The Union of Safety and Justice Employees (USJE) unites public service workers across Canada’s federal justice system.
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 Minster of Public Safety Canada, the Minister of Justice and the Attorney-General of Canada. These include:
- Administrative Tribunals Support Service of Canada
- Canadian Human Rights Commission
- Canadian Human Rights Tribunal
- Canadian Security Intelligence Service
- Civilian Review and Complaints Commission for the RCMP
- Commissioner of Canada Elections
- Correctional Service Canada
- Courts Administration Service
- Department of Justice Canada
- Parole Board of Canada
- Office of the Commissioner for Federal Judicial Affairs
- Office of the Information Commissioner of Canada
- Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada
- Public Prosecutions Service Canada
- Public Safety Canada
- Royal Canadian Mounted Police
- Royal Canadian Mounted Police External Review Committee
- Supreme Court of Canada
The USJE provides a vehicle for our members to address shared issues, problems and working conditions from a position of solidarity and strength. United in one union, USJE members have the advantage of superior service and resources, without sacrificing their occupational identity. There are no second class members within the USJE. All are respected. All are valued.
USJE members are grouped together in approximately 140 Locals and Sections across Canada, based on such shared characteristics as employer and geography.
The greatest number of USJE members work as CSC employees within federal minimum-, medium- and maximum-security penitentiaries and in parole offices across Canada. RCMP public service employees are the next largest USJE membership grouping.
Our members also belong to a wide variety of federal public service classification groups, namely:
- Administrative Services (AS)
- Clerical and Regulatory (CR)
- Data Processing (DA)
- Drafting and Illustration (DD)
- Education (ED)
- Engineering and Scientific (EG)
- General Labour and Trades (GLT)
- General Services (GS)
- General Technical (GT)
- Heating, Power and Stationary (HP)
- Hospital Services (HS)
- Information Services (IS)
- Library Science (LS)
- Office Equipment (OE)
- Printing Operations (PR)
- Program Administration (PM)
- Secretarial, Steno, Typing (ST)
- Technical Inspection (TI)
- Welfare Programs (WP)
As federal public service classifications are generally common across all Departments, the USJE is also a Component Union of the Public Service Alliance of Canada. The PSAC is the umbrella bargaining agent for USJE members and most other federal government workers.
Together, the USJE and PSAC are able to provide a much higher level of service, technical expertise and financial support than if our membership was divided into smaller unions or bargaining agents. This point has long been recognized. Organizations similar to the USJE were in place to unite justice system employees decades before federal government workers first gained the right to a “real union” and free collective bargaining in the mid-1960s.
In fact, the USJE was created by the coming together of two employee associations that saw the benefits of joining a larger union. In November 1966, the Department of Justice Employees’ Association of Canada and the Civil Service Association of Canada merged into one strong, united union – USJE!
USJE and 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 that serves as bargaining agent for a number of ‘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 Department of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness 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, labour-management consultation and local administration.
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 demanding, expensive and time-consuming issues such as job security, pensions, pay equity and collective bargaining.
The PSAC provides the USJE with both strength-in-numbers and resources we could never hope to develop as a stand-alone 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.
The USJE and the PSAC are an unbeatable team. Each has a critical and necessary role to play. Together, they are stronger than the sum of their individual strengths.
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.
USJE National Office
The USJE National Office is located in the heart of Ottawa, close to both our employers’ headquarters and the lawmakers whose actions can impinge on the workplace and community rights of our members.
The National Office, based in Ottawa, is responsible to the National Executive between conventions. National Office staff carry out the day-to-day functions of our union, working with the National President, Regional Vice-Presidents, Locals and individual members.
Some major services provided by the USJE National Office include:
- Direct representation on final level grievances;
- Membership communications
- Consultation with the employer, including participation on National Labour Management Consultation Committees;
- Component collective bargaining committee coordination;
- Advisory services to Locals on such issues as health and safety and human rights;
- Media and public relations;
- Political action, campaigns, lobbying and presentations to Parliament;
- Membership organization and accounting
The USJE democratically maintains and improves the professional, economic and personal lives of our members.
Recognizing the diversity and challenges within our membership, we, as an organization, will abide by and be accountable for the following values and guidelines:
- Uphold union principles;
- Develop strong, effective and efficient locals by providing consistent direction and knowledgeable representation;
- Be responsive to change;
- Treat everyone with dignity and respect;
- Provide fair and effective representation;
- Engage in honest, effective communication and advice;
- Endeavour to solve problems at the lowest level;
- Collectively promote timely communication in the handling of complaints and issues in the workplace;
- Ensure transparency in all areas of union involvement.
Application of these guiding principles will establish the framework for the membership to determine the direction and future development of the USJE.