As a member of the PSAC, you have one of Canada’s largest unions supporting you in your workplace. The PSAC negotiates a strong collective agreement for you, provides you with representation in cases of grievances or discipline, offers you courses on your rights, and actively lobbies all levels of government for policies and laws that benefit workers like you.
How is PSAC funded?
The PSAC is funded exclusively through dues paid by members, set as a percentage of their salaries, which are deducted by the employer from paycheques and remitted to PSAC.
How are dues spent?
The bulk of PSAC dues are spent to negotiate strong collective agreements, adjudicate grievances filed by members against their employers, and provide courses on a wide range of topics for members. In addition, dues are spent on communication, political action (such as lobbying all levels of government for laws that benefit workers), organizing initiatives, and support for community partners.
Who decides the dues level and what dues should be spent on?
PSAC is a democratic, member-led organization; everyone from the president at the local in your workplace to the national president is a member who has been elected to their position. Thus, all decisions relating to dues levels and how dues should be spent are determined by elected officials and councils.
The overall budget and dues levels (set as a percentage of members’ salaries) of the PSAC is set by members at the Triennial National Convention for a three year cycle. Meanwhile, major budgetary decisions within the three year cycle are usually made by the Alliance Executive Committee (AEC)—a group of nine elected members encompassing the national president, the national executive vice-president, and the seven regional executive vice presidents.
At the regional level, funding decisions are made by the Regional Council and its committees, which are all composed of elected members from each of PSAC’s workplace locals in a given region. (In the National Capital Region, PSAC has 118 locals accounting for over 50,000 members.)
Why are dues automatically deducted from my paycheque?
Membership dues are automatically deducted from members’ paycheques for administrative efficiency and to ensure that all those who gain from the benefits of unionization pay for its associated costs. In Canada, this approach is known as the Rand formula, which emerged following a bitter dispute involving autoworkers at the Ford Motor Company in Windsor, Ontario, in 1946, when workers went on strike in order to fight for union recognition and security.