Union Advantage

SK union advantage 2012_2013Unions are all about improving the everyday lives of workers, and strong unions benefit everyone.  In addition to more fairness, more say in your workplace, and professional representation, unions have a big impact on your pay, access to health benefits and pensions, and boost Saskatchewan’s economy by making sure there remains a strong middle class.


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  • Saskatchewan people are better off with a union earning on average $5.32 more per hour than their non-union counterparts.


  • Women greatly benefit from union membership, earning on average $15,000 more per year full-time compared to women who are not union members.



  • Union members are almost twice as likely to be covered by a medical and dental plan and nearly three times as likely to be covered by a workplace pension compared to non-union workers.



  • Through collective bargaining, unions negotiate collective agreements that are key to ensure all workers receive good pay, improved access to benefits, and better pensions that allow workers to retire in dignity after a lifetime of work.  When decent union contracts are present in a community, non-union workers are more likely to see their jobs improve as comparable employers need to provide similar or better wages and benefits in order to attract the workers they need.



A decent wage enhances your life and enables you to afford to live well.  Decent wages also benefit everyone.  Higher wages in the pockets of workers means the union advantage contributes to a healthy middle class and a stronger economy.


Did you know that household spending drives 54% of Canada’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP)?  That’s people like you and me simply living our lives.  So it is pretty clear to see that when we have decent living wages, we also have better purchasing power to put back into our communities and drive the economy, which in turn benefits everyone – consumers and businesses.


  • Approximately 155,300 union members working in Saskatchewan contribute an extra $27.4 million each and every week to the provincial economy supporting local business and community services.


To grasp the extent to which better union wages boost the Saskatchewan’s economy, comparisons can be made with the contribution individual sectors make to the provincial Gross Domestic Product (GDP).  If the higher-than-average union wages, sometimes called the “union advantage,” were considered to be its own sector, the union advantage sector would be two percent of the Saskatchewan’s GDP – relative to the size of the tourism industry and slightly higher in impact than accommodation and food services. While union members work in many sectors and spend their wages on a variety of goods and services, the comparison illustrates that better union wages are worth over $1 billion annually to Saskatchewan’s economy.


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Source: Canadian Labour Congress. Union Advantage 2013.    /NM cope 342