seven years, according to Bob Bymoen, President of the Saskatchewan Government and General Employees' Union (SGEU/NUPGE).
Supreme Court ordered the Saskatchewan government to treat workers fairly 
“The government had to be forced by the Supreme Court of Canada to treat workers fairly,” noted Bymoen. “Working families lost the ability to engage in meaningful collective bargaining as a result of the now-illegal Public Service Essential Services Act.”
“Tremendous effort and resources had to be marshalled by unions to counter this attack on public service workers. No group of citizens should be forced to go to such lengths to protect their basic constitutional rights,” adds Bymoen.
SGEU says Premier Wall should apologize to working families
Premier Wall should take responsibility for the injustice done by his government to Saskatchewan working families.
“The Premier should offer a sincere apology for his government’s reckless actions and for the harm done to union members and all working people,” according to Bymoen.
SGEU/NUPGE will be closely examining Bill 183, which sets out new rules for handling essential services, but it is too early to assess the impact on union members, says Bymoen.
NUPGE
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 360,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE
NUPGE Components: 

Issues and Campaigns: 

"The global focus this year is on ending corporate greed, eliminating precarious work and formalising informal jobs, as well as living minimum wages." — Sharan Burrow, General Secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC).
Brussels (6 Oct. 2015) — Trade unions around the world are once again mobilizing on October 7, the World Day for Decent Work, under the banner “End Corporate Greed”, with activities stretching from Japan to Ecuador and South Africa to Russia. Activities in 33 countries have already been registered on the special website 2015.wddw.org, and many more will be uploaded to the site on October 7 and the following days.
Wide range of events planned
As in the past, a wide range of different types of events are planned. Brussels, the “Capital of Europe,” will come to a standstill with a huge demonstration organized by the Belgian trade unions against austerity, while unions from the manufacturing sector will hold events around the globe to demand an end to precarious work, organized by Global Union Federation IndustriALL.
Connecting with public
Many trade unions will be on the streets to make personal contact with rush-hour commuters, while others will be holding press conferences, public events and workplace meetings. As it prepares for an October 10 mobilization against the TTIP and CETA trade deals, Germany’s trade union centre DGB is also holding a conference to press for “Fair Play for Workers in Mega Sports Events” as pressure mounts for reform of FIFA and an end to exploitation of the workers who build and deliver the world’s major sports competitions.
Global focus on ending corporate greed
“Once again the voice of working people will be heard around the globe on the World Day for Decent Work. The global focus this year is on ending corporate greed, eliminating precarious work and formalising informal jobs, as well as living minimum wages" said ITUC General Secretary Sharan Burrow. 
"We need to transform the exploitative supply chain model which robs workers while filling the coffers of multinational companies, many of which are culpable of the most egregious exploitation including the use of modern slavery. The trade union movement stands with the most exploited and vulnerable in the global economy, and on this day, the World Day for Decent Work, we will show our determination to build a better world for working families and for the generations to come.” 
More information:
World Day for Decent Work
Canadian Labour Congress - Decent work comic
NUPGE

OPSEU member Steve McPherson wins first place in North American roadside inspector competition.

Toronto (25 Aug. 2015) — A member of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU/NUPGE) has been judged one of the best roadside inspectors in North America. Steve McPherson, a Transportation Enforcement Officer with the Ministry of Transportation in Ontario, was awarded the honour at a competition in St. Louis. 
Winners of the Level I Inspection Awards were 1st place — Ontario; 2nd place — South Dakota, and 3rd place — Alaska.  
Roadside inspectors save lives
Roadside inspectors are highly trained professionals who save lives every day by keeping unsafe commercial vehicles and drivers off the roads. Each year, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance recognizes the best of the best by inviting member jurisdictions from Canada, the United States and Mexico to participate in the North American Inspectors Championship (NAIC).  This is the only event dedicated to recognizing and rewarding commercial vehicle inspector excellence. 
NUPGE
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 360,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE

Filed in: 

NUPGE Components: 

Pages