What Is PSAC?
The Public Service Alliance of Canada/Alliance de la Fonction publique du Canada (PSAC) is a national union which represents 200,000 workers from coast to coast to coast.
Many members work for the federal government or its agencies including immigration officers, fisheries officers, food inspectors, customs officers and the like, however, an increasing number of PSAC growing membership work in the private sector in women’s shelters, universities, security agencies and casinos. Over 20,000 members are in the university sector.
As the members’ bargaining agent, PSAC works to help all of them obtain fair treatment and respect in the workplace, employment security, better pay
and safe working conditions.
The benchmark for any union is the language it is able to negotiate at the bargaining table for its members. PSAC negotiators, working with members from within the bargaining units, have achieved collective agreements that are second to none in Canada.
Grievance and Adjudication
Members receive training on how to represent their co-workers using a grievance procedure to resolve complaints. Experienced staff represent members in the arbitration process when grievances are referred to an independent third party for resolution.
Health and Safety
PSAC activists are trained in the field of occupational health and safety so that they can assure their workplaces are healthy environments. PSAC’s health and safety program provides members with the information necessary to achieve healthy work environments as well as doing ongoing research as workplaces evolve.
Classification and Pay Equity
PSAC has a depth of expertise in the areas of job classification and equal pay. As the nature of work changes due to technology or a changing economic climate, it is imperative that workers are given fair remuneration. PSAC is a union that can provide its members with the information, analysis and representation to affect change in this regard at the bargaining table or through the grievance procedure. An example being PSAC’s 14-year struggle with the federal government to achieve a ground-breaking $3.2 billion pay equity settlement for those in clerical and support positions.
PSAC’s Human Rights Program is based on a mobilizing approach, rather than an advocacy approach. This means that the Union provides support to members from equity groups to discuss, identify and strategise around how to best address issues of particular concern to them. In today’s political-economic climate, it is key that we fight for human rights both in our workplaces and in our communities. PSAC provides its members with the knowledge, tools and support to act.
An educated union membership is an empowered union membership. PSAC has a union-training program which is the envy of many unions. Delivered throughout the regions, the education program gives member activists the opportunity to develop their own knowledge and skills on a range of issues as well as providing PSAC Locals with the tools to run effectively. In the absence of accurate and favourable labour information in our society, it is important that union members can access to training that is worker-based and experiential. A “popular” approach to union training has proven to be very effective as PSAC members attest.