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Questions and Answers

Who governs the Institute?

The Annual General Meeting is the supreme governing body of the Institute. Although any member may attend the Annual General Meeting, voting delegates are selected by the Groups and Regional Councils on a representational basis defined in the By-Laws.

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How are the members of the Board of Directors chosen?

All Board members are elected by the membership. All voting members of the Institute are entitled to vote for five executive positions: President and four Vice-Presidents.

Up to four Directors may be elected by voters in the National Capital Region (NCR), and one Director is elected in each of the five other geographic Regions. One Director is elected by the Advisory Council.

Who can run for election?

Any regular or retired member in good standing can run for election.

Where can I find my collective agreement?

You can access your collective agreement each individual group page.

Who can I talk to about a problem in my workplace?

First, consult your steward at the work site. They are trained to give initial advice and guidance. If you are unable to identify this person, or if you do not have access to a steward, then contact the closest Institute office.

What is a grievance?

A grievance is a complaint in writing about any employment-related matter, presented in accordance with legislation or the collective agreement by an aggrieved employee on his/her own behalf or on behalf of himself/herself and other employees.

How can I find a steward?

Steward lists are available on our Web site

What is a "Rand Member"?

A “Rand Member” is an employee of a unionized environment that refuses to sign a union membership card, but still pay full union dues. Rand Members enjoy the basic rights and privileges awarded to unionized employees through their collective agreements, such as representation at grievance hearings, representation at arbitrations, and the right to participate in a strike vote. These members may not receive benefits such as voting in collective agreement ratification and may not participate in the election of the Executive or the direction of the union.

What is the "Rand Formula"?

The Rand Formula is based on the principle that those who benefit from a collective agreement should contribute dues even when they are not members of the union.

Until the 1940s, Canadian unions struggled to be financially viable enough to shoulder the costs of collective bargaining and other representation efforts on behalf of their members. Since the seminal arbitral decision from Supreme Court Justice Ivan Rand on January 29, 1946, following a 100-day strike by Ford auto workers, Canadian unions have had at their disposal a means of securing a nominal percentage of their members pay via an employer regulated payroll remittance.

Formally, this union security provision included in scores of collective agreements, provides that all employees of an unionized employer must pay a determined fee, or “union due”, whether they are a member of the union or not, to sustain the services they receive from the union for the lengths of the collective agreement.

How do I become a member?

To become a member of the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada, you must complete an Application for Membership form. Once your eligibility has been confirmed, you will receive an information package and a membership card.

We look forward to welcoming you as a member of the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada.

How are membership fees set?

Fees or dues for regular, retired and affiliate members are determined by delegates to Annual or Special General Meetings and take effect on the date set by the delegates. The Institute's flat-rate dues are tailored to professionals and are significantly less than the sliding scale of dues charged by most other unions.

Where can I find some information on the Scholarship Program?

The Professional Institute Legacy Foundation

The mission of the foundation is to promote the intertwined values of professionalism and service, both to community and to country. The mission is accomplished by awarding scholarships which are supported by fundraising and other activities.

Applications are available by calling 1-800-267-0446/(613) 228-6310 ext. 4950 or you can download an application form from the website.

Where can I find information about my pension and benefits?

Information about your pension and benefits can be accessed on the Pension and Benefits page of our Web site.

For more detailed information, please contact us the Institute's Pension and Benefits Advisor who'll be happy to help.