Why Choose the PEA?

The PEA is a union of and for professional employees. PEA bargaining units consist entirely or mostly of professionals — people whose work typically requires that they have earned at least one university degree.

Some of the jobs held by our members include River Forecasters, Climate Action Foresters, Teachers, Software Engineers, and Youth Librarians. We may be the perfect fit for you and your colleagues:

  • The PEA is certified union under the BC Labour Relations Code. Employers have the same obligations to us as they do to their other unions.
  • The PEA is built around the community of interest shared by professionals. In the PEA, professionals are not a minority interest group. The interests of professionals won't be neglected or traded away in the interest of the majority. The PEA has substantial resources: committed leadership, skilled and knowledgeable staff, first-rate legal support, excellent research capacity and excellent per-capita financial resources.
  • The PEA is effective. Typically our contract settlements are strongly ratified by members. Provisions in our collective agreements are models for other professionals.
  • The PEA is a member of the BCFED. We have the backing of 500,000 unionized workers in BC.
  • The PEA constitution has no membership discipline provision. The PEA does not act against members who do not abide by its leaders' wishes. When the PEA executive wants members to pursue a certain action it provides them with opportunities to become engaged in the conversation.
  • Our collective agreements contain clauses not found in standard union contracts. Some of the special features include the accommodation of special professional obligations, reimbursement of professional fees, provision of professional liability insurance, and entitlement to automatic cash-or-time compensation for voluntary overtime.
  • PEA union dues are low. At just one per cent of base pay. No dues are paid until the union successfully negotiates a first collective agreement.

For more information email Brett Harper or call him at (250) 385-8791, or 1-800-779-7736.

In this section

The PEA was formed in 1974, by a group of professionals working in the public sector. The story goes that the founders of the union mortgaged their houses to fund negotiations of the union’s first collective agreement. 

Now, the PEA is BC’s union for professionals. We represent a wide range of professionals including lawyers, foresters, engineers, agrologists, teachers, veterinarians, fundraisers, physiotherapists, pharmacists, psychologists program managers, librarians and more.

Our union is led by the PEA Executive. They represent members from across the chapters of the PEA and set the overall vision and direction for our union.

Resources for our members

Navigating a union can sometime be a challenging process. Under this section of the website you will find resources to help you navigate the PEA. In the members section you'll find expense claim reimbursements, information on the PEA's scholarship and bursary program and our grants and donations program.

Collective bargaining and job action resources explain the process of collective bargaining and what to do in the unlikely event of job action. 

Local reps can also find resources to help them complete their job more effectively. This includes ways to welcome new members, how to take notes in investigation disciplinary meetings and more.

The heart of our union

The PEA is made up of nine chapters, or groups of members who either work for the same employer or are in the same field of work. Each chapter has an elected executive tasked with running the affairs of the chapter. Each chapter is entitled to representation at the PEA Executive, the governing body of the union. 

Our members work for a range of employers: the Province of BC, the University of Victoria, St. Margaret's School, the Family Maintenance Enforcement Program, the Oil and Gas Commission, the Law Society of BC, Legal Services Society, the Okangan Regional Library and health authorities across BC.

Professionals need unions now more then ever

Since the 1970’s, when the PEA was formed, our mission has been to ensure our members can work in safe, productive environments and receive fair and reasonable wages and benefits for the valuable work they do. We help individuals and groups of professional workers to understand the challenges they face in their workplaces and some of the solutions available to them. 

We work with potential members to become certified as a union and achieve the wages, benefits and respect they deserve. 

The Professional | Volume 46 Issue 1

The Professional is the PEA's award-winning, quarterly magazine for members.

The January-February 2020 issue includes a Vancouver Sun op/ed piece from PEA Executive Director Scott McCannell on the Legal Services Society strike.

Read the January-February 2020 issue



The PEA was formed in 1974 to represent licensed professionals in the BC Public Service. Since then the organization has grown to include a wide range of professionals from across BC. Find our more about our governance, staff and strategic direction.

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