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.
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:
- Contact a union;
- Have 45% of the employees sign a union membership card;
- Upon receiving the membership cards the union will submit them to the Labour Relations Board;
- The Labour Relations Board will request a list of employees from the employer and compare the names to cards to ensure validity;
- All affected employees will be requested to vote on whether or not to join the union;
- 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;
- 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.