Most of our 425,000 members work to deliver public services of every kind to the citizens of their home provinces. We also have a large and growing number of members who work for private businesses.

Our mission as a national union is to:

  • monitor provincial and federal labour laws and developments
  • analyse restructuring of social programs and public services
  • report on and contribute to legislation affecting the workplace
  • give our members a national presence through participation in the Canadian Labour Congress and internationally through Public Services International
  • develop and share successful bargaining strategies with our component unions
  • contribute to a national framework of services and solidarity to benefit all Canadian workers

A Family of Unions

The National Union is different from most unions; it has a federated structure – in effect, it’s a union of unions. Individuals are members of the National Union through their membership in one of our components. The Triennial Convention, with delegates from all components, is the supreme governing body. Between conventions, the National Union’s governing body is the National Executive Board, which comes from the leadership of all the components.

Bert Blundon, President

Photo by Ashley Fraser

Bert Blundon was elected President of the National Union in 2022.

Under his leadership, NUPGE has focused its work on critical issues that impact the 425,000 members of the National Union across the country – from making the case for a federal health care human resources strategy, to pushing for a just transition and a seat at the table for all workers as we tackle climate change, standing up against the privatization of public services, and fighting for the equitable treatment of forest firefighters. Bert actively represents these issues in Ottawa and in communities across the country, including with elected officials, decision-makers, and the media.

As leader of a dynamic and diverse family of unions, Bert prioritizes strengthening the bonds of solidarity among NUPGE’s Component unions. To this he brings his extensive experience and strategic insight to help build their collective power, through national committee work and leadership workshops.

Bert has also built strong relationships with other unions and progressive organizations. This has helped advance the National Union’s goals while building a stronger movement for equity and justice, at home and globally. 

In 2023, Bert was appointed to the Union-Led Advisory Table set up to provide recommendations to the federal government on supporting workers impacted by economic change, particularly skilled workers, those in mid-career, and those in at-risk sectors and jobs. The advisory table aims to shape government policy from a worker perspective.

Before becoming President, Bert served as NUPGE’s Secretary-Treasurer from 2019 to 2022. His career began at the Newfoundland and Labrador Association of Public and Private Employees (NAPE). At NAPE he restored the union’s financial health as Secretary-Treasurer, steering it away from potential bankruptcy towards stability, and without increasing member dues. His tenure included roles such as Employee Relations Officer and member of the NUPGE National Executive Board. Known for his expertise in negotiation and his political skill, he has negotiated critical agreements for workers, including the joint sponsorship of the Public Service Pension Plan.

He has a strong track record as a union activist and leader. From the moment in 1986, when he faced police officers and refused to open up a picket line, he has fought for workers’ rights, leading numerous fightback campaigns against privatization, layoffs, anti-worker legislation and cuts to public services.

Jason MacLean, NUPGE Secretary-Treasurer

Jason MacLean was elected NUPGE Secretary-Treasurer at the National Union’s Triennial Convention in June 2022. In this role, he oversees NUPGE’s finances, focusing on transparency, accountability, and the implementation of modern operational and technological best practices. Jason also serves on the National Executive Board, where he helps guide the National Union to advance the best interests of all members.

As a labour leader, Jason has earned respect for his consistent commitment to social justice, equity, and solidarity, and for the clarity, dynamism, and unifying approach he brings to movement building across the National Union and in the broader progressive movement in Canada and internationally.

In 2023, he chaired NUPGE’s first-ever anti-racism conference, bringing together diverse voices from the National Union’s Components to foster better understanding and drive positive change for all members. He spearheaded the establishment of the new Indigenous Issues Committee to advance the National Union’s equity and reconciliation efforts.

Jason serves on several boards, including boards of the Black Class Action Secretariat and the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. In June 2024, he was elected Chair of the Canadian Health Coalition.

Before his current role at the National Union, he led the Nova Scotia Government and General Employees Union (NSGEU/NUPGE) as President, first elected in 2016 and re-elected in 2019. As NSGEU President, he introduced an annual diversity summit to support tangible improvements for all members in the province.

In 2015, Jason was selected to attend the Governor General’s Canadian Leadership Conference. He is a graduate of the distinguished Harvard Trade Union program. 

Born and raised in the working-class community of Whitney Pier, Cape Breton, in Nova Scotia, Jason began his career in the public service as a corrections officer. He worked first at the Cumberland Correctional Facility in Amherst, and then at the Cape Breton Correctional Facility in Sydney. He quickly rose to leadership within his local of the Nova Scotia Government Employees Union (NSGEU/NUPGE), eventually being elected to the NSGEU Board of Directors and Provincial Executive in 2003 and 2005 respectfully.

Jason’s upbringing instilled in him a profound appreciation for diversity, fairness, and equality. These are the core values that continue to guide him as he serves in various leadership roles within the labour community. He enjoys spending time with his family. He is married and the father of 3 children: Tasia, Tyler, and Jalen.

Autonomous Components

The National Union structure is built on the autonomy and identity of components, while providing the benefits of belonging to a National Union. Components elect their own officers, set their dues, hire their staff and do their own bargaining. The National Union provides assistance and co-ordination, and national and international representation.

Our dues rate is 2% of component revenues. For each dollar of dues our components collect, they now pay 2 cents to the National Union. The National Union keeps you plugged into everything, everywhere that can make a difference to what happens to you at work.

B.C. General Employees’ Union (BCGEU)

Canadian Union of Brewery and General Workers (CUBGW local 325)

Health Sciences Association of Alberta (HSAA)

Health Sciences Association of British Columbia (HSABC)

Health Sciences Association of Saskatchewan (HSAS)

Manitoba Association of Health Care Professionals (MAHCP)

Manitoba Government and General Employees’ Union (MGEU)

New Brunswick Union of Public and Private Employees (NBU)

Newfoundland & Labrador Assoc. of Public & Private Employees (NAPE)

Nova Scotia Government and General Employees Union (NSGEU)

Ontario Public Service Employees Union / Syndicat des employés de la fonction publique de l’Ontario (OPSEU/SEFPO)

Prince Edward Island Union of Public Sector Employees (PEIUPSE)

Saskatchewan Government and General Employees’ Union (SGEU)