Should I Sign a Union Card?
Who doesn’t want to be a member in good standing?
Sending us your membership application form is a great thing to do!
Signing and sending us your NSGEU membership application form is the way you become a member in good standing and the way you fully participate in your union. When we receive and process your application, we will send you back your union card.
Applying for membership provides the union with your current up-to-date contact information, including a personal email, if possible. This is important because the information we get from your employer may not be correct and/or it may not be the best way to reach you. A signed and accepted union card application means you are part of the NSGEU community and can participate fully in all the democratic aspects of it.
When you send us your application form and receive your union card it means you are a member in good standing which means you can:
• Participate fully in your local by having the right to vote for your local executive and other representatives like Regional & Occupational Councillors, as well as your health & safety representation, just to name a few;
• Participate in all votes during negotiations including whether to accept or reject a tentative agreement reached by your bargaining committee;
• Have direct input into the bargaining priorities of your local by filling out a “bargaining input survey”;
• Receive information from your local about meetings and events as well as local bargaining updates when you are in negotiations;
• Attend NSGEU Education courses;
• Attend Pre-retirement Seminars to learn about retirement planning;
• Get email invitations to union-wide social events such as our Annual Free Family Day Picnic or our Annual Fall Family Fun Day;
• Access to NSGEU’s Discount List, which offers savings from stores and services around the province including Marks Work Wearhouse and a variety of hotels and car rental agencies. (For the Discount List, see nsgeu.ca or contact us at 902-424-4063, 1-877-556-7438, or firstname.lastname@example.org);
• Access to MHCSI Preferred Pharmacy Provider Program (aka Lawton’s Card). (For more information, see nsgeu.ca or contact us at 902-424-4063, 1-877-556-7438, or email@example.com);
• Apply for NSGEU scholarships, bursaries, or awards for yourself or your dependents;
What happens if I don’t want to send in my membership application form and get a union card?
When you are hired into a position which is a unionized position and the union has received a signed payroll authorization card for deduction of dues, you are eligible to become a member of the union. Once your dues have been accepted, automatically, you enjoy all the bargaining gains achieved up until the time you were hired and any negotiated gains made in the future as long as you are a member. You have the right to be represented by your union should you encounter any problems with your employer, and you have the right to vote on whether to go on strike or not (if your workplace is under the Trade Union Act). Being part of unionized workplace means you benefit from these basic things if you are a member in good standing or not. However, without signing a union application form and receiving a union card, our constitution states that you are not a member in good standing and cannot participate fully in union activities. The constitution was created by the membership and is maintained and upheld by the membership with a variety of objectives, including:
“1.3.5. To direct the structure of the Union towards providing participation of the membership so as to ensure that the Union always acts in the best interests of the membership.”
*This article appeared in the spring edition of The Union Stand.
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