Frequently Asked Questions
1) What happens after I sign a union card?
Once we get a sufficient number of fitness instructors and personal trainers to sign union cards we will then apply to the Ministry of Labour to hold a union certification vote. This vote usually takes place 7 days after we file with the Ministry. The vote is like an election, where people fill out a secret ballot and say whether they want to form a union or not. If a majority of workers vote in favour (more than 50%) you will have a union!
2) Will managers know if I signed a union card or voted for the union?
NO. All your personal information is kept strictly confidential and it is never shared with management who signed a union card or voted in favour of forming a union.
3) Can I get fired for wanting to be in a union?
NO. It is against the law for any manager or supervisor to threaten, harass, or intimidate you against wanting to join a union. If management is threatening to fire or lay you off, let us know right away!
4) What happens once we win the union vote?
Once you win, we will assign a Workers United Representative to assist you in organizing your own union local and holding union elections. These elections will let you vote on which of your fellow workers you want representing you in collective bargaining (i.e. negotiating with GoodLife management on a contract that lays out issues relating to working conditions, wages, benefits, vacation time, etc.). Our staff will be there to assist your local and provide you all the resources required to function smoothly.
5) What are union dues and how much are they?
Union dues are like membership fees for being in a union. They help provide the resources necessary for the union to operate and assist our members on a daily basis. Some of what your union dues help support include: assistance from your union representative on everything from contract negotiations, grievances, arbitrations and other disciplinary hearings; legal support to assist you in protecting your rights at work; access to educational training and workshops; scholarships for you or your children to help pay for post-secondary education; funds to assist members on the rare occasion they need to go on strike; access to health and safety training and assistance with WSIB claims or general health & safety issues; and more!
Union dues are also tax-deductible, and appear on your T4 slip so that they can be deducted from your income taxes at the end of the year.
It is also important to know that union dues are ONLY paid after workers have democratically voted to accept a new collective agreement with improvements to wages and benefits. Until your first contract is ratified, GoodLife workers do not pay a dime.
Full-time workers (more than 24 hours per week) pay $9.50 a week. Part-time workers (24 hours per week or less) pay $7.55 per week. Due to the unique realities of their work, fitness instructors pay $2 per class to a maximum of $7.55 per week (24 hours per week or less).
Remember: you only pay when you work! If you don’t receive earnings for a given week then dues are not collected.
6) Will we have to go on strike?
The decision to go on strike is made by workers through a secret ballot and happen when the union and employer cannot reach an agreement when they are re-negotiating an existing contract. Strikes do not happen when you are negotiating a first contract. It is also important to note that strikes are rare. According to the Ontario Ministry of Labour, only 31 work stoppages occurred in 2014. This represented only 0.01% of estimated lost working time in the whole province.
Have more questions? Feel free to contact us! We’ll be more than happy to answer!