Disclosure to Unions

As with any member of the public the workplace-related information of the employee such as name, position, phone number and email address can be shared with union representatives because they are not defined as personal information.

The union also has the right to certain minimal information about employees that may include the right to contact information, such as home addresses.

For all other personal information of the employee, unless access is specifically provided for in the collective agreement, the union must provide a written consent by the employee before personal information can be released.

There may be some situations where minimal information can be provided to a union representative when it is in the best interests of the employee and will allow the employee to obtain services from the union. For example, a supervisor might let a union representative know that an employee could require assistance without disclosing to the union representative personal details about the issue. It will then be up to the representative to contact the employee who can then share further details if he or she wishes to do so.

Saskatchewan’s Privacy Commissioner has taken the position that personal information in the control or possession of a union is not subject to regulation by any provincial privacy legislation. Therefore when sharing person information with the union it should be made clear that the expectation is that the union will be responsible for treating the information confidentially.