Crossroads 2018: the future of work and the role of unions like PIPSC

Everyone is talking about the future of work and most of it is alarming. A growing number of workers face the harsh reality of working in non-unionized, temporary and precarious conditions.

Young graduates, burdened by massive university debts, enter an uncertain world of chasing contracts. Established professionals, with no health care benefits, live in fear of a simple illness derailing their career. Long-term professionals bitterly joke that death is their retirement plan. And they all live with a deep sense of isolation and loneliness that comes from facing these struggles without a community behind them.

As labour unionists, we stand at a crossroads. How will we respond to these conditions?

Delegates of the 2018 PIPSC AGM will be voting on a Board resolution for the establishment of Professionals Canada — a new labour organization to continue the Institute’s 100-year tradition of building communities that act collectively to improve professionals’ lives.

Professionals Canada, a separate entity from PIPSC, will bring together a community of Canadian non-unionized professionals in the private sector to address the common challenges they face. It will be a place for:

  • Community: a shared space to connect and grow.

  • Benefits: a collective approach to purchasing affordable benefits for professionals and their families.

  • Advice: a source of expert knowledge and specialized advice to deal with challenges at work.

  • Advocacy: a strong, credible voice speaking out for workers' rights in the new economy.

Professionals Canada will seek a new member base in a rapidly growing sector. It will give us a stronger voice in multiple jurisdictions. PIPSC will become the go-to source for issues related to professionals, gain greater credibility with decision-makers, and we will be innovators inside and outside the house of labour.

Thanks to the legacy and power that we have built as a union in the past hundred years, we are uniquely positioned to take on this new challenge — and with only positive impacts on the services to PIPSC members.

The changes in the new economy should not mean the end of union-made progress on issues we care about. We just have to be agile enough to build a new model of unionism for the next hundred years.

This is one of the greatest labour causes of our time. Delegates like you are standing at a crossroads that will define the legacy of our union.

If you have more questions about Professionals Canada, please read the Questions and Answers section: 

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