About Us

Until 1973, the Civil Service Association of Ontario (CSAO) represented all the clerical, technical, trades, maintenance and housekeeping employees on campus. 

The members were not happy with the CSAO so, in August 1973, the members voted in favour of decertification. However, many employees still felt it was an advantage to be represented by a trade union. In November 1973, the University of Guelph Staff Association was established.

In 1974, The Univeristy of Guelph Staff Association (UGSA) was certified under the Ontario Labour Relations Board and we became an independent union. The Association would represent only clerical, secretarial, and technical staff, (including agricultural workers); the maintenance, trades and housekeeping employees were now represented by a separate union.

In the late 1990's the UGSA members felt that it would be advantageous to be part of a larger union, with more resources and greater bargaining power. A committee was struck and began exploring the possibility of merging with a larger union. Several unions were asked to present information to our members to decide which, if any, would give our local the ability to represent our members with greater knowledge and strength. In 2001, we voted overwhelmingly to merge UGSA with the United Steelworkers.

As members, all of us, together, are the Union. Our Union exists to promote democratic and collective action to improve working conditions and the standard of living for us as workers.