There are unions, and then there’s CUSW. For workers wanting to join a union in Canada and looking for the Union Advantage, CUSW is their best choice.
The CUSW Advantage
CUSW is a proudly democratic and independent union based on fairness, membership participation and our ongoing advocacy for workers’ rights. We have a proud history going back over twenty years, and we’ve never stopped improving ourselves, changing with the times, and taking on new issues and efforts that benefit working people.
There are several important ways in which CUSW differs from other unions. Read on to find out how.
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Democracy and Participation
Belonging to a union like CUSW means having a voice at work and decision-making power about your job and work-life balance. Our union has instituted a specific Participation Model which ensures rank and file members, committees, and stewards all work together and are at the centre of driving our union forward. The diverse membership of our union is a family and a community, and are active participants in how CUSW works and serves their needs.
Through the Power Sector Benefit Trust (PSBT), CUSW support its members and their families with a variety of key health and welfare benefits that stand above and beyond. CUSW sponsors a legally recognized Trust Agreement where members decide their level of benefits and coverage to meet their own particular needs. Some of these benefits include:
• Dental care • Vision care • Life Insurance • Disability Benefits • Prescription Drug Plan • Member (Employee) Assistance Programs
By pooling our resources and bulk purchasing power, unions like CUSW can provide affordable, high-quality benefits for members and their families which they most likely couldn’t attain on their own.
CUSW provides financial planning services, group RRSPs and other financially related benefits through the Power Sector Retirement Trust (PSRT). A Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) is a government approved program which allows you to save a part of your income that has not been taxed. Our union believes retirement plans and pensions are simply deferred wages that are invested and received at a later date.
That’s why CUSW has a direct interest in protecting those investments on behalf of its membership. The difference is that our union takes a hands-on approach and helps educate its members to become financial planners and experts in their own right. After all, you understand your investment and retirement needs better than anyone else.
Health and Safety
Work doesn’t have to hurt, or kill. Yet almost 1,000 workers in Canada died on the job last year, and thousands more were inured or became sick because of their job. And tragically, many leading experts agree these numbers are dramatically under-reported. CUSW has always made health and safety a top priority. Besides collective agreements that include strong health and safety standards that protect our members, CUSW also sponsors workshops and training on issues like mental well-being and a variety of other important workplace health issues.
Training and Life-Long Learning
The new global economy is always changing, industries come and go, and skill sets are always in flux, but CUSW is up to the task. That’s why we’ve made skills development and training such a high priority for our membership. CUSW has a Training Trust Fund that allows our members to enhance their skill sets to take on the advanced, high-paying jobs of the future.
And although these courses are primarily technical in nature, others include training on interpersonal skills, conflict resolution, leadership, negotiation and arbitration. It’s our way of creating well-rounded members and knowledge workers who are ready for any challenge.
Jobs and Training
CUSW doesn’t only want to make the working lives of our members better and safer, but more convenient. That’s why we developed our highly popular, online Job Centre, where members seeking work are matched with employers offering jobs at their workplace. In line with our principles of fairness and equality, CUSW ensures that job opportunities are evenly distributed, and free of prejudice or favouritism. The Job Centre is an open an accountable system based on the criteria set forth in our collective agreements and by our workplace partners.
Looking to the Future
CUSW is a union of the future, a 21st century union. While some other unions may still have bureaucratic structures and hierarchies designed for the old economy of another era, CUSW is a union based on member participation and rank and file engagement that is prepared to take advantage of the enormous opportunities of the digitalized, information economy of the future. And CUSW will ensure this bottom-up democracy will transcend into the workplace itself, where the knowledge worker will have greater control over their creativity on the job.
Apply for Membership in CUSW
As we grow as an organization and develop as guided by our constitution, the Canadian Union of Skilled Workers welcomes new Members from diverse communities across Canada. Many new Members simply wish to join for the work opportunities with our Workplace partners, but we are recruiting those who wish to participate in the growth of a New Union in Canada. We welcome your interest and encourage you to review our Constitution to see if you too share our Values and Beliefs and would like to help us achieve our Objects.
CUSW is currently accepting Applications for Membership.
Your Application will be shared with the Unit Recruitment Committtee for the geographic area in which you reside. The Recruitment Committee will contact you if they are currently recruiting new Members in your area.
Each Committee includes CUSW Unit Members who have agreed to participate by reaching out to community members applying for membership. Please keep in mind these activities are in addition to their workplace participation and time with their family, so the process may take some time. We ask that you exercise patience as we consider your application for CUSW membership.
Help CUSW Grow!
If you know a business or workplace ready to partner with CUSW, let us know today!