More information about joining PSAC

Human rights

Unions are at the forefront on human rights.  We negotiate stronger human rights protections into collective agreements, establishing norms which may become laws or public policy.

Examples include:

  • campaigning for a national childcare strategy
  • advocating for trans human rights
  • campaigning in support for the National Inquiry into Missing Indigenous Women and Girls
  • working to remove barriers for individuals with disabilities in their workplace
  • promoting employment equity for racialized workers and other equity groups

PSAC fought for and won the biggest pay equity win for female dominated job classifications. We continue to be one of Canada’s strongest advocates for equal pay for work of equal value.  In Canada, women are still earning 82 cents to every dollar a man makes.

Changing workplaces

The new workplace culture of doing more with less is accelerating. As a result, workers need protection.  Labour standards only offer minimal protections.  A collective agreement is what really protects workers.  We can negotiate work-life balance.

As employers provide smart phones and gadgets to assist us in our work, a new reality is imposed on how we do our work. Gadgets create an employer creep into our personal lives and time.

The changing workplace reality means Increasing workloads and pressures to do more with less. The effect shows up as increasing mental health issues. This issue is forecast to become the leading cause for worker disability in the near future.

Jobs are being redefined

  • 45% of activities individuals are paid to perform can be automated by adapting current technologies, according to research.
  • Fewer than 5% of occupations can be entirely automated using these technologies. 
  • 60% of occupations could have 30% or more of their constituent activities automated.

Automation is likely to change the vast majority of occupations—at least to some degree—which will necessitate significant job redefinition.

Unions must play a role in defining and rating new job descriptions to prevent a downward slide in pay.  

A collective agreement can offer protection to workers whose job descriptions are changing.

Protecting what you have

We know that employers are seeking ways to tighten their belts and reduce costs wherever possible:

  • cutting back in areas of existing benefits
  • moving away from defined benefit pensions to defined contribution pensions
  • creating two tiers of employees where new hires receive lower pay grades and reduced pension benefits

None of these benefit workers now or in the future.  

Your union will fight to protect what you currently have and build on it for the future. 

March 24, 2016