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Wage Deductions for Union Dues in Alberta


Where are the rules of union dues outlined? We are a CUPE Union environment, in Alberta. I looked in the Govt. of Alberta Labour Code and can’t find it. I’m specifically interested in the guidelines around what percent is taken off an employee wages – is there a maximum – how that is established, and if it would include OT, premiums, etc.?

— Name withheld


The union dues deduction rules are set out in the Alberta Labour Relations Code (Code) and Employment Standards Code (ESC). Here’s a summary of what they say:

  • Employers can deduct union dues and initiation fees from an employee’s paycheck if the deduction is authorized by a collective agreement that’s binding on the employee (ESC, Sec. 12(2)(b), Code Sec. 27(1)).
  • Exception: A deduction authorized by a collective agreement is not allowed if it would result in the employee’s being paid at a rate below the minimum wage ($11.20 per hour effective Oct. 1, 2015) (Employment Stds. Reg., 9).
  • The maximum amount of initiation fees deductions is one month’s union dues (Code, Sec. 27(1)).
  • The employer must account for the deduction in the employee’s pay statement (ESC, Sec. 14(2)).
  • The employer must remit deducted dues to the union from the preceding month, along with a written statement, to the union by the 15th day of each month (Code, Sec. 27(3)).


I hope this helps.