How PSAC works: governance

Your union is a democratic organization based on many members stepping into voluntary roles to ensure that members are properly represented, and your union’s business is conducted. Some senior elected positions are paid. Union staff also support the overall governance and operation of your union; many having specific roles.  

This section provides a big picture overview of PSAC’s governing structures.  


Your local is set up to be the vehicle for membership representation and engagement.  

Each local is governed by bylaws that may cover the following: 

  • Definition of the local 

  • Definition of a members  

  • Objectives of the bylaws 

  • Definition of bylaw contents  

  • Composition of the local executive 

  • Number of membership meetings required 

  • Number of members for quorum at meetings 

  • How meetings are conducted (rules of order) 

  • How reporting on finances is done 

  • When elections are held 

  • How proxy voting can occur  

  • How vacancies on the executive are filled 

  • Duties of each executive position  

  • Committees and how they are constituted  

  • How the local is constitutionally connected to PSAC 

  • How by-laws are updated or amended 

Annual General Meetings (or General Membership Meetings) are the governing body of your local.  

Your local is the face of the union for members; it is where members see their union operating on a daily basis.  

When experiencing issues with managers you can call upon stewards or other union representatives to assist. Conflicts are addressed and grievances may be filed. See Locals Representation [link] 


PSAC has seven regions (Atlantic, British Columbia, North, Ontario, Prairies, Quebec and the National Capital Region) and each has a regional council of representatives who make decisions with respect to PSAC’s regional activity.  

Each region is governed by Regional Bylaws which set out the structure, authority and mandate of the regional council, and all matters related to the triennial regional convention, including 

  • when and how they occur 

  • who is eligible to participate as a delegate 

  • The process for the election of the full-time Regional Executive-Vice President and other members of the Regional Council 

  • The functioning of regional committees and area councils. 


PSAC is a pan-Canadian union with a vast array of members working for public and private sector employers. Governance of an organization of this size can be challenging because sometimes members have different interests and concerns. PSAC National is governed to achieve the good of all members across the country.  

The PSAC Constitution and Regulations sets out the PSAC’s objectives and the rules that govern PSAC’s conduct and internal organization. For example, the Constitution and Regulations address, among other things: 

  • Who can apply to be a PSAC member and what is required to be a member in good standing 

  • The authority, composition and responsibilities of the different governing bodies of the PSAC, such as the National Board of Directors, the Alliance Executive Committee, and PSAC Components and Directly Chartered Locals 

  • The authority and responsibilities of the National President, National Executive-Vice President, Regional Executive Vice-Presidents  

  • What is required to establish an area council and regional committees 

  • All matters related to the national triennial convention including the process for electing the National President and the National Executive Vice-President and Alternate National Executive Vice-President. 

PSAC is also guided by policies that have been adopted over the years. Examples of PSAC policies include: 

The PSAC national triennial convention is the highest-level decision-making body. Between conventions, the National Board of Directors assumes the Convention’s authority except that only the triennial convention can amend the Constitution and Regulations. 

PSAC’s Alliance Executive Committee, which is made up of the National President, the National Executive Vice-President and the seven Regional Executive Vice-Presidents, is responsible for oversight of the operations of PSAC.  


December 12, 2019