Dear Members of the Canadian Association of Stand-up, Sketch, and Improv Comedians (CASC),

The Canadian Association of Stand-up, Sketch, and Improv Comedians (CASC) wants to become a Unifor chapter, and we’d like to highlight the numerous advantages and opportunities this affiliation would bring.

For groups in which members are precarious, freelance or self-employed workers, and have different workplaces, the community chapter model is used. It creates a formal alliance between people to build solidarity and strength and provides access to practical benefits such as health and dental insurance.

What is Unifor?

Unifor is Canada’s largest private-sector union, representing over 315,000 members across various industries. By becoming a Unifor chapter, CASC would join a powerful network that advocates for workers’ rights, providing us with collective strength and influence.

Does this mean we are Unionizing? 

No. While both Unifor community chapters and unionizing with collective bargaining involve organizing workers to advocate for their interests, they differ in their focus and approach. 

Community chapters prioritize community-building, advocacy, and support, while unionizing with collective bargaining aims to negotiate legally enforceable contracts with employers to secure specific terms and conditions of employment.

Unifor’s Community Chapters are a new tool for building our communities and our power as working people.

What will the dues be?

Joining Unifor as a chapter means that the annual fee will be $120 annually or $10/month. In the case of community chapters that are national in scope, Unifor, will collect dues from members and will then make those dues available to CASC for the implementation of its plan of action. You heard that right. Unifor gives CASC back that money. So in essence Unifor does not collect any money. So why would Unifor do this? More members mean more collective strength.

In forming the chapter, members will have committed to membership for at least one full calendar year.
The full amount of collective dues will be made available for the activities of the CASC community chapter and our plan of action. The administrative cost of ensuring dues collection and distribution will be assumed by the national union, Unifor.

Why pay more?

CASC is run by volunteers who are mostly comedians, limited in both time and professional expertise. By becoming a community chapter, CASC will benefit from Unifor’s vast array of services and resources we need to advance our more complex goals. For example, Unifor provides legal advice if a community chapter member needs to grieve unfair labour practices by a club or producer.

By having a union to simply back you up in negotiations is huge. You would never go at it alone. You will be given a Unifor rep dedicated to deal with your community chapter’s individual needs. That rep will consult the various departments within Unifor to help solve the problem or question that may arise for a member.

Next Steps: Your Input Matters!

Before proceeding, we want to ensure that this decision reflects the collective interests of our members. We will be hosting our AGM in April to have a final vote on Unifor. Your participation is crucial in shaping the future of our association.

We believe that joining Unifor as a chapter is a significant step forward for Canadian comedy, providing us with the tools and support needed to navigate the unique challenges of our industry. We look forward to your active participation in the upcoming town hall and the exciting possibilities that lie ahead for our community.

Thank you for your time and ongoing commitment to the Canadian comedy scene.