Archive for the 'Stewards Rights' Category



An ongoing series of articles and information of interest to PSAC stewards. See more at the stewards network pages.

While we try to avoid allowing this to happen at all, there are circumstances when our best laid plans go awry.  The Public Service Labour Relations Board uses a criteria to determine whether an extension of time should be granted.  In the following decision, rendered on October 13, 2010, PSLRB Vice-Chairperson Ian R. Mackenzie dealt with that specific criteria.

The grievor was represented by his bargaining agent at the first level of the grievance process – the employer provided a copy of its first-level decision directly to the grievor, and did not supply a copy to his representative – on learning that a first-level decision had been rendered, the grievor’s representative requested a copy and presented the grievance at the second level within seven days of receiving it, but outside the time limit set out in the collective agreement – the employer considered the presentation at that level untimely – the grievor’s representative applied for an extension of time to present the grievance at the second level of the grievance process – the Chairperson found that the grievor had not been negligent by relying on his representative to present his grievance at the second level of the grievance process and that the delay was not significant – the Chairperson further found that the deputy head would suffer no prejudice from an extension of the time limit.

Read the full text of the decision at pslrb-crtfp.gc.ca.

Union Activity in the Workplace:  Know Your Rights

As a PSAC member you have the right to promote and build your union in the workplace. You also have the right to be kept informed on the employer’s premises during non-work time, before or after your shift and during paid or unpaid breaks and lunch periods. This is the law.

You have the right to:

Read union literature. You can also sign petitions and share information about the union’s campaigns during non-working time. Talk to co-workers about the union at work as you would any other subject – help keep everyone informed about PSAC activities.

Hand out leaflets before and after work. You can distribute materials outside or inside the workplace to connect with members. Even if the entrance is in a commercial area, you have a legal right to engage in this activity. The employer is prohibited from interfering with these lawful union activities.

Desk drops. Participate in “desk drops” at members’ work stations. You are absolutely allowed to distribute publications that reflect the union’s perspective on workplace issues, as long as the information is accurate and non-defamatory. This is a great way to invite members to information sessions, provide updates on union business and recruit new volunteers.

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Another in an ongoing series of handouts, news and information that will be of interest to PSAC stewards …

stewards network!Depending on where they work, BC PSAC members may be covered under one of a number of different labour laws. Members who work in federal government departments with Treasury board as the employer are covered by the Public Service Labour Relations Act (PSLRA). PSAC members who work at Airports, Canada Post, Nordion International, IMP Comox and Granville Island fall under the Canada Labour Code (CLC). Still other PSAC members work in employment situations that come under the jurisdiction of provincial labour legislation, for example Commissionaires.

Despite the different labour laws that apply to PSAC members, the same basic union rights are recognized and protected in each piece of legislation. Following are brief descriptions of these important rights.

The right to join a Union: All workers in Canada have a right to join a union. That right is protected under both federal and provincial labour law, the Canadian Charter of Human Rights and Canada’s Constitution.

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.

The right to bargain collectively: In forming unions, workers join together to demand a say in the determination of their wages and working conditions. They act collectively to pressure the employer to come to the bargaining table and negotiate with the union for one contract of employment that will apply equally to all employees. This is the process of collective bargaining and it is one of our most essential union rights.

The right to strike: Sometimes just asking at the bargaining table isn’t enough to get a good collective agreement. At this point, the union members have to decide whether or not they are willing to take strike action to support their bargaining demands. This is not an easy decision. No one wants a strike. Sometimes, however, we need to strike in order to convince the employer that the members are serious about their bargaining demands.

The right to grieve: The end result of collective bargaining is a new or revised collective agreement which sets out employees’ rights on the job. This is not the end of the collective bargaining process however. Now the employees have to make sure the collective agreement works!

Read more in the ‘our rights under the law’ handout (pdf), prepared by the PSAC Education Section. Visit the Steward’s Network pages at the Regional Website.

Depending on where they work, BC PSAC members may be covered under one of a number of different labour laws. Members who work in federal government departments with Treasury board as the employer are covered by the Public Service Labour Relations Act (PSLRA). PSAC members who work at Airports, Canada Post, Nordion International, IMP Comox and Granville Island fall under the Canada Labour Code (CLC). Still other PSAC members work in employment situations that come under the jurisdiction of provincial labour legislation, for example Commissionaires.

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The rights of Stewards

Role of union stewards supported by PSLRB

Stewards must be able to operate in the workplace without interference or intimidation for the union to be effective. A recent decision by the Public Service Labour Relations Board (PSLRB) reinforces the rights needed by stewards to work on behalf of their members.

Stewards–and all union representatives–are protected against employer intimidation and interference under the Public Service Labour Relations Act (PSLRA). Without these protections, the union could not speak up for the interests of its members in the workplace. Enforcing these rights is critical, and the recent decision in the Perka case provides a strong example for all unions covered by the PSLRA.

Protection provided by legislation

The PSLRA provides detailed protections for union representatives and members that prevent the employer from:

  • Interfering with how a union runs its own affairs;
  • Interfering with the representation that the union provides to its members;
  • Imposing discipline or discriminating against anyone because of his or her lawful activities in the union.

The Unfair Labour Practices section of the PSLRA should be consulted for a full view of the protections provided, but the essential point is that the employer cannot prevent union representatives from carrying out their legitimate duties. In the Perka case, the union was able to prove the employer had violated the protections it was required to respect.

Go to the following link to read the complete decision.




Stewards Network

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Welcome to the Steward's Network "minisite" at psacbc.com

This is a collection of all the Steward-related information and posts on the website. Click below for more files and topics ...

For more information about the Steward's Network, contact Dave Jackson in the Victora Regional Office at (250) 953-1050 or 1 (866) 953-1050.

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Collective Agreements

Visit the national website for most PSAC collective agreements.

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