The value of the Union

The value of the Union

Having a union on your side makes your job and your workplace safer and fairer. You get paid better and are more likely to have benefits that help you balance work with life at home. Your health and ability to do your job become important, and your right to fair treatment gets enforced.

The Canadian Labour Congress released a study to show just how much better the union advantage truly is – both provincially and in 50 communities across the country. This study shows that on average, unionized workers across Canada earn $5.28/hour more than non-union workers, that women with unions earn more ($7.10/hour) and get paid more fairly, and that workers under age 25 earned an extra 27% from jobs covered by a  collective agreement.

Top 10 Historical PSAC Gains for Members

1. Sick leave provisions

1969 – The federal public service sick leave plan is improved to include injury-on-duty leave. 

2. Vacation leave

1973 – Federal public service members gain the right to carry-over vacation leave.

3. Equal pension benefits for women

1975 –Women in the federal public sector acquire equal pension benefits.

4. Hours of work that meet our needs

1979 – PSAC signs the first contract that provides for realistic scheduling of flexible hours.

5. Maternity and Family Leave

1980 – PSAC bargains its first paid maternity leave and a family-leave package for the Clerical and Regulatory (CR) group.

6. Health and Safety

1984 – The PSAC conducts its “Black Paper” lobbying campaign that succeeds in gaining health and safety protection for federal public sector workers under the Canada Labour Code. 

7. Vision, Hearing and Dental benefits

1988 – The PSAC wins 100% employer payment of vision, hearing and dental plan premiums for federal public sector workers. 

8. Recognition of Same-Sex Spouses

1990 – PSAC wins a ground-breaking re-definition of “spouse” to include same-sex relationships in its agreement with the Yukon government.

9. Pay Equity

1998 – A Canadian Human Rights Tribunal awards pay equity to PSAC’s female-dominated bargaining units in the federal public service. After the Federal Court upholds the Tribunal’s decision, PSAC negotiates a settlement worth over $3-billion for more than 200,000 current and former members.

10. Protection for members with disabilities

1993 – PSAC successfully negotiates with Confederation Life to ensure that members with disabilities, otherwise in good health, will be approved for life insurance coverage.