Individual recognition risky in a unionized workplace

When not done properly, rewards presented to chosen workers can be grieved: Mediator
By Danielle Harder
|Canadian Labour Reporter|Last Updated: 10/22/2012

Once a year, the staff at Island Savings Credit Union in Duncan, B.C., get together for a large-scale recognition event called Night of Stars. It celebrates employees reaching service milestones as well as team achievements, community service and educational accomplishments.

As with other pieces of the bank’s recognition and rewards program, no distinction is made between non-union staff and those who are members of the Canadian Office and Professional Employees union (COPE).

“Everyone’s treated the same, even in terms of recognition of service,” says Ilka Bene, senior manager of human resources at Island Savings. “In a union, they really value length of service in terms of seniority. At Night of Stars, it’s really recognition for having been part of Island Savings.”