Policy on Communications

Policy on Communications

Effective Date: June 2019

1. Purpose and Scope

The purpose of this policy is to provide a framework for all communications by and on behalf of the Institute.

2. Communication with Members

The Institute encourages the use of all means of communication to mobilize and educate members and the public on Institute issues and other broader labour movement issues.

The Institute shall provide information on all actions and subjects of Institute concern to members through appropriate channels. The following are not considered actions or subjects of Institute concern for the purposes of this policy:

a) All notes, minutes, reports, questionnaires, surveys and other instruments used as working tools in the conduct of business by the Board, committees, panels or other official Institute bodies prior to their final acceptance and approval by the appropriate Board, committee, panel or official Institute body concerned.

b) Proceedings of Group and Sub-Group Executives, Regional Councils, and Regional and Branch Executives prior to their final acceptance and approval by the appropriate body concerned.

c) Personal files on Institute staff.

d) Personal files on Institute members.

However, any of the above may be released upon the approval of the appropriate body or individual concerned.

3. Publication of Material

The Institute may decline to publish, either in print or electronically, materials submitted if they are factually incorrect, inconsistent with the policies and principles of the Institute, libelous, in violation of copyright law, or would otherwise subject the Institute to legal action.

Publications of the Professional Institute printed under outside contract shall be printed, where practical, by union print shops located in Canada and such publications shall clearly indicate the appropriate printer’s union logo or insignia.

4. Logos

Group or Regional identifiers may be used provided that:

• identifiers are submitted to the Executive Committee for approval;

• identifiers do not replace or interfere with the Institute logo or address, the placement of identifiers to comply with postal regulations; and

• additional printing costs are paid for by the applicable Group or Region.

All promotional items purchased by constituent bodies will incorporate the PIPSC logo.

5. Institute Web Site

Editorial Authority

The Institute retains editorial authority over material published on the site. Such authority shall be exercised by the Communications Section, under the direction of the President or as delegated by the President.

Costs and Technical Considerations

Material submitted for publication may be edited, reformatted, or rejected due to the limitations of the site, other technical considerations or costs.


Members submitting material are encouraged to do so in a format compatible with that used by the Institute. Members considering making submissions are encouraged to contact the Communications Section or Informatics to determine the preferred formats.

6. Use of Social Media and Email

Social media is generally used for the purposes of sharing and seeking information and points of view. It can also be used as a means of providing recognition or support to individuals, organizations and causes.

Email is commonly used to communicate within the Institute. The language used in our email communications should reflect the Institute's professionalism and values.

The Institute expects all members to engage respectfully and to conduct themselves in accordance with the Institute’s Guidelines for Use of Social Media and Guidelines on Email Communications.

7. Responsibility for Institute Social Media Accounts

The Institute is responsible for the creation and maintenance of Institute accounts intended to advance the interests of the Institute on various social media platforms. For the purpose of this policy, the term “account” also refers to pages and sites.

Constituent bodies may also create and maintain their own accounts on various platforms, as determined by each constituent body’s executive. In such cases, the constituent body’s executive shall be accountable for the content and monitoring of these accounts and shall identify the moderators. Details relating to each account and its moderators shall be provided to the Institute and regularly updated.

The creation of any other account that may reasonably be perceived as being operated by or on behalf of the Institute is prohibited unless otherwise explicitly authorized by the Institute. The Institute reserves the right to monitor postings made, and request alteration or removal of content posted in relation to its accounts if needed. The Institute may direct a constituent body’s executive to alter or remove content posted in relation to their accounts. Content that is not in keeping with the Guidelines will not be tolerated.

8. References

Bylaw 7.1.3

Appendix  A – Guidelines on Use of Social Media

Appendix  B – Guidelines for Email Communications

Appendix A to the Policy on Communications: Guidelines on the Use of Social Media

Members are free to use social media to exercise their freedom of expression. In doing so, however, they must always be mindful of their obligations to respect others and of their duty of loyalty to their employer. These guidelines are intended to assist members in their social media activities.

1. Posted content must not violate any laws or encourage or suggest illegal activities;

2. Comply with the terms of use established by the various social media platforms you are using;

3. Do not post materials that may be considered racist, hateful, sexist, homophobic, defamatory, abusive or threatening, humiliating or belittling;

4. Be honest and open, but be mindful of the impact your contribution might make to people’s perceptions of the Institute;

5. Never disclose sensitive, private or confidential information on social media;

6. Make every effort to ensure the information you are posting is accurate;

7. Do not post, upload, forward or post a link to chain mail, junk mail or facilitate “spamming”;

8. Make use of social media on your own time and with your own resources, not the employer’s;

9. Do not post aggressive, vulgar, violent, obscene or pornographic content;

10. Ensure you have the Institute’s permission before using its proprietary information (logos, slogans, graphic designs, etc,);

11. Except as authorized by the Institute, do not use social media for the purposes of advertising or solicitation for financial benefits.

Appendix B to the Policy on Communications: Guidelines on Email Communication

To ensure professional and respectful use of the email system, and to provide all employees and members of the Institute best practices related to email communication:

• Use the TO: field for action required

• Use the CC: field for information purposes only

• Don’t be part of an email flame war. Flame wars are heated e-mail exchanges that are more emotional than reasoned, and they have no place in professional communications.

• Before sending, reread the entire e-mail, not all communication should be done by email.

• If your email could be contentious or negative, sit on it and follow the 24 hour rule before responding by email.

• Be specific in your request if you require feedback, or action is required.

• Only include individuals who are impacted or need to know the information.

• Keep it short and sweet. A longer email doesn’t mean that you have covered all points; it just means you have given more zone-out room to the reader.

• Before sending an email, ensure it would not cause harm or embarrassment to anyone including PIPSC, if it was seen publically.

• Know when to use email, Instead of firing off a complicated explanation via e-mail, set up a short meeting to address the issue in person. E-mail is also a poor stand-in for conversation when conducting critical, difficult, and/or unpleasant discussions, touchy communications are best handled in person.

• Have a second set of eyes review an email in certain situations.

• Include a closing; Let the reader know you're done by including a complimentary closing and signature.

• Obey etiquette rules when forwarding messages, Before you forward an e-mail, make sure that all recipients need to receive the message. In addition, be careful when forwarding sensitive or confidential information. Never forward proprietary information to external audiences or to unauthorized recipients. Before clicking the send button, review whether a message's contents are appropriate for each listed recipient.

• Be Professional: The Professional Institute, It's easy to convey the impression that you're unprofessional or careless if you don't follow some basic principles of good business writing. Make sure you follow proper grammar and sentence structure when composing and responding to messages and use a spell checker. Don't type in all capital letters—it creates the effect of shouting. Break your message into paragraphs for logic and readability.