Your Rights

It’s important to remember that you have rights in the workplace, and by being aware of your rights you are in a better position to ensure they are upheld.  The rights we all enjoy flow from a variety of sources.


Canadians have basic human rights as defined in the The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.  For instance, under the charter we are guaranteed freedom of thought, belief, opinion, and speech.  We also have freedom of association which means that every Canadian has the right to be a member of a union and the right to participate in collective bargaining.  


On PEI, regardless of whether you are a resident or a visitor, the PEI Human Rights Act protects you against discrimination.  Discrimination is unfair treatment of a person because of their personal characteristics such as race, religion or family status.  Discrimination can be a difference in treatment such as a punishment, a denial of a service or employment, or a harassing behaviour toward someone.


Every worker in the province, whether they belong to a union or not, has basic employment rights, which are defined in the Prince Edward Island Employment Standards Act

Union members also have collective bargaining rights under the Prince Edward Island Labour Act  


Every worker in the province has the right to safety in the workplace as defined in the Prince Edward Island Occupational Health and Safety Act 


Every member of UPSE has union rights as defined in the UPSE Constitution & By-laws

For instance, every member in good standing is entitled to:

– be represented by the union 

– be nominated for and hold office in the union

– participate in the union’s business at the Local level 

– participate in the election of delegates to conventions, and participate in the election of President 

– make a formal presentation to the Board of Directors 

– attend any meeting of the board 

– receive a copy of the constitution and bylaws of the union 

– vote on the ratification of collective agreements affecting the member.


Your collective agreement is a legal contract negotiated, agreed to, and signed by your employer and your union.  Your collective agreement was  negotiated by your current and former co-workers.  

Both the employer and the union are bound by law to abide by its terms and conditions.  It defines your working conditions and sets out the rights and responsibilities of the employer and the workers.   

In your collective agreement you will find provisions outlining your wages, vacation, sick leave, working conditions, rights and benefits.  If you run into a problem at work and believe your employer is not following the collective agreement don’t hesitate to talk with your Local Steward or call UPSE to speak with a Labour Relations Officer. Call (1-800-897-8773) or 902-892-5335, or e-mail

By reading and understanding your collective agreement you will become more aware of the rights and benefits you have in the workplace.  You will also be in a better position to protect yourself, if, and when, any problems arise at work.  If you would like a hard copy of your collective agreement please contact the UPSE office by emailing or call 902-892-5335 or toll free at 1-800-897-8773.