Know your rights

Page content

The Ontario Labour Relations Act protects every employees’ right to join a trade union of their choice and participate in its lawful activities (s. 5).

Can I talk about our union campaign with my co-workers?

Yes. Freedom of speech and freedom of association are your rights under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms; therefore, the right to speak about your freedom of association is protected under the law.

Can management interfere in our union campaign?

The Ontario Labour Relations Act prohibits employer interference in the formation of a union. Section 70 states “No employer or employers’ organization and no person acting on behalf of an employer or an employers’ organization shall participate in or interfere with the formation, selection or administration of a trade union or the representation of employees by a trade union”.

No employer or person acting on behalf of an employer:
Shall refuse to employ or to continue to employ a person, or discriminate against a person in regard to employment or any term or condition of employment because the person was or is a member of a trade union (s. 72a);
Shall impose any condition in a contract of employment or propose the imposition of any condition in a contract of employment that seeks to restrain an employee or a person seeking employment from becoming a member of a trade union (s. 72b);
Shall seek by threat of dismissal, or by any other kind of threat, or by the imposition of a pecuniary or other penalty, or by any other means to compel an employee to become or refrain from becoming or to continue to be or to cease to be a member or officer or representative of a trade union (s. 72c);
Employers can express personal views so long as the employer does not use coercion, intimidation, threats, promises or undue influence.

Management cannot

  • Ask whether someone’s joined or is thinking of joining a union;
  • Ask about union meetings or activities;
  • Call someone into the office to talk about the union, unless that person asks for a meeting;
  • Discipline a union supporter for doing something employees who don’t support the union also do but get away with;
  • Visit employees in their homes to talk about the union;
  • Promise wage increases or other benefits if employees reject the union or say they might lose benefits if they support the union;
  • Tell you the organization will shut down or lay people off if employees join a union;
  • Help or encourage employees who are opposed to a union.

If you think the Employer has done or is about to do anything that would be a violation of your right to join the trade union of your choice, contact CUPE immediately and the union will enforce your rights.

Union Dues

Union dues are the way workers who have decided to form a union pool their resources to enable the work of the union. Union dues fund the cost of bargaining, the cost of enforcing the collective agreement, and the cost of campaigns union members instruct their union to conduct. All members of the union benefit from the wages and benefits negotiated in their collective agreement, the professional representation provided by the union, and other benefits of membership. These activities are funded by the payment of union dues.

Union dues for OCEU / CUPE 1750 are 1.5%, or $1.50 on every $100 of regular wages earned.

Dues levels are set democratically by members of the union. Any changes to OCEU union dues will be decided by members of OCEU.

Union dues are tax deductible. We believe that a percentage solution is the most fair and equitable and part-time employees would only pay the percentage of hours worked.

Of the 1.5%, 0.85% are CUPE National Dues. With these funds, CUPE maintains a National Strike Fund and National Defence Fund to ensure CUPE members have the resources to defend their jobs and wages. National dues also fund our National staff representatives and specialists.

0.65% of dues remain with OCEU, and funds expenses such as: paid union leave for executive members, and other union members conducting union business; legal expenses for arbitration, mediation and consultations; advocacy campaigns; union office space and office staff; and other expenses such as conferences, conventions and education seminars.