On the 12 days of Christmas, my Union gave to me…

Visit this page from Dec. 7 – 22 to find out what your union has done for you!

On the first day of Christmas, my union gave to me:

Stronger Contracts

We negotiated stronger contracts for thousands of workers in the federal government, provincially regulated organizations, in territorial governments and with other employers, so PSAC members can benefit from job protection and decent working conditions in these tough economic times.

On the second day of Christmas, my union gave to me:

Job Security

We defended – and continue to defend – job security provisions in our collective agreements so that PSAC members are not booted onto the street with two weeks notice, but given strong transition support measures.  When the Conservative government started cutting jobs we deployed our team across the country to explain members’ rights and created extensive on-line tools about workforce adjustment provisions.

On the third day of Christmas, my union gave to me:

Billions of dollars in pay equity

Our pay equity complaints have gained literally billions of dollars for PSAC members.  With a few exceptions, employers have done everything they can to avoid paying but we persist and we succeed.  In 2011, the Surpreme Court ruled directly from the bench upholding the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal decision that said Canada Post owed retroactive pay equity payments plus interest.

On the fourth day of Christmas, my union gave to me:

Legal advocacy

Our legal team has defended the rights of individual PSAC members and fought back discrimination for family status, racial discrimination and other violations in the workplace.  Most recently, we won a court decision that means employers must try to find a workable solution to accommodate workers with childcare obligations.

On the fifth day of Christmas, my union gave to me:

Justice for members

Our negotiated grievance procedures mean the union can defend members who are unjustly disciplined or fired, or who are denied money or benefits they are entitled to receive.  Each month PSAC reviews over 100 new cases after the final level of the grievance process.  Over 85% of the grievances we take forward are either settled or won before a third-party arbitrator.

On the sixth day of Christmas, my union gave to me:

Jobs and the economy

We commissionned and publicized independent reports in British Columbia, the Atlantic and nationally that demonstrated the negative economic consequences of cutting government programs and services.  Nationally, we continue to press the government for transparency around how cuts are impacting services and the economy.

On the seventh day of Christmas, my union gave to me:

Healthy members and safe workplaces

We have successfully campaigned for health and safety protection for PSAC members and prepared tool kits, hazard prevention guides and background information on diseases and illnesses to help protect members at work.  We called for a national mental health strategy to push the government to take the current mental health epidemic seriously and deal with its root causes.

On the eighth day of Christmas, my union gave to me:

Taking care of families

We were one of the first unions to gain paid maternity leave 30 years ago.  Since then we have negotiated payment of the difference between EI or QPIP benefits up to 93% of pay for most PSAC members who take maternity or parental leave.  Last year in one of our bargaining units we achieved a breakthrough – a 93% top up for membres who take compassionate care leave to look after a relative of friend in palliative care.

On the ninth day of Christmas, my union gave to me:

Walking the talk on justice and human rights

We actively sought and won benefits for same sex couples at the bargaining table.  We were also fully engaged in the work to change the Canadian Human Rights Act to prohibit discimination on the basis of sexual orientation.  With our Aboriginal, Inuit and Métis members, we created the Justice for Aboriginal Peoples initiative to raise awareness and put pressure on the federal government.

On the tenth day of Christmas, my Union gave to me:

Community partners

We have partnered with municipalities, provinces and other stakeholders to stand up for strong federal public services across Canada.  We sponsor community events and local fund-raising initiatives like runs and food drives.

On the eleventh day of Christmas, my Union gave to me:

Union advantage

The union advantage really adds up.  Those extra dollars on workers’ pay cheques stay in the local economy.  They get spent at local businesses, where they sustain jobs, and support community services that add to everyone’s quality of life.  There were 4,694,600 union members working everywhere across Canada in 2013 – about 31% of the country’s workforce.  Those workers earned, on average, $5.17/hour more because their unions negotiated fair wages and work hours.

On the twelfth day of Christmas, my Union gave to me:

Unions stand up for fairness

When unions stand up for fairness, they raise the bar for everyone.  Many of the things first won by unions are enjoyed by all workers today – minimum wages, overtime pay, workplace safety standards, maternity and parental leave, vacation pay, and protection from discrimination and harassment.



As we look back upon the past year, I would like to acknowledge those who have helped us shape our Union. It is in this spirit that I say thank you, Sisters and Brothers, and best wishes to you, your local and your families during the holiday season and New Year.

In Solidarity,

Jeannie Baldwin
Regional Executive Vice-President
Public Service Alliance of Canada – Atlantic Region