Canada Employment and Immigration Union -
May 25, 2018

Electoral campaigns – Members rights

With the coming 2019 federal election and provincial elections happening in some provinces this year, many members have questions about what their rights are around political activity.  Unfortunately, in some circumstances the employer has been providing misinformation about members’ rights to be politically-active (such as the manager who recently told CEIU members that like if they want to put a candidate’s sign on their lawn, they have to put every candidate’s sign on their lawn!).

We’d like to point CEIU members to some useful information on this topic:

1) PSAC’s page on members’ political rights – lists some basic political activities members should feel free to participate in, as well as some cautions about what to avoid doing when engaging in any political activity.

2) Expressing Political Opinions Online – gives solid advice for how members can balance their right to express their political beliefs online with the restrictions the nature of their employment imposes.

3) Members’ Constitutional Rights To Engage In Political Activity – this backgrounder gives a detailed explanation about how our members’ rights to engage in political activity is protected by the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, meaning that those rights are not extinguished because someone works for the federal government.

CEIU members have fought hard for their political rights over the years.  Brother Ian Shaw’s ground-breaking 2006 case established that elected union representatives have rights to publicly express political opinions as part of their work representing their members’ interests.  You can read a quick review of the Shaw decision here or a more-detailed review is available here

As we move into election season, it’s probably a good time to step in and do some education work with management and our members.  We hope you find the information above useful in doing that important work.

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