The labour movement has an important role in fighting the social and economic inequities that impact the lives of workers and people in Canada and around the world. The Social Justice Fund is one of PSAC’s contributions to that struggle.
The promotion of the right to decent work, quality public services, human rights and equity are cornerstones of the PSAC Social Justice Fund. Through education, mobilization and empowerment, PSAC's Social Justice Fund works to advance the role of our members in building more equitable and sustainable communities in Canada and the around the world.
In January 2003, PSAC's National Board of Directors created the Social Justice Fund to house the work in five priority areas:
- Humanitarian relief in Canada and around the world
- Anti-poverty initiatives in Canada
- International Labour Development
- Worker-to-Worker Exchanges
- Worker Education in Canada and around the world
In the spring of 2003, delegates to the PSAC National Triennial Convention resolved to make the SJF a bargaining priority for all units in order to sustain the SJF over the long term.
PSAC has joined a long list of Canadian unions that have set up labour funds to house their work in social justice at home and around the world, including the United Steelworkers, Canadian Union of Public Employees, Canadian Union of Postal Workers and Unifor.
Our success in negotiating the Fund at the bargaining table is growing. To date, we have achieved the Social Justice Fund with over 97 bargaining units from coast to coast to coast. These bargaining units range in size from hamlet councils and housing authorities in the North to a national employer like Canada Post. We have 2 national components who also contribute to the Fund. Please find the complete list here.
Administration and Governance
The Social Justice Fund is incorporated as a separate legal entity under the Canada Not-for-Profit Corporations Act. Its members, who are the members of the PSAC National Board of Directors, hold an Annual General Meeting (AGM) to elect the SJF’s Steering Committee and to establish and approve the parameters and guidelines for the programs it will support.
SJF Steering Committee
The Steering Committee plays an active role in the administration of the SJF and the approval of the budget and initiatives funded under each of the five priority areas. Chris Aylward is the current Chair of the Steering Committee.
The Steering Committee has two major tasks:
- to serve as an advisory body to SJF members, which includes developing the parameters and guidelines to be approved at the AGM; and
- to administer the SJF and authorize specific projects and programs within the parameters approved at the AGM.
The SJF Steering Committee:
- Chris Aylward – Chair, PSAC National President
- Marianne Hladun – PSAC Regional Executive Vice-President, Prairies
- Gayla Thunstrom – President, Union of Northern Workers (UNW)
- Virginia Vaillancourt - National President, Union of Veterans' Affairs Employees
The Letters Patent incorporating the SJF were issued under the Canada Corporations Act dated December 16, 2005. On August 21, 2014, the PSAC SJF was issued a Certificate of Continuance under the new Canada Not-for-profit Corporations Act.