About the New Brunswick Union

History

The New Brunswick Union has a long and distinguished history. The establishment of collective bargaining for civil servants of the Province of New Brunswick occurred in 1970. This created the need for an organization with the authority to negotiate and regulate the terms and conditions of employment between provincial government employees and the provincial government.

We have since increased our membership and have become the largest union within New Brunswick’s Civil Service.

As an independent trade union, we are responsible for negotiating the terms and conditions of employment through collective bargaining for our members.

Mission Statement

Our mission is to be a trade union that ensures democratic and equitable representation, to have fairness and respect in our workplaces, our governments, and our communities and to accommodate the diversity of our members and to allow for accountable leadership and effective communication.

Statement of Equality

Solidarity within the New Brunswick Union is based on the principle that members are equal and deserve mutual respect at all levels. Any behavior that creates conflict prevents us from working together to strengthen our Union. As trade unionists, mutual respect, co-operation and understanding are our goals. We should neither condone nor tolerate behaviour that undermines the dignity or self-esteem of any individual or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive environment.

Harassment, whether racial, sexual or other, means using real or perceived power to abuse or humiliate. Harassment is prejudicial, knows no gender and should not be treated as a joke. The uneasiness and discomfort it creates are not feelings that help us grow as a strong labour organization. Harassment focuses on the things that make us different instead of the things that bring us together like shared concerns about our families, decent wages, safe working conditions, fairness at work, and justice in society.

We, believe that the policies and practices of the New Brunswick Union should reflect our commitment to equality. We believe in the rights of all people to be treated equally and with mutual respect in our workplaces, in society and in our labour organizations. We urge members and staff to participate fully in Union activities mindful that all sisters and brothers deserve dignity, equality and respect.

Code of Solidarity

The New Brunswick Union of Public and Private Employees (NBUPPE) adopts the Code of Solidarity, which stands as the operating principles of the Union:

Decisions by members, committees or Boards shall use the democratic process, be based on the best knowledge available, be ethical and true to union philosophy, and be made in the interests of the membership.

All members shall participate actively at attended meetings, show respect and consideration for the opinions of all other members and make decisions based on discussing and weighing information put forward.

In decision making all members will put the interests of the membership, as a whole, ahead of any personal or group specific interests.

Once a decision has been reached, individual members have an obligation to support that decision in the spirit of solidarity.

The Board of Directors of the NBUPPE now adopts this further policy to help guide the participation of individual Board members in fulfilling their leadership role on behalf of NBUPPE’s membership.

• NBUPPE’s Biennial Convention is the supreme governing body of the union and sets policies and goals for NBUPPE. During the time between Biennial Conventions, NBUPPE’s Board of Directors recognizes its authority to act as the governing body of the union.

• The Executive Committee represents the Board between Board meetings.

• The President represents the Executive Committee and therefore the Board between meetings of the Executive.

• Members of NBUPPE’s Board of Directors have a duty and an obligation to the membership to conduct the business of NBUPPE in a way that ensures democratic, responsible and effective administration of the union.

• The Board shall be responsible for addressing the overall values, direction and policy agenda of the Union within the framework set out by the Biennial Convention and NBUPPE’s constitution.

• It shall be the foremost responsibility of Board members to have unconflicted loyalty to the interests of the membership of NBUPPE.

• As a member of the NBUPPE’s Board of Directors, a Board member represents the entire membership of the union not simply their original component. Loyalty to NBUPPE takes precedence over the interests of the Unit of origin. In all decision-making processes of the Union, Board members shall always put the interests of the membership ahead of any personal or group-specific interests.

• The role of the Board shall be to develop, as required, strategic plans for NBUPPE’s overall objectives and to set the direction for the Union in terms of its bargaining, servicing and legislative/public policy and other objectives. There is no other body within the union that can effectively play that role between Biennial Conventions.

• It shall not be the role of the Board to implement that strategic plan and direction but the Board shall ensure such plans or actions have been carried out.

• Implementation involves the operations and administrative side of the Union, which are the responsibilities of NBUPPE’s staff as directed by the Union’s Executive Director in cooperation with the President.

• NBUPPE’s President and the Executive Director shall be responsible for the implementation of Board decisions and directions between meetings of the Board of Directors.

• Members of the Board do not manage or get involved in the day-to-day operations and administration of the Union. Members of the Board do not exercise authority as individuals but only as members of a collective body. Members of the Board have no authority to supervise or direct staff.

• The Board shall not redo the work of the Union’s Executive Committee, the staff and/or its various committees. The Board however, shall consider recommendations from the Executive Committee, the staff and/or the Union’s various Committees and then, either accept or reject those recommendations.

• The Board should expect accountability from those charged with carrying out the directions of the Board and the Union.

• Informed individual input in the decision making process is critical; Board members have an obligation to express their views. If they oppose a recommendation to the Board, then they have an obligation to provide constructive criticism and reasonable alternatives.

• The Board’s ultimate responsibility shall be to create and foster solidarity within the Union - within the Board, with the staff and with the membership.

• The Board of Directors must be seen as operating from a team approach. There is only one Board and although the roles will differ Board members should all be working towards the same end. A Board of Directors is not a place for factionalism or 'leader of the opposition' style politics.

• A decision of the Board of Directors is a decision of the Board, not a decision by a section of the Board.

• There may be occasions when a Board member is not able to accept a Board decision, and this should be a rare event, as this undercuts the ability of the majority to actually make and implement effective decisions.

• If a Board member is consistently unable to accept the decisions of the majority after debate and discussion, then the organization is hampered by the regular internal frustration of the will of the majority, and the member should consider whether it is appropriate to continue to serve under these conditions.

• When a Board member is not able to accept a Board decision, he/she has an obligation to identify the issue and his/her reasons to the Board and be open about the disagreement.

• Board members are in a privileged position with the ability to participate in decisions and the ability to access the information required to make the decisions. They must take the care and caution to report Board decisions fairly and the reasons for the decisions accurately; to do otherwise is an abuse of the Board member’s privilege.

• The Board has a duty to bring the views of the members to the Board but also to consider the debate/discussion at the Board and the information presented, and then has the duty to make decisions based on the best information available.

• When the Board of Directors is to discuss an issue about which a Board member has an unavoidable conflict of interest, the Board member shall withdraw from the discussion without comment and not participate in any vote concerning the issue about which the member has a conflict of interest.

• Board members must not use their positions to obtain employment for themselves, their family members or close associates.

• If a Board member expects to apply for a staff job, the member shall not be involved in any of the discussions or decisions leading to the competition.