Form Your Union
What it Takes to Win
Under the law it is your right to join and participate in a trade union of your choice.
The process basically goes as follows:
Workers sign cards
When a strong majority are signed up, the cards are filed at the Labour Relations Board
Depending on the province, the Labour Board will order a vote within 5-10 business days of filing. Some provincial Labour Boards are also running votes by email during Covid-19.
In B.C. your signature is your vote. If 55% of employees sign cards, your union is automatically certified.
If a vote is ordered, 50% + 1 of workers vote YES in favour of the union
Bargain your union contract
What it takes to win:
Know your rights
It is illegal for your employer to:
Should your employer engage in any of these activities, document it (i.e. what was said, when, where) and let a union organizer know as soon as possible.
Frequently Asked Questions
Thousands of cleaners across Canada who work in places like malls, schools and office buildings have formed a union with SEIU and negotiated contracts with medical benefits, paid personal days and sick days, improvements to wages and better working conditions. You can do the same.
The reality in this industry is that companies sometimes lose contracts (which has nothing to do with us forming a union).
In Ontario and British Columbia there are laws that protect cleaners should a contract change happen. These protections, known as Successorship Rights, requires new employers to re-hire workers while respecting your jobs, seniority, Union, and the collective agreement that is in place.
In Canadian provinces where there are no successorship laws, such as Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Alberta, with a union, workers are in a stronger position to demand that the new company honour jobs and the union contract with the improvements that have already been gained.
Union dues are the way we pool our resources in order to stand-up for better working conditions and wage improvements. SEIU Union dues are usually 2% of gross earnings (only 20 cents for every $10 you earn).
You do not pay any Union dues until the majority of workers vote to approve a first contract and dues are tax deductible. Typically, the wage increase in the first collective agreement will more than cover the cost of dues.
Yes. When you are part of a union the employer can’t get away with terminating workers without a justifiable reason. With a union you will have a grievance procedure that empowers you to fight back should you be unfairly disciplined, laid-off or fired.