You can find here the description of the different services offered by SEU 800.
Grievance arbitration is not simple. It relies heavily on the quality of the case and the investigation, in which the executive committee may have a big role to play. But there are also many laws and procedures to know and above all to follow. You need to know what to do and not do, and also when and how to do it. There is a strategy in the proceedings of an arbitration and particularly during the presentation of evidence. You must be prepared but you must also be able to quickly react to your adversary’s evidence and tactics
SEU 800 representatives are competent to act as prosecutors. If necessary, they also benefit from the technical and professional support of the union’s legal counsel. Grievance arbitration is part of our essential services.
Building Services is governed by two Decrees in the province of Quebec: one in Montreal and one in Quebec. The Montreal Decree covers the southeast of the province from Outaouais to la Mauricie and l’Estrie. The Quebec Decree covers the north and east of the province: Abitibi-Témiscamingue, Mauricie and Amiante up to the Côte-Nord, the Îles-de-la-Madeleine and Gaspésie.
The application of the Decree mechanisms are quite complex but can be summarized as follows. First, a union representing employees of public building maintenance negotiates a collective agreement with an association representing maintenance companies. Then, the union and the employers’ association ask the Government to enact a law (decree) which obliges all companies, unionized or not, to apply the financial provisions of the collective agreement: wages, vacation, holidays, sick leave, personal leave, working hours and bonuses. An independent organization ensures compliance of each of the decrees: the Joint Committee. The Board of Directors of each Joint Committee consists of an equal number of union representatives and employers’ association representatives. The largest and most representative union in building maintenance in Quebec is the SEU 800. At the end of the collective agreement, the parties renegotiate and ask the Government to adopt a ruling (decree) amending the previous decree in accordance with the outcome of the negotiations.
Decrees were created at the request of the SEU 800 to prevent non-unionized companies getting contracts by bidding lower because they pay their employees less. Without the Decrees, unionized companies would lose their contracts and their employees would lose their jobs. All jobs in building maintenance would be close to minimum wage.
Furthermore, it should be noted that collective agreements include many more rights and benefits for our members than the decrees alone, including the right to grieve and arbitration proceedings, the right to be defended by the union, seniority, rules for promotions, bumping right for loss of contract, rules on health and safety, group insurance, etc.
It is thanks to the SEU 800 that building maintenance workers benefit and will continue to benefit from decent working conditions. Through its actions with employers in the sector, through its involvement in the administration of Decrees and Joint Committees and through its interventions with the Government, the SEU 800 is the only valid speaker to maintain and improve the rights and benefits of workers in this difficult area of work.
Morally, work should be a right. In reality, few people go their whole working lives without resorting to employment insurance.
Loss of contracts, loss of customers, company restructuring resulting in layoffs– temporary when lucky but too often permanent. While looking for another job, you still need to buy groceries.
In the vast majority of cases, a simple application is all you need to receive EI benefits. But for whatever reason, there are often problems and benefits can be denied.
You can challenge such a decision employment insurance. First, seek review of the decision to employment insurance and thereafter, it is possible to appeal this decision to the General Division of the Court of social security.
If you need help in your file, here are some organizations that can help you :
- Le Mouvement action-chômage de Montréal http://macmtl.qc.ca/
6839A, rue Drolet, bur. 306, Montréal Tel: 514 271-4099
- Action-chômage Québec
279, 4e Avenue Québec (Québec) G1J 3B5 Tel. : 418 523-7117
- Mouvement Action Chômage Lac-Saint-Jean http://maclacstjean.com/
275 boul. Dequen Nord, Alma (Qc), G8B 5N8 Tél: 418 662-9191
- Action Chômage Kamouraska
425, rue Patry, C.P. 1199 Saint-Pascal, Qc G0L 3Y0 Tél : (418) 492-7494
- Mouvement Action Chômage Pabok Inc (Gaspésie)
410 boul Rene-Levesque O, Chandler, QC, G0C 1K0, Tél: 418-689-2030
Many of our Miscellaneous division members and all of our School Board and Universities division members benefit from group insurance negotiated with their employer; the latter being in charge of administering it. So how can we allow our members in the Building Maintenance division, most of whom are covered by one or another of this sector’s decrees, to benefit from this insurance? The only solution was for the SEU 800 to become owner and administrator of a group insurance scheme to which all members of this division would have access, regardless of their employer. This is what was done many years ago.
The goal of the scheme is to ensure that members of the SEU 800 have protection against losses and major inconveniences that they or members of their immediate family may be victims and that might result from health problems.
It includes the following benefits:
- Life insurance (individual or family)
- Accident insurance (AD&D)
- Healthcare Insurance
- Dental insurance
- Disability insurance
- Travel insurance
Over the years the scheme has been amended to adapt to changes in labor laws, increased costs of health care and the changing needs of our members in terms of protection. The plan will continue to evolve and, as in the past, any change will be subject to the approval of our members covered by the plan.
See the other pages of our website for detailed information on this group insurance plan and on how the SEU 800 determines the guidelines with the help of an insurance committee.
Your collective agreement is signed and everything seems clear. Yet problems often arise not long after this. The employer has brilliant new ideas on management and the application of the collective agreement. What does the employer have the right to do? How should the collective agreement be applied in a neverbefore-seen situation? Does the employer the right to take certain unexpected and unpredictable decisions? Does the employer have the right to change the way he always did things? What do individual sentences or sections of the collective agreement really mean? Are certain sections of the collective agreement linked? Which ones and how? Are there any laws that add nuance to or supplement those of the collective agreement? What are the rules of interpretation that an arbitrator would eventually retain?
