Created in 1944, the National Joint Council today includes 19 public service bargaining agents, Treasury Board and a number of "separate employers" as official members. Through the NJC, participating employers and bargaining agents take joint ownership of broad labour relations issues and develop collaborative solutions to workplace problems. Employers and bargaining agents have agreed that the National Joint Council is the "Forum of Choice":

Partnership and co-development are keys to the modernization of public service labour relations. At the NJC, government and union representatives demonstrate that partnership and co-development improve the workplace and provide important benefits to public service employees. The NJC complements collective bargaining between individual unions and employers by offering an alternate and innovative way to address issues on a public service-wide basis.

Jointly developed, NJC directives and plans are an important component of public service compensation and guide many aspects of work in the public service. They affect every employee, along with spouses and children in some cases, through a variety of Directives and Plans. These include:

The National Joint Council also models innovative approaches to dispute resolution, including a unique grievance procedure where employer and union representatives jointly decide whether employees have been fairly treated within the intent of NJC directives.

The following Guide to National Joint Council Rates and Allowances provides further information regarding each rate and allowance.