SEA Red Flag 5: Bamboozled

Did you know that the Union reporting (financial and other) requirements set out in the SEA do not set out any methods of communication with members, yet when the Employer is required to report they are offered options such as electronic/webpage or posting info in the workplace…these options come at a lower cost with easier, faster access. Is this a simple strategy to have the government and the employer determine how our dues are spent by requiring the Union to spend more on administrative tasks rather than servicing or bargaining? 

We can see the difference – can you?

See section 2-20(11) of SEA

It says, “The Employer shall provide to every employee…by: a) personally giving it to the employee; b) posting it in the workplace; c) posting it online on a secure website to which the employee has access; or d) providing it in any other manner that informs the employee of the notice.”

Yet, there is no similar section of the SEA to set out what methods of communication are available for the Union to provide the required reporting to members of the Union (examples: all vote results – annual audited financial statement).  There are penalties if the Union does not meet the reporting requirements.  What can we make of this?  Do we have to do all of the above (personally give it to each member, post it in the workplace, and post it online) – or is it satisfactory if we use one of these methods – or can we use an alternate method (any other manner) – or do we wait for someone to complain that we have not met our requirements before we find out what is an acceptable method of communication – either way, it appears our costs may increase. We encourage members to review all union information including financial, as it’s their right.  But there are no clear options available for the Union in respect to acceptable methods of communication.

Ask your MLA if this is a simple strategy to have the government and the employer determine how Union dues are spent by requiring Unions to spend more on administrative tasks rather than providing services to their membership?

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