Answers to frequently asked questions (FAQ)

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How do I go about getting my workplace unionized ?

Follow these steps :

– Speak to one or two colleagues at work that you trust implicitly. (Be careful to, avoid speaking about it with anyone that represents or is close to management or that is a management or that is a management representative);

– Decide on the category(ies) of employees you want to be part of the union. (It’s always preferable to form the largest group possible);

Contact us in order to meet whith an SEPB-Quebec representative who can help you evaluate your chances of success.

– Discuss with one of our representatives the best strategy to use in order to succeed in your unionization drive. (Remember, an SEPB-Quebec representative will guide you through the process).

What is a union organising drive?

It is the process of signing application cards that leads to the filing of a request for certification. In order to file such a request, you have to gather the signatures of more than 50 % of the people who make up the group you want to cover. The Quebec labour Code requires that each person who signs up must pay an amount of 2$ as union dues. For workplaces under federal jurisdiction (banks, telecommunications, etc.) the amount required by law is 5$ per person.

Am I protected if I decide to unionize ?

Yes. During a union organizing drive, the names of everyone who has signed up must remain confidential, otherwise penalties are imposed under the labour Code. The labour Code also stipulates that any form of intimidation, threats or reprisals against anyone who decides to unionize is strickly forbidden.

What is a request for certification ?

Both the Quebec labour Code and the Canada labour Code stipulate that a union wishing to represent the workers of a company must present a request in writing to the appropriate labour ministry in order to be certified. That request must be accompanied by the duly and signed completed individual application cards in order to establish representation for the group in question.

What is a certification ?

Once a union has filed for certification and after the appropriate ministry has verified all aspects of the request, the union obtains legal certification that it represents the group in question. Negotiations for a collective agreement contract can then begin.

What is a collective agreement ?

A written agreement concluded between a company and the union representing its employees covering a specified duration, and governing working conditions. The agreement covers both normative (seniority rights, assignements, transfers) as well as monetary items (wages, statutory holidays, insurances and so on). The labour Code requires that every employer negotiate in good faith with the duly certified union representing its employees.

What is an affiliated union ?

An affiliated union is a union that while maintaining its autonomy and its specificity also benefits from the power of numbers that a labour federation brings to bear. As an example, most of SEPB-Quebec Locals are affiliated to the FTQ (Quebec Federation of Labour) and as such benefit from the expertise and services of the largest labour federation in Quebec. And as part of COPE/SEPB across Canada, SEPB-Quebec is also part of the 2,5 million members Canadian labour Congress (CLC).

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