Referendum result

Unfortunately, our special dues referendum has not passed. We thank all our members who took the time to vote.

Vote for security. Vote for your union.

MoveUP’s Special Dues Referendum will run from March 15 to 21. We are asking members to make an important change so that we are ready in case we face future problems. The referendum asks members to establish an important back-up plan.

The referendum asks that if our Defence Fund falls below $12 million for three consecutive months in the future that there would be a temporary levy of 0.05% (from the current 1.5% to 1.55%). This will only continue until the Defence Fund goes up safely to $16 million for three consecutive months. We hope that we never have to use it, but if we do, we will be ready.

The Referendum Question

Members will be asked to either vote Yes or No

In the event that MoveUP’s Defence Fund, which is used to protect and support members during job actions and strikes, falls below $12 million for three consecutive months, a temporary adjustment will be made to change membership dues from 1.5% to 1.55%. The temporary adjustment will end once the Defence Fund returns to a stable level of $16 million and maintains that for three consecutive months.

Do you support this change to ensure MoveUP’s Defence Fund remains stable and strong?

It is your decision to make, and we encourage all members to vote yes.

Voting period

The voting period will begin on on Wednesday, March 15 at 8:30 a.m. PT (11:30 a.m. ET).

The voting period concludes on Tuesday, March 21 at 4:30 p.m. PT (7:30 p.m. ET).

To vote, log on to the Member Portal and cast your vote during that period.


How to vote

Voting takes place on MoveUP’s Member Portal. In order to vote, you must be a member in good standing and have an active Member Portal account. You can create a Member Portal account by visiting Please contact our Membership Department at if you require any assistance in setting up a Member Portal account.


Join us for a town hall discussion

On March 14 at 6 p.m. PT (9 p.m. ET), we are inviting members to join us on a special telephone town hall where you can hear directly from our union’s leadership and ask questions that you may have. We will call you directly to take part.

Please update your information on the Member Portal as soon as possible to ensure we can reach you. If you miss the call, please refer to the letter that we sent to you for the dial-in information.



The Defence Fund is the fund that protects our members if job action occurs. The Defence Fund provides financial assistance to members of MoveUP who are affected by a labour dispute, whether it is one our members are directly involved in or one that another union is involved in that affects our members. It is also used to fund the cost of arbitrations undertaken on behalf of members, as well as deal with issues at the Labour Relations Board.

The General Fund is what funds MoveUP’s day-to-day operations. Essentially, all the work MoveUP does to support members on a day-to-day basis is funded by the General Fund – whether it is your union representative, dealing with legal issues and grievances, member education, dealing with collective agreement management, communications, administrative support, office costs, union government, and so on.

Our Constitution specifies that the money in the Defence Fund can only be used as it relates to supporting members affected by a labour dispute, or for arbitrations or when dealing with the Labour Relations Board. As a result, it cannot be used in any other manner. Our Defence Fund is one of the largest Defence Funds, per capita, of any Canadian union that we are aware of. Because of its specific usage, it has much less demand compared to the General Fund.

Most of the time, supporting our members does not involve dealing with a labour dispute, a grievance, or being at the Labour Relations Board.

Labour disputes can result in significant campaigns, which is where having the Defence Fund is important. However, there may be times when major campaigns are required and don’t fall under the scope of dealing with a labour dispute.

A good example of this came about at the start of the global pandemic when our union needed to step up to support members who were suddenly facing loss of work in industries that were hardest hit by the pandemic. We needed to run campaigns to get governments and businesses to avoid massive layoffs as much as possible. However, because those campaigns did not fall under the scope of labour dispute (or a grievance or related to the Labour Relations Board), it put a tremendous strain on our General Fund.

At the same time, because of a downturn in the markets for a few months, we were constitutionally-obligated to transfer a greater share of our members’ dues into the Defence Fund rather than into our General Fund. This further hindered our ability to provide services to our members as we had to put a higher amount of money into our Defence Fund and, although we were watching it grow, we were unable to access it to make use of it for our members.

No. This provision only comes into effect if the Defence Fund balance falls below $12 million for three consecutive months.

Based on how our Defence Fund has performed over the last number of years, we do not expect this provision to come into play any time soon. The market effect as a result of the start of the global pandemic resulted in our Defence Fund temporarily dipping below $15 million. That required us to allocate more money into the Defence Fund at the expense of our General Fund, but it did not come near to going below $12 million which is what this threshold would have been. Since then, our Defence Fund has rebounded back healthily.

The global pandemic has reinforced for our union how important it is not only to be reactive but proactive as well when it comes to supporting and protecting our members.

It is not only enough for us to plan for the status quo, but also to be ready for the next global pandemic or next natural disaster or next market collapse – all things that could have the potential of affecting our members and their work.

This change, albeit one that may not even be triggered, gives our union the flexibility to provide what we need to for our members without interruption even in times of crisis.

Think of it like insurance for our Defence Fund except our members won’t need to pay for it unless it becomes absolutely necessary! This special dues assessment may never have to be used at all if our Defence Fund maintains its strength through normal funding procedures.


How the special dues, only if it is triggered, will impact members in terms of dollars.


Chart showing gross annual salary, dues per month (regular), and dues per month (with special dues contribution if required)

As a reminder, all union dues in Canada are tax-deductible.