The Guild, a National Association of Ships’ Officers and Marine Pilots, was originally established by an Act of Parliament in 1919 and updated in 1981. The objectives of the Guild are to promote the social, economic, cultural, educational and material interests of its members. The Guild represents the majority of Ships’ Officers and Pilots in the Canadian Maritime Industry.
An experienced staff is strategically located in Guild offices across Canada to provide efficient service to all members. The Guild has Collective Agreements covering every segment of shipping from offshore supply vessels to tankers, freighters, towboats, lakers, deep sea vessels, passenger ferries and Pilotage operations in every part of Canada from Newfoundland to British Columbia. Guild Executive Officers and staff participate as active members of all Federal Committees involved in the development of Marine Legislation and Regulations affecting seafarers on a Regional, National and International basis.
The Guild continues to be an important voice for the interests of Canadian Ships’ Officers and has been instrumental in successfully advocating for improvements to a host of regulations directly related to the safety of life at sea and the well-being of all seafarers.
Members of the Guild are provided with Legal Defence Insurance to cover the cost of a solicitor for legal representation in the event of a marine-related incident or mishap. A toll-free Hotline is staffed 24 hours-a-day to ensure that members have timely access to a Lawyer before answering the questions of investigating authorities. This coverage has proven through the years to be an absolute necessity for members due to enhanced safety and environmental protection regulations and the continued escalation of legal costs associated with inquiries, investigations and civil court actions involving Ships’ Officers.
Guild contract negotiating committees are comprised of professional staff as well as members who work under the Collective Agreement. The Guild governing structure includes Ships’ Officers elected to the Branch Executive Boards and the National Board. Guild By-Laws ensure elections to these decision-making bodies every three years from among eligible members.
Membership meetings are held annually in each district and include a detailed financial disclosure presentation by the Secretary-Treasurer of the Branch as well as an update on all affairs of the Guild and an opportunity for questions and input from members.