Information on USJE

What's a union?
A union is an organized group of workers who collectively use their strength to have a meaningful voice in their workplace. Through a union, workers have a right to impact wages, work hours, benefits, workplace health and safety, job training and other work-related issues.

What is USJE?
The Union of Safety and Justice Employees (USJE) unites public service workers across Canada's safety and justice departments. We're at the heart of public safety.

While the Government of Canada is the common employer, our more than 16,000 members work for various Departments and Agencies under the jurisdiction of the Minister of Public Safety Canada, the Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of Canada. These include the:

  1. Administrative Tribunals Support Service of Canada;
  2. Canadian Human Rights Commission;
  3. Canadian Human Rights Tribunal;
  4. Canadian Security Intelligence Service;
  5. Civilian Review and Complaints Commission for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police;
  6. Commissioner of Canada Elections;
  7. Correctional Service of Canada;
  8. Courts Administrative Service;
  9. Department of Justice;
  10. Parole Board of Canada;
  11. Office of the Commissioner for Federal Judicial Affairs;
  12. Office of the Information Commissioner of Canada;
  13. Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada;
  14. Public Safety Canada;
  15. Public Prosecution Service of Canada;
  16. Royal Canadian Mounted Police; and
  17. Supreme Court of Canada.

What is PSAC?
The Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) represents more than 170,000 workers in every province and territory in Canada and in locations around the world. All USJE members are also PSAC members. PSAC members work for federal government departments and agencies, Crown Corporations, universities, casinos, community services agencies, Aboriginal communities, airports, and the security sector to name a few. PSAC is headquartered in Ottawa with 23 regional offices across Canada. Check out the YouTube video at http://psacunion.ca/about.

What is the relationship between USJE and the PSAC?
USJE members are automatically also members of the Public Service Alliance of Canada. One of Canada's largest unions, the PSAC is an umbrella union for 17 Component Unions like the USJE, which are largely organized along Departmental lines.

Simply speaking, the USJE is the expert when it comes to dealing with our members' workplace issues. We know the culture and the players within the Departments of Public Safety Canada and Justice Canada — including all of its agencies and associated bodies.

USJE Local Officers, the National Executive and National Office staff provide direct workplace assistance on such matters as:

  • grievances,
  • health and safety issues,
  • local administration, and
  • labour-management consultations.

The PSAC, on the other hand, is the expert when it comes to dealing with our ultimate employer — the Government of Canada. The PSAC is recognized by the government as the bargaining agent for USJE members. It stickhandles such time-consuming issues as job security, pensions and pay equity.

The PSAC provides the USJE with both strength-in-numbers and resources we could never hope to develop as a standalone union. Of course, as members of both unions, many USJE members are active participants in PSAC-led activities — from special conferences to bargaining teams, from political action to organizing.

As members of USJE and PSAC, we truly have the best of both worlds. The USJE provides the specific knowledge and familiarity needed to deal with the particular government departments and agencies that employ you. The PSAC has the resources and expertise to take on the larger federal public service issues that impact all USJE members, regardless of their specific job or workplace.

What is a collective agreement?
The Collective Agreement is a legal, binding and enforceable contract that sets out employees' wages, working conditions and rights. PSAC (The Bargaining Agent or Union) and Treasury Board (The Employer) are the parties to the Collective Agreements that govern/protect USJE members