Improving Your Workplace

What is it?

A union is a democratic organization of workers that negotiate wages and other terms of employment between themselves and their employer through a collective bargaining agreement (CBA).

What is the standard?

Once 45% of workers in a workplace sign a union membership card, a secret-ballot vote takes place. If 50% + 1 of workers vote in favour of unionizing, the union becomes the legally certified bargaining agent. For more information on the benefits of forming a union, and a list of what it is illegal for an employer to do with regards to unions, visit the ‘Learn more’ page.

Learn more

Benefits of joining a union include:

  • Negotiated wages and wage increase;
  • Better access to benefits and retirement plans;
  • Increased job security;
  • Ability to grieve unfair practices by the employer;
  • Representation during discipline and termination;
  • Access to union training and education, and;
  • Higher standards for health and safety, leaves from work, and so on.

How to join a union:

  1. Contact a union;
  2. Have 45% of the employees sign a union membership card;
  3. Upon receiving the membership cards the union will submit them to the Labour Relations Board;
  4. The Labour Relations Board will request a list of employees from the employer and compare the names to cards to ensure validity;
  5. All affected employees will be requested to vote on whether or not to join the union;
  6. If 50% + 1 vote in favour of unionizing the employees become members of the union and the union becomes the legally certified bargaining agent representing the workers in the workplace;
  7. Employer and union negotiate a collective bargaining agreement (CBA).

It is illegal for an employer to:

  • Intimidate or threaten employees for exercising their rights set out in the Saskatchewan Employment Act;
  • Threaten to shut down or to threaten to move the workplace during a dispute with the union;
  • Refuse to negotiate with certified union;
  • Refuse to hire an employee unless they agree to not unionize;
  • Refuse access to the union representative to deal with disputes and grievances during working time.

For additional information on joining a union, and a full listing of unfair labour practices, consult the Saskatchewan Employment Act.

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