Union Terminology… a Primer.

YEU toolboxHave you ever read an article in the newsletter or had a look through your Collective Agreement and wondered what some of the terms mean? Here is a brief summary of some of the more common terms.

  • Bargaining Unit: A group of employees with a clear and identifiable community who are represented by a single union, whether or not all members have signed  union cards.
  • Collective Agreement: A legally binding contract arrived at through negotiation covering wages, hours, and terms & condition of employment, rights of employees and processes for resolving disputes and issues during the contract’s term. If you are a YEU member, you can review your Collective Agreement here.
  • Collective Bargaining: A process where the Union and Employer make offers and counter offers regarding their employment relationship. The purpose is to create a mutually acceptable agreement and to execute a written contract.
  • Grievance: A complaint filed by an employee in connection with their job, pay or other aspects of their employment. A grievance may result from a violation of the Collective Agreement. Grievance Procedures as set out in the contract are followed, usually involving meetings between the employee (grievor) & management with union representation. A Shop Steward will meet with the grievor to discuss the problem and may attempt to reach a negotiated resolution prior to filing a grievance.
  • Rand: an unsigned member of a bargaining unit, accessing benefits of the Collective Agreement.
  • The Rand Formula ensures the payment of trade union dues is mandatory regardless of the worker’s union status. The Supreme Court of Canada introduced this formula in 1946 to ensure that no employee opts out of the union simply to avoid dues while reaping the benefits of collective bargaining, such as higher wages. Learn more about Justice Rand’s decision, and the creation of the Rand Formula.
  • Shop Steward: A Shop Steward, or Union Representative is a member of a bargaining unit elected by co-workers to act as a workplace liaison with the Union. A Shop Steward is trained to assist members at grievance meetings, attending to support the member. If you are interested in becoming a Steward, please contact your Chief Shop Steward or the YEU office for information.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s