National Joint Council

Unions and Employers Working Together

Overview of Council and its activities

Created in 1944, the National Joint Council today is the "Forum of Choice" for co-development, consultation and information sharing between the government as employer and public service bargaining agents.

Through the NJC, participating employers and bargaining agents develop collaborative solutions to workplace problems. NJC subjects include government travel, relocation, commuting assistance, isolated posts and government housing, foreign service directives, work force adjustment, safety and health, the bilingual bonus and public service health plans.

Marking its 60th anniversary in 2004, the NJC builds on a strong record of achievement. The success of NJC reflects the continuing need of the parties for an effective national forum to address common issues, and the ability of NJC itself to evolve and adapt to changing requirements.

Co-development is a key element of the NJC mandate.  NJC co-development is a joint problem-solving process through which representatives of the parties work to reach consensus on terms and conditions of employment and on policies that have application across the Public Service. The NJC model of co-development emphasizes co-operative exploration of issues and interests, flexibility and the search for innovative solutions.

NJC directives achieved through co-development form part of the collective agreements of participating parties. They deliver important results both to the workforce as a whole and to groups of employees with special workplace needs:

The NJC also plays a central role in co-developing other aspects of health care coverage such as the dental and disability insurance plans.

The NJC's approach to grievances arising from its directives is an innovative example of alternate dispute resolution. At the final step of the NJC grievance process, employer and union representatives jointly decide whether employees have been fairly treated within the intent of NJC directives. The NJC also supports an administrative appeal process where employees can obtain a final review of decisions about dental and disability insurance benefits by a bilateral board of management.

The Council, its component bodies and the Trust

The Council is composed of representatives of all member bargaining agents and employers. A chairperson from the employer side (a member appointed by the President of the Treasury Board) and a co-chairperson elected by bargaining agents alternately preside at quarterly meetings of Council.

Between meetings of Council, the work of NJC is administered by an Executive Committee consisting of the chairperson, the co-chairperson and two other representatives from each side.

The day-to-day work of Council is performed by bargaining agent and employer representatives on committees, working groups and boards of management.

The work of Council, the Executive Committee and component bodies of NJC is supported by an independent secretariat led by a General Secretary. Under Council By-laws, the employer and bargaining agent sides alternately appoint a General Secretary to a five-year term.

Council membership

Today, the National Joint Council includes 19 public service bargaining agents, Treasury Board and a number of "separate employers" as official members.

Bargaining Agent Side

Employer Side

Canadian Food Inspection Agency
Communications Security Establishment Canada
National Research Council Canada
Office of the Auditor General of Canada
Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat

For more detailed information, please visit the NJC Web site at