Threshold support

A union must show that it has a certain level of employee support to successfully apply to the Labour Relations Board (the Board) to be certified as the employees' bargaining agent. Employee support is usually shown through membership evidence. The level of support a union needs depends on what type of certification it is applying for. 

If the union is applying to be certified... The union must have the support of at least...
for a unit of employees which is not already covered by a collective agreement (Section 18(1) or Section 18(2)) 45% of employees in the proposed bargaining unit
to change or expand one of its existing bargaining units to include additional employees (Section 142) 45% of employees in the group the union is seeking to add to its existing unit
to become the bargaining agent for a unit that is already covered by a collective agreement with another union (Section 19)

50% + 1 of the employees in the existing bargaining unit

The level of threshold support a union has for its application also effects what process the Board uses to decide the application. 

If... Then...
at least 55% of employees in the proposed bargaining unit have signed valid cards the Board may certify the union 
45% or more and less than 55% of employees in the proposed bargaining unit have signed valid cards the Board may order a representation vote

The Board may certify the union or dismiss the application regardless of the level of employee support. This may happen if the Board finds there was an unfair labour practice. Learn more about unfair labour practices


This page was last updated: 2023-06-05

Disclaimer: The information on this website is provided for general purposes only and is not legal advice. This information is subject to the Labour Relations Code, the Labour Relations Board Rules, the Labour Relations Regulation and the published decisions of the Board

The Labour Relations Board acknowledges the territories of the many diverse Indigenous Peoples in the geographic area we serve. With gratitude and respect, we acknowledge that the Board’s office is located on the unceded territories of the Coast Salish peoples, including the territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and səlil̓wətaʔɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations.