For AMAPCEO to be effective, it is vital that all members know their rights.
The first step to being informed about your employee rights and the employer's obligations is to read and become familiar with your Collective Agreement. To better understand some of the more important provisions of the Agreement, AMAPCEO offers a variety of guides and fact sheets to make things simple and easy to understand.
Don't worry—you don't have to defend your rights alone. It takes all of us to ensure that the Collective Agreement is upheld and propertly understood. This is why we have trained volunteer Workplace Representatives located in every bargaining unit and a professional team of staff to support you and provide additional information and advice.
You are legally entitled to participate in a wide variety of workplace and union activity.
Employees represented by AMAPCEO have a protected right under the Ontario Labour Relations Act and their collective agreement to participate in the lawful activities of AMAPCEO without threat, demotion, risk of discrimination or harassment by a manager, the Employer or other employees. This means that members have a right to champion, support and build their union in the workplace! You can do this in the following ways:
Wearing union messages. Yes, you are allowed to wear stickers, buttons, lanyards, bracelets, and other items that convey AMAPCEO messages, as long as the messages are not derogatory or fraudulent.
Read union literature. During non-working time, you can read and share information about campaigns and bargaining, as well as sign petitions. Talk about the union: associating is allowed and you are allowed to talk to other members about the union and its activities. This is especially important as it helps keep members informed.
Leaflet before and after work. As a member of the union, you have a right to distribute information both inside and outside of the workplace.
Desk drops. To improve our communications, yes, you are allowed to place union-related materials at members’ workstations. This can also provide opportunities for meeting new members, sharing updates on campaigns or bargaining, and recruiting new activists.
Post information on bulletin boards. Article 13 in the AMAPCEO collective agreement obligates the Employer to provide reasonable access to bulletin boards so that AMAPCEO can communicate with its members. You are allowed to post information on the designated bulletin boards.
As a member of AMAPCEO, you are entitled to opportunities to get involved in the union, as well as to take union leaves (referred to as "Association leave" in your Collective Agreement). Read on to learn more about your rights as an activist.
AMAPCEO activists in various roles may request or be asked to participate in meetings and are eligible for union leave. Your right to union leave can be found in all collective agreements of all AMAPCEO-represented bargaining units.
Generally, union leave (or "Association leave" as it is called in your collective agreement) is intended to allow for your full participation in AMAPCEO meetings and trainings including the Annual Delegates' Conference, committee meetings, Workplace Representative training, bargaining meetings, and other business of the union. AMAPCEO reimburses the Employer for your time away from your work while you attend the event, meeting or training, ensuring that you are not required to use credits to participate.
Each collective agreement includes an article regarding leaves of absence for union activities. It provides leaves to members for a variety of reasons, including: leaves for bargaining, Chapter Chair duties, training, education, Annual Delegates’ Conferences, and other business of the union.
When you register for an eligible event or confirm attendance at a committee meeting, a designated AMAPCEO staff person will confirm your manager’s contact information and the time you are requesting leave for. A leave request must be submitted by AMAPCEO on your behalf to your Employer's Employee Relations Division. They then inform your manager that AMAPCEO is requesting leave for you. In accordance with your Collective Agreement, AMAPCEO must send leave requests at least five business days prior to the leave commencing.
You must accurately report your attendance in the appropriate section of your attendance tracking system for paid union / Association leave. As a courtesy, you may also wish to notify your manager in advance that a leave request will be sent to them.
Most leaves for union activities are non-discretionary and thus a manager does not have any discretion not to approve it; they simply receive notice of the leave request. However, there is often language around leave for education (e.g. Workplace Representative Training), stating that the Employer “shall grant time off...unless such time off would impair operational requirements." Your manager’s decision does have to be reasonable to deny any such request and the union will work to ensure members can reasonably access leaves.