Our success in negotiating the Social Justice Fund at the bargaining table is growing. To date, more than 90 bargaining units are contributing to the SJF across Canada. These bargaining units range in size from hamlet councils and housing authorities in the North to a national employer like Canada Post. In some cases, members have successfully renegotiated the SJF with their employer and continue to support this important PSAC initiative.
NB. There are three additional bargaining units where the employer has requested their contribution remain anonymous and not be promoted in any way. These units are therefore not included in the above list.
The methods of contributing to the Social Justice Fund vary, depending on the nature of the bargaining unit. Some employers have agreed to the original demand of one cent per hour per employee, whereas other employers have agreed to give lump-sum donations, either annually or once over the life of the collective agreement, depending on the size of the operation and duration of the collective agreement. In some cases, we have employees also matching the employer contribution to the SJF to double the impact.
We now have members making direct contributions to the SJF. In 2008, the workers of the Northwest Territories Power Corporation became the first group of PSAC members to support the SJF independently of their employer.
In April, 2009, members at the Government of the Northwest Territories negotiated a contribution to the SJF of two cents per member per hour. Two Components, the Canada Employment and Immigration Union and the Union of Environment Workers, passed resolutions to contribute one cent per member per hour to the SJF as a symbol of their solidarity with public sector workers in other countries who are working to defend quality public services. Also, the Union of Canadian Transportation Employees and the AEU Unit XI agreed to contribute to the SJF five cents per hour for all hours worked by the employees, including overtime.
No matter the size of the contribution or how it is made, members have felt strongly about the need to contribute to make a positive change in society, whether locally, nationally or internationally.
The SJF remains a priority bargaining demand in all of our sets of negotiations. While we continue to seek sustained funding from larger employers, every contribution is valued. The more the members and employers across the country see the value of the work done by the SJF the greater our chances of success at the bargaining table.
The SJF is developing a series of bargaining tools to be tailored for our negotiations with employers across the country. The goal is to provide negotiators and bargaining teams with ready access to a wide variety of materials to press the SJF demand at the bargaining table. An updated power point presentation already exists and is available on the SJF website.
The PSAC Social Justice Fund: We’re Making a Difference (PowerPoint)
The PSAC Social Justice Fund: We’re Making a Difference (PDF)