Unionizing FAQs

What are the benefits to joining a union?

By joining a union, you and your colleagues will be able to negotiate a collective agreement that guarantees important things like better pay and benefits, job security, and a safe working environment. 

By joining PIPSC, you join a community of 60,000 public service professionals working right across the country. Together, we are ensuring scientific integrity, guaranteeing strong pensions, promoting tax fairness and much more. 

Is PIPSC a good fit for my workplace?

Different unions specialize in different types of workers or workplaces. PIPSC represents public service professionals such as scientists, engineers, auditors, nurses and IT professionals. You can read more about our eligibility criteria or contact us to learn more.

How do I unionize my workplace?

Here are the basic steps:

1. You and your colleagues who wish to join the union sign a member application card.
2. Once enough cards are signed, PIPSC can apply for union certification with the appropriate labour board.
3. A vote may be required to certify PIPSC as your union, depending on the jurisdiction.
4. Once certified, the PIPSC negotiations team starts the bargaining process to negotiate your new collective agreement.

The process to become a unionized workplace is slightly different in each province and territory. Learn more about the steps in your jurisdiction.

The PIPSC mobilization team is here to support you each step of the way. From educating employees about the benefits of unions to collecting member application cards, we will help you successfully unionize your workplace. If you have questions or are ready to get started, contact us. All inquiries will be kept confidential.

What if my employer finds out we are trying to unionize?

Your employer can talk to you about the union, but they cannot threaten or penalize you for organizing to join a union. When you sign a union application card as part of the unionization process, your signature is kept confidential – your employer will not know you signed a card.

If you are interested in learning more about unionization, contact us. All inquiries are kept confidential.

Are strikes common?

No, strikes are not common. The union will always seek to get members the best deal possible without moving to a strike. In the event that negotiations break down, there are several options before a strike that your bargaining team can explore. Should the union consider taking a strike vote, you will be informed in advance and have the opportunity to have your voice heard.

What will be in my collective agreement?

Every workplace is different. PIPSC will work with members to build a plan for negotiating a collective agreement that reflects the wants and needs of the membership. Members will always have the opportunity to provide direction to the bargaining team, as well as vote to accept or reject any collective agreement. 

What do union dues fund?

Every member benefits from the collective agreement, so every member pays dues to support and strengthen the union. PIPSC serves its members through its national office and 7 regional offices across the country. Our staff team supports our members in professionally negotiating collective agreements, pursuing grievances, informing and advising members, governing the union itself, as well as mobilizing around issues that matter to our members and all workers.