Member Resources

Developing Resilience Overcoming and Growing from Setbacks

I have not failed.  I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work….Thomas Edison

The Importance of Resilience

Resilience (or resiliency) is our ability to adapt and bounce back when things don’t go as planned.  Resilient people don’t wallow or dwell on failures; they acknowledge the situation, learn from their mistakes, and then move forward.

Member Resources

Missing a lot of work lately? Absenteeism can be risky business…

People need time away from work due to illness, to enjoy family vacations, to care for loved ones who need them, and for a number of other reasons.  Thanks to our collective agreements with the Government of Canada, members are able to accumulate and take different types of leave.

Member Resources

What to Do Before You Snap

By Jackie Agnew

Today we live in a fast-paced society that seems to be placing more and more demands on us with each passing year. People are hurrying everywhere, and they’re often rude and short-tempered. Many people are experiencing financial stress, marital stress and the stress of raising children. There’s often mental and physical stress on the job caused by overwork. Many times this type of lifestyle causes health problems—adding even more stress.

Member Resources

Pay Equity legislation

Pay Equity legislation

Pay Equity legislation, enacted in 1988, addresses gender discrimination in compensation for work performed by employees in female job classes compared to male jobs within the organization.

The Public Service Alliance of Canada waged a court battle in order to achieve pay equity for the membership in the early 1980’s and the recent victory for Canada Post members tells the story of the opposition that the union met throughout the years. The cost has been enormous and, for less dedicated sponsors, could have been crippling and they might have accepted lesser deals in order to save money and human resources. This was not the case with our union and we are very fortunate to be affiliated with an organization that holds human rights in such high esteem.

Union dues are a small price to pay when you consider the value in terms of financial gain and human rights protections.

How are the pay equity and employment equity programs different?

While both promote and support the goal of equity in the workplace, equal pay for work of equal value, or pay equity as it is often called, refers to the payment of equal wages to males and females performing work that is determined to be of equal value. The objective of pay equity legislation is to close that part of the wage gap that is due to pay inequities based on gender.

Employment equity programs arise from the Employment Equity Act and are also administered by the Labour Program. Their objective is to ensure that no person shall be denied employment opportunities or benefits for reasons unrelated to ability. Employment equity is intended to correct the conditions of disadvantage in employment experienced by women, Aboriginal peoples, people with disabilities and visible minorities.

Perspective: Legislation is only the 1st step in ensuring employment fairness in a workplace. Employers and unions must continue to work very hard and effectively in order to take the steps necessary to ensure that the intent of the legislation is respected and enacted.

Member Resources

National Joint Council – Work Force Adjustment – Relocation of a Work Unit

The following link will be helpful to members who are subject to relocation.  This should help to provide you with information you need:

Member Resources

PSAC Local 70713 – What is the value of an active Local for you?

What is the value of an active Local for you?


The Local is:

  • The equivalent of management’s Human Resource Labour Relations team;
  • The member’s resource when personal problems or medical problems interfere with the ability to perform at the same capacity as in the past;
  • After a lengthy absence, the Local provides assistance to facilitate an effective and safe return to work with the member’s interests superseding the financial interests of the insurance company;
  • The member’s source of information and assistance when situations occur that require impartial assistance through a difficult personal time;
  • The member’s resource for protection in Duty to Accommodate situations;
  • The member’s resource for protection when reorganizations occur and tenure is threatened;
  • The member’s resource for information and protection when legislative changes occur that threaten a members ongoing livelihood;
  • The member’s resource when harassment, bullying or abuse of authority occurs;
  • The member’s resource when discrimination occurs;
  • A friend to their membership no matter what the circumstance is;
  • The member’s source of advice and support through the grievance steps.


Union Counseling

All consultations are private and no member information is shared even with members of the Local Executive.
Consultations can occur off-site and even on weekends.
All calls for advice or assistance are answered within 24 hours.


No member is without a friend


When problems occur, Managers go to Human Resources!
When problems occur, Employees go to the
Your Local 70713 is there for you when it counts.


200 Kent Street
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0E6
613 349-5356


Mental Health in the Workplace

Mental Health and the Workplace

Mental health problems and illnesses are the leading cause of workplace disability in Canada, representing 15 percent of Canada’s burden of disease. A Canadian Medical Association study in 2008 indicated that only 23 percent of Canadians surveyed said they would feel comfortable talking to an employer about their mental illness. Health Canada asserts that one in five Canadians will suffer some form of mental health trouble in their lifetimes.

Mental Health Hotline:

Mental Health Resources:

Mental Health Commission:

Member Resources

Disability Insurance Publications

Disability Insurance Publications

For the most current information concerning DI and Pensions related questions please visit the Treasury Board publications


Member Resources

Where can you turn during your toughest times?

Where can you turn during your toughest times?

Hopefully our members will never have the need to apply for the assistance programs listed below. However, you just never know when a serious illness may hit or some other life events may make them unable to work for a short or extended period of time. It can take weeks for Employment Insurance applications to be processed and there could be a waiting period with no coverage and Sun Life will take at least 12 weeks. If members find themselves in crisis, without any sick leave left and with no source of income, they could find relief in programs such as these. Members need only contact their union representative who can share more information on options and resources that are available in our area.

1) The United Way – Turning Lives Around Program that deals with homelessness, helping people with mental health and addictions get the support they need, and providing support and treatment for people and families in crisis (

The following is an excerpt from the United Way’s website about how they are helping to turn lives around:



For many in our community, just getting through the day can present serious challenges. Poverty, mental illness, homelessness, family violence and crime all take their toll.