The members of your union executive often have enough experience to find the answers. But it’s sometimes more complicated and often a never-before-seen situation. Our representatives have the knowledge it takes to help the members of the executive to make the right decision and take the right actions.
Unions are concerned with everything related to labor relations in the company– and the labour relationship is much more than just the collective agreement or the law. How to act in a dispute between an employee and his immediate superior, when an administrative decision by the employer goes against the interests of the workers, when faced with a conflict between employees, when facing an employer’s proposal while the business is failing or, conversely, is overproductive and there is not enough demand, when a situation not covered by the collective agreement comes up, when an employer proposes things that could pit the employees against each other, etc.
As an employee and especially as a member of your union, you are directly involved and perhaps even concerned by the situation. How to see clearly? Be objective? See all the possible outcomes and consequences? How do you take the best position?
SEU 800 advisors have seen it all and they have the experience to help your unit’s union executive to properly analyze these difficult situations, make the best decisions and make the best recommendations to their members.
The Legal Counsel’s mandate is to protect and enforce the rights and obligations of the union, to defend the union’s interests and monitor all cases pertaining to accreditations. Additionally, the Legal Counsel acts as technical and professional support to union representatives who are mandated to provide service to members.
Working relationships mean a lot of negotiations. First, the collective agreement, but also amendments to the agreement, grievance resolution, agreements on specific issues. But care must be taken because when it’s signed, it’s signed. The mandates are established by the members or the Executive Committee, as appropriate. The signing of a collective agreement is authorized by a secret ballot of members of each unit at a general meeting.
SEU 800 representatives have the training and experience to advise you in these negotiations. Their role can vary depending on the situation: spokesman, mere presence at meetings and participation in the caucus, remote supervision. In any case, their advice is available.
On November 21, 1996, the Government of Quebec adopted the Pay Equity Act. This law aims to correct wage gaps between categories of female-dominated jobs and job categories deemed equivalent that are male-dominated. It thus aims to correct wage inequalities that affect women solely because their field is dominated by women; it therefore has an effect only on these job categories and in the case of discrimination. At the end of the equality assessment at a company, if there is a demonstrable pay inequality in a female-dominated category, the employer must adjust wages of all workers in this work category. The mechanisms for implementing the law are quite complex.
From the start, the SEU 800 understood the stakes of this Act and acquired the tools to provide its members all the support they need. Therefore, someone has been trained and is specialized in the application of the Pay Equity Act; in addition, a training course was designed for our members and all members of Pay Equity Committees who wished to, have received this training. Moreover, this specialist is acting as advisor to various pay equity committees that require its services and, in many cases, participates in meetings with employer representatives.
The Act stipulated that companies had to have finished work on pay equity by November 21, 2001. As expected, many companies did not comply with this deadline, and work is still ongoing in many places. An employer who has not paid the salary adjustments on schedule must pay interest at the legal rate starting from the time when he should have started paying the adjustments. The SEU 800 continues to monitor these issues and ensure its support to its members.
The Act also stipulates that after achieving pay equity, companies are obliged to maintain it thereafter. Therefore, the creation of new job classes, changes to existing tasks and responsibilities of job classes and changes to wages during collective bargaining negotiations will need to consider pay equity. As such, the SEU 800 will continue to provide its members all the support necessary to allow them to achieve this.
The SEU 800 recognizes the importance of academics as a means of personal and economic empowerment. While instruction is recognized as a right, many people are deprived of it due to a lack of funds. As everyone knows, free education is expensive. To facilitate access to postsecondary education and to encourage the pursuit of excellence, the SEU 800 annually awards six scholarships of $1,000 each.
To qualify for these scholarships, candidates must be pursuing full-time professional (1800h DEP), college or university studies. Moreover, they or one of their parents must be members of the SEU 800 at the application deadline and have paid union dues for at least two years prior to January 1st of the award year.
The academic record and extracurricular, social and community achievements are considered in the evaluation of applications received. A scholarship is awarded in each of the five (5) divisions of the Union and one is attributed by overall merit without regard to divisions.The applications are reviewed by a university professor, independent of the SEU 800.
Procedure for submitting an application to the SEU 800 Scholarship
The interested applicant must complete an application form that they can find on this site or by contacting the union headquarters in Montreal (514 385-1717 or 1 800 361-2486). The form must be returned by fax to 514-385-9888 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org to the attention of Madame Chantal Campeau, Executive Secretary of the SEU 800 at the latest the last day of February.
The union will then make an initial selection based on the eligibility criteria and then send a registration form to those candidates who meet the eligibility requirements listed above.
Scholarship award period: May or June of each year.
When all goes well, a worker who suffers a work accident or occupational disease forwards his claim to the CNESST. The latter recognizes the accident and compensates the worker and there is no dispute.
Unfortunately, too often it is not so simple. For various reasons the CNESST might refuse the claim or the employer challenges the CNESST’s decision because it was in the worker’s favour. Whether it is the worker or the employer that challenges the CNESST’s decision, a case will have to be made to the administrative review service of the CNESST. If the review service’s decision is also contested– by the worker or the employer– it goes before the TAT Health and Safety Division (Administrative Labour Tribunal) to make the case. Before the TAT, you will probably face the employer’s representative. In such cases we discuss strategy, proof, interrogations, rules, etc.
Also, in almost all cases, a TAT arbitrator attempts to settle the matter amicably without the need for a hearing. How to tell if a proposed settlement is acceptable given your record; especially to ensure you won’t be discriminated against in the future in case of another accident or in the case of a relapse or aggravation?
Representatives of the SEU 800 are competent to act as prosecutors before the TAT and advise you during arbitration. Some of our representatives are even specialized in the field of work accidents and diseases; As such, they act as technical and professional support for other union representatives and they plead themselves for certain cases.