Right to Union Representation

Right to union representation 

Reading through your collective agreement is not as enticing as reading the latest sci-fi novel, but collective agreements contain important information about your rights and responsibilities as union members. Understanding these rights and responsibilities helps protect members from harm.

Common language you will see in every collective agreement is your right to have union representation.

At any meeting where there is discipline, or an investigation which may lead to discipline, members have the right to be accompanied by a union representative/steward. This is to ensure that the union is able to help represent and protect our members from unfair practices. If an employer tries to issue a letter, or set up a meeting about discipline without a union representative present, it is the members responsibility to speak out and ask for their union representative.

Remember, often the employers will assume members don’t know their rights so that is where you have to make sure you have a clear understanding. We have these articles and procedures in place to protect our members from harm, but it is crucial that members are familiar with their rights in order to uphold our rights. 

Take some time to read through your collective agreement, and if there is any language you don't understand or questions you have, reach out to your steward or union representative for help! The more we all know and understand our rights and responsibilities, the more we can work to promote healthy work environments.”

Latest posts


Do you know what a grievance is and how to file one? In this month’s Know Your Rights, we review this important protection for unionized workers.

A grievance is an allegation that one or more aspects of the collective agreement have been violated by the Employer or one of the Employer's representatives. This normally means that there’s a difference between how a worker or workers interpret the collective agreement and how management interprets it. In all instances where you suspect your rights have been violated, the first thing you should do is to document the 6Ws: who, what, where, when, why and want. 

Sign up for updates