To help turn lives around, we are focusing our efforts in three areas:

• Helping get homeless people off the streets through housing first initiatives;

• Helping people with mental health and addictions issues get access to the support they need; and

• Providing support and treatment for people and families in crisis.

Helping get homeless people off the streets

Why are we focusing here?

• It costs $100,000/yr to keep someone on the street in health, social service and justice costs. For $18,000/yr you could permanently housing a homeless person.

• By helping get homeless people off the street you’re providing security, quality of life and the chance to address the root causes that led to their initial homelessness.”

Our Community Goal

• Help homeless people get off the streets and turn their lives around.

Measuring Success

United Way Ottawa is working with government, stakeholders, community agencies and partners to finalize the measurement that will be used to show progress in this area.

Together, we are…

• Partnering with service providers to deliver supports through a ‘housing-first’ model.

2) Destination: Home (

Destination: Home is a collaborative program that identifies housing and supports for more than 200 chronically homeless people – hitting the targets set by the Leadership Table on Homelessness in its 10-year plan.

The following is an excerpt from Destination: Home’s website about how they are helping to find homes for homeless people:


2009/2010 saw many successes for the chronically homeless, for the service agencies whose missions are to help the most vulnerable and for our entire community. The Leadership Table on Homelessness is proud to have played a part.

Here’s how the numbers break down:

100 housing units committed by Ottawa Community Housing and Centretown Citizens of Ottawa Corporation (CCOC) for housing the chronically homeless.

$1.0 million in annual funding committed by the City of Ottawa through the Supports in Social Housing Program that will provide supports to 100 chronically homeless individuals.

8 social service and housing providers have partnered to provide the housing and supports to the first 100 people. They are: Ottawa Community Housing, CCOC, CMHA Ottawa, Horizons Renaissance, John Howard Society, Options Bytown, Ottawa Salus and the Royal Ottawa Mental Health Care Centre.

5 Post-Secondary Institutions – University of Ottawa, Saint Paul University, Carleton University, Algonquin College, La Cité Collégiale – have joined together to create our community’s first ever Project Homeless Connect event, held on the grounds of University of Ottawa on May 14th, 2010.

More than 120 individuals, organizations, private companies, community service agencies, schools, faith groups, media and government representatives have joined in our community’s effort to end chronic homelessness.

3) Ontario Works program sponsored by the Ontario Ministry of Community and Social Services: This program can provide temporary financial assistance for necessities such as food and housing and in some cases other services like medical care.

In Quebec:

4) Compensation Program for Recipients of Last-resort Financial Assistance Who Are Homeless


2011: individuals and single-parent families who were homeless and received last-resort financial assistance on October 1, 2011, are entitled to compensation under the program.

2012: individuals and single-parent families who are homeless and receive last-resort financial assistance on June 1, 2012, are entitled to compensation under the program.

Individuals and families are considered to be homeless if they find themselves in at least one of the following situations:

They have no stable shelter for the next 60 days;

They are sheltered by a community organization that provides services or shelter for persons who are homeless;

They have no fixed address.

Note: Social assistance recipients with refugee claimant status are not eligible for the program.

Member Resources

Paying Union Dues Could be the Best Insurance Plan You’ve Got

Some union members complain and resent having to pay union dues and I wanted to share my perspective on the matter. I invite you to check out our postings on out website about the history and benefits of unionism to all of us. Unions and union members set the bar high for our country so that health and safety standards remain high, wages are within the living range and benefits are part of employment packages.

We expect a reasonable standard of living to be provided by our employer, regardless of the type of work, and that is a good thing. Unions have worked hard to make sure that these benefits are in place and stay vigilant to ensure that they do not slip. Paying union dues allows the union to do this on our collective behalf. It is essentially the best insurance plan you’ve got to ensure a safe and healthy work environment and a reasonable standard of living.

Below I have shared with you some of the benefits to being part of a unionized workforce:

Higher Wages – Higher Standard of Living

Statistics show that union members in Canada typically make $5.09 per hour more than non-union workers doing similar work. The difference is even greater for female employees who generally earn almost $6.00 more per hour more than their non-unionized counterparts. While a third of non-union employees make less than $10 per hour, only eight per cent of union members earn less than that amount.

Health and Welfare Plans Provide Security

Workplace benefits such as a pension plan, medical plan and dental plan have a big impact on a person’s quality of life. The person who has such benefits enjoys more security, both now in the future. Unionized jobs are far more likely than non-union jobs to provide such benefits.

Canadian statistics indicate that 80 per cent of workers with union representation have a pension plan, while only 27 per cent of workers without a union have a pension plan. In the area of health care, 78 per cent of union members have a medical plan – a benefit provided to only 40 per cent of people without union representation. It’s a similar story when it comes to dental plans – a benefit provided to 72 per cent of union workers, but to only 38 per cent of people who lack union membership.

More Time Off to Spend With Your Family

When it comes to vacations and paid holidays such as the May long weekend, Canada Day and Thanksgiving, unionized workers come out ahead again. Seven out of 10 unionized workers receive at least four weeks paid vacation after eight to 10 years of service with an employer. More than seven out of 10 unionized workers have 11 or more days of paid holidays during the calendar year.

Union Membership Gives Strength in Numbers

The major difference in wages and benefits stems from that fact that with a union, people work together for the common good. One person on their own without a union who asks the boss for a raise or a longer vacation has no bargaining power. They’re entirely at the mercy of management.

When all of a company’s employees unite to negotiate improvements, the employer has no choice but to listen. A union allows workers to negotiate as equals with their employer.

Union Membership is a Good Investment

If union contracts were included in the financial news reported in the media, they would be called ‘top performers’. Buying stocks or putting money in other investments is a gamble. Putting money into union dues is always a good investment that will provide excellent returns.