Rand Formula

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Nam
Rand Formula

Recently, I was having a discussion about our union with some other members.  The issue of the Rand Formula came up, as some of them had just attended a Basic Steward course and that was one of the topics.  I mentioned how our union was fairly successful in having all eligible employees become members, and then said "In one sense, the purely financial one, it doesn't matter as everyone still pays dues."  The discussion then turned to whether my statement was completely true, as I recalled from the dim recesses of my memory something about whether a non-member has to pay the same, complete dues that members do.  I have a recollection that non-members only pay a portion of the complete dues, one that covers the cost of administring the Collective Agreement, grievances etc. but does not include such things as donations to charities, polictical parties, social events etc.  This is why it is called the Rand Formula, as an actual formula exists of what items get put into the dues that non-members pay.  I have attempted to find out why I got this notion, but have been unsuccessful.  Am I crazy?  Please help.

Caissa

From Wikipedia:

In Canadian labour law, the Rand formula (also referred to as automatic check-off) is a workplace situation where the payment of trade union dues is mandatory regardless of the worker's union status. This formula is designed to ensure that no employee will opt out of the union simply to avoid dues yet reap the benefits of the union's accomplishments (such as ensuring higher wages, better job security or other benefits). Supreme Court of Canada Justice Ivan Rand, the eponym of this law, introduced this formula in 1946 as an arbitration decision ending the Ford Strike of 1945 in Windsor, Ontario. The Canada Labour Code and the labour relations laws of a majority of provinces contain provisions requiring the Rand formula when certain conditions are met. In those provinces where the labour relations laws do not make the Rand formula mandatory, the automatic check-off of union dues may become part of the collective bargaining agreement if both parties (i.e., the employer and the trade union) agree. If there are religious objections to paying dues the dues may be donated to a mutually agreed upon charity per Canada Labour Code Section 70. (1)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rand_formula

Unionist

Nam wrote:

 I have a recollection that non-members only pay a portion of the complete dues, one that covers the cost of administring the Collective Agreement, grievances etc. but does not include such things as donations to charities, polictical parties, social events etc.  This is why it is called the Rand Formula, as an actual formula exists of what items get put into the dues that non-members pay.

That's wrong. Members of a bargaining unit - whether they are members of the union or not - pay union dues. No "partial" payments. Of course, there is the religious exemption as pointed out by Caissa, but it's all or nothing, and that religious exemption is almost never used.

Francis Lavigne tried to get out of paying all or part of his OPSEU dues because they were being used in part for "other" purposes. The Supreme Court of Canada told him, "Nope". That famous decision is briefly explained [url=here[/url]">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lavigne_v._Ontario_Public_Service_Employees....

munroe

Thank you Caissa and Unionist, you did the searches I intended to do.  I was a bit lazy given the debate (or non-debate) in our BC election.  I have very little experience with Rand as union shop clauses are not necessarily "open" and in my time (at least at my tables) have never included Rand.  I know that some unions cannot obtain full recognition and settle for Rand, but most workers join anyways.  I also know any union must fully represent all workers regardless of actual membership. 

Thank you again.

Tommy_Paine

Of course, the Rand Formula came at a price.  The trade off is that when the Rand Formula is part of the collective agreement, the union reciprocates by garanteeing no strikes or stopages.  Before Rand,  grievances were often taken to the streets. 

Similarly, Worker's Compensation was brought in as much to protect businesses as it was workers.  Previous to worker's comp,  injured workers were left to sue employers.  The result being that few workers had the ability to sue, making things inadequate from a workers piont of view, and the few that did win lawsuits often won big enough to bankrupt the company.

When you claim Worker's Comp, you surrender your right-- with a few exceptions, I think-- to sue your employer.

Business likes to discuss worker's comp and the Rand Formula without mentioning these little trade offs.

 

Unionist

Tommy_Paine wrote:

Of course, the Rand Formula came at a price.  The trade off is that when the Rand Formula is part of the collective agreement, the union reciprocates by garanteeing no strikes or stopages.  Before Rand,  grievances were often taken to the streets.

Don't want to quibble, Tommy, but permit me a small correction.

The tradeoff you're no doubt thinking of came with PC 1003 during WWII, and later the first iteration of the Canada Labour Code (followed by the provincial codes):

1. Certification of unions based on majority wishes, exclusive representation, requirement of employer to recognize and bargain in good faith with the union alone;

in exchange for

2. No strikes during the life of the agreement, and requirement by union to fairly represent everyone in the bargaining unit, whether they're a union member or not.

The Rand Formula wasn't part of the deal - it had to be negotiated into the collective agreement. It took decades to get that legislated in one jurisdiction after another. The first was Québec, where the 1974-5 United Aircraft strike began as a Rand Formula strike. The first PQ government of René Lévesque (1976) legislated the Rand Formula, as well as anti-scab law. Others followed, but it took a long time. The Ontario Labour Relations Act got it only in 1980. The federal Canada Labour Code took until 1988. Of course, in the public sector and most large-scale industry, it was bargained long before it became law - with some notorious exceptions (e.g. United Aircraft).

 

Tommy_Paine

That's how I understood it from my days at Port Elgin, that it came about during the '46 strike at Ford, where Rand also stipulated the no strikes or stopages during the life of the collective agreement.  I can't find reference to that last point, however.  It could be that Rand incorporated that idea from the earlier decision you site, so it's not generally seen as associated with Rand himself.

 

 

munroe

In a sense, I think you are both correct.  The '46 strike was settled applying the Rand formula, but legislative protection came much later.  That's my recollection anyway.

Unionist

Munroe is correct. Rand produced the formula as a mediated settlement. It definitely did not become law in Ontario until 1980.

Nam

Thanks everyone for your thoughts.  I guess I was a little dopey for thinking differential rates exist for full members and Rand members.