Union dues are a form of security at the workplace and at home.
The Nunavut Employees Union provides many services to its dues- paying members. These services included, but are not limited to: grievance handling and/or assistance; appeal representation; services staff that are available to the various communities and who provide valuable advice and representation for the members; excellent adult education courses; and access to specialized services that range from arbitration, the fight for pay equity and human rights to technological change. Some members may work their entire careers without ever turning to the Union for individual assistance or advice. The very reason that they do not need to call on the Union is because of the many protections built into the Collective Agreements that the NEU has negotiated for them over time. The NEU is ready to enforce our Collective Agreement from the first level of grievance to the Supreme Court of Canada.
Some Financial Benefits For Full Members: You can actually save money by joining the Union.
Income Tax Deductions for Union Dues: As an example, let's take a NEU member who earns an annual salary of $30,000. This member pays about $528 in dues. Since union dues are tax deductible, the real after-tax cost to this member is $316.
Special Savings for NEU and PSAC members: Because of the size of the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC), of which we are a component, we can negotiate significant discounts for members for auto and car insurance, life insurance and a deduction in credit card interest rates.
Our Rights: Use Them Or Lose Them!
In our democratic society we place a high value on rights and freedoms. Laws do not create rights; they give legal recognition and protection to the exercise of rights. Our rights are strengthened when they have the full force of the law behind them. When rights have been codified in law or other legal documents, such as collective agreements, the legitimacy of these rights has been established. Keeping our rights means using them and protecting them.
NEU and PSAC Dues
Members of the Nunavut Employees Union pay 1.7756% of their salary plus an additional $1.00 per month for Union dues. Dues apply to: regular pay: overtime: reporting pay: call-back pay: shift premiums: standby pay: vacation leave entitlements and lieu time pay out: retroactive pay: payment awarded from a grievance, arbitration or minutes of settlement. Members approve dues rates at the NEU and PSAC Triennial Conventions.
Where do your dues go?
Union dues from your pay go first to the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC). PSAC retains a portion of your dues for services to PSAC members (including you as a member of the NEU component). The amount of dues retained by the PSAC is determined at the PSAC Convention, which is attended by NEU delegates.
PSAC currently retains 53% of your dues per month, regardless of how much you contribute. These dues are used for such things as education; representation; negotiations and national campaigns (e.g. surrounding health and safety; pay equity or human rights issues) that effect members across Canada.
How does the NEU spend your dues?
NEU provides a number of basic services to its members, including, but not limited to:
- Service Officer staff who are available for representation and advice
- Assistance in the negotiation of collective agreements
- Adult Education that is tailored to the needs of the communities/worksites
- Enforcement of collective agreement rights and representation on violations of these rights as they related to classification; staffing; employment standards and health and safety
- Monitoring political developments that affect the workplace and informing and mobilizing members around these issues
- Preparation and presentation of briefs to legislative Committees and other forums to ensure strong labour law and protection of your rights as a worker
Commonly asked Question relating to dues:
Question: Aren't Union dues just another tax on our paycheque and what exactly does PSAC and NEU do with the dues?
Answer: If workers got the same return from taxes you pay as you get from your Union dues, you wouldn't complain about taxes! (Walter Reuther, President of the United Auto Workers, 1967).
After retaining its portion of dues which they use for such things as representation at arbitrations and appeals; negotiations and national campaigns that affect all members, the PSAC returns the remainder to the NEU and our Locals for services provided to our members.
$2.50 per signed member per month of the dues rebates goes back to your Local, to be used at its discretion. The local only receives this amount for each member that has signed a union card. That's one reason why it's important for you to sign a Union card and take part in Local affairs.
PSAC, NEU and the locals use their portion of the dues rebate to directly or indirectly protect your rights.
The largest expenditures are these:
- Wages and benefits for staff and full-time elected officials. Staff includes Service Officers who enforce your Collective Agreement, and handle grievances at the 2nd level and beyond and the administrative support staff that are required to assist the Service officers and the national President.
- Rebates to Locals to spend the way their signed members see fit
- Executive expenses - mainly travel and loss of salary costs for RVPs to go into the communities for servicing duties, and the President's annual visits to several communities per year (which the president is mandated, by convention, to do).
- Semi annual meeting of the full executive (President, Vice-Presidents, RVPs) in Iqaluit to implement policy and bylaws passed at Convention and to plan campaigns and strategize around the various emerging issues that affect the membership.
- Costs for associated with negotiations - mostly the travel costs for Service Officers and RVPs to go to the communities to support negotiations.
- Costs associated with the running of the various NEU properties such as: mortgage payments or rent; depreciation of assets; utilities (heat, lights, hot water); and maintenance of the various buildings.