Ways to get involved in bargaining

Bargaining is a democratic process where your union and employer negotiate the terms and conditions of your collective agreement.  

HEU members are covered by different collective agreements, depending on where they work.  

And bargaining works a bit differently if you are in a bargaining association or in an independent agreement.

But in all bargaining, HEU members are represented at the negotiating table by a bargaining committee, a group of members democratically elected at a local meeting or conference. The committee is supported by HEU bargaining staff.

Ways to get involved
  • submit bargaining proposals for your local to debate and vote on  
  • complete a pre-bargaining membership survey
  • attend a special local meeting to prepare for bargaining  
  • support your local’s bargaining priorities by voting on them
  • get elected to attend a bargaining conference  
  • run for a position to serve on the bargaining committee
  • vote on your tentative agreement to reject or ratify it
Getting involved in public sector bargaining

Because the public sector bargaining associations contain multiple unions and many locals, there are a number of steps.

It begins with holding a sectoral bargaining conference, attended by delegates from all the locals. This is where bargaining committee members are elected, and bargaining proposals (sometimes called bargaining demands) are finalized.

To prepare for this conference, HEU locals meet to elect their delegates and talk about what changes they want to see in their collective agreement. Locals then vote on which of these changes they want to submit as formal bargaining proposals.

At the conference, the delegates from all locals vote on all the proposals submitted.  

HEU’s Provincial Executive will also submit bargaining proposals.

Finally, a proposals package is finalized. These are the proposals that the bargaining committee will take with them to start negotiating with the employer.

Find out more about public sector bargaining associations.

How does independent sector bargaining work?

In the independent sector, your local elects members directly to the bargaining committee.  

FInd out more about independent bargaining