New rules for workplace “desk drops”

We encourage you to communicate with your members in person and by using home email addresses. The long-standing practice of dropping union flyers on people’s desks at work has become trickier.

A recent Public Service Relations Board decision means that stewards must now ask permission from their employer before doing a “desk drop.” A PLSRB panel ruled that PSAC does not have an “unfettered and free-standing right to communicate with its members regardless of the employer’s property rights.”

This decision was taken in response to a complaint filed by PSAC against Canada Border Services Agency, alleging that CBSA violated the Public Service Relations Act (sections 106 and 107) by preventing the union from distributing an invitation to a union meeting in the workplace. PSAC argued that the employer interfered with its right to communicate with its members.

The union argued desk-drops were a long-standing practice that enabled the union to communicate with its members.

The CBSA argued it had previously established that prior approval was necessary for the union to drop flyers on desks and that the union had personal contact information for its members and could communicate with them by other means.

PSAC stewards should heed this decision and assure that management approves any desk drops. 

March 10, 2014