Unit 1 Bargaining Updates


April 20, 2017



Greetings Teaching Assistants and Teaching Fellows,

This is the first Bargaining Communiqué from the team that will re-negotiate your next contract at Queen’s University, which expires on April 30, 2017. All the previous terms and conditions of your work will remain intact during this bargaining process.

The elected Unit 1 Bargaining Team consists of Alexander (Engineering), Craig (President, PSAC local 901) and Stéfy (Cultural Studies), and we will be updating you by email after each bargaining session.

Over the last two days, the Bargaining Team has been in training with PSAC Negotiator Jawara Gairey to review the process of negotiations. Jawara was also at the table during our last 2013 contract.

PSAC will serve notice to bargain with the employer on Friday April 21, 2017; and, the Negotiator contacted the employer to request availability to meet during this summer.

Your Bargaining Committee would like to send a shout-out thanking over 600+ members who participated in the TA/TF bargaining survey.  The committee has reviewed the survey results and made recommendations for your bargaining demands that were voted and approved at the March 30, 2017 Annual General Meeting. Our TA/TF demands reflect the precarious nature of our short-term contracts which do not adequately address job security, compensation and benefits, such as childcare and improved health and dental.

If you would like to get involved, have any questions and concerns about this contract renewal process, or about your current working conditions, please send us an email to info@psac901.org.

Your Unit 1 Bargaining Team,

Alexander, Craig, Jawara and Stéfy

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Download the communiqué here: Communiqué #1 Unit 1 Springs into Action!

Thanks to the 600+ members who completed the Unit 1 Bargaining Committee survey!

 (The survey is now closed)

The Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) Local 901 is preparing for bargaining, and asks that you complete this survey for your chance to win $500 (to use for a good time or your tuition…). This survey will take approximately 20 minutes to complete and must be completed in one session or your responses will be lost.

WIN $500 CASH!

If you have any questions or concerns, or wish to participate in the bargaining process, please email info@psac901.org.

At the Nov 9th, 2016 Special General Meeting the PSAC Local 901 Unit 1 Bargaining Committee was elected.
John Rose – Social Sciences
Alexander Rey – Engineering
Stéfy McKnight – Humanities
Marshall Timmermans – Sciences
Suhaylah Sequeira
Yagya Paudel
Benjamin Turner
Maria Kyres
Committee members, as per bylaws, also include:
President, Craig Berggold
Co-Chief Steward, Hannah Johnson
Equity Officer, Tamara Jamaspishvili

The Unit 1 Collective Agreement that represents both Teaching Assistants and Teaching Fellows at Queen’s University expires April 30 2017. Check here in the fall for updates on how to become a member of the Unit 1 Bargaining Committee or Bargaining Team.

Unit 1 Teaching Assistants and Teaching Fellows are gearing up for contract negotiations and want to ensure that members have an understanding of the bargaining process. This is an important time for members to voice their opinions about changes they would like to see in the current contract. Our success in negotiations relies on strong support and involvement from members. Join us as we work to improve working conditions for Teaching Assistants and Teaching Fellows at Queen’s University!

 Step 1: Form a Collective Bargaining Committee! A bargaining committee was elected by Unit 1 members on November 9th. This committee plays a vital role in helping to determine the bargaining demands and developing the member mobilization and communication strategy. The bargaining committee is responsible for soliciting bargaining demand input from members as well as updating members about negotiations.  The committee has representatives from the various schools and disciplines.

Step 2: Survey members of the local! The collective bargaining committee is responsible for gathering together contract demands from members. This is a key step in determining what will be included in contract proposals. Members will have an opportunity to vote on the issues that matter to them most at a special Unit 1 membership meeting. Bargaining demands may be based on current Queen’s policies or on common workplace practices. Grievances collected during the last contract are also considered. If you have suggestions or concerns you would like to see addressed through the collective bargaining process, please get in touch with PSAC’s chief stewards!

Step 3: Participate in training!
PSAC will schedule various union training courses for the Bargaining Committee and general union members. Union stewards, bargaining committee members, and those who hope to serve on the bargaining team should attend.

Step 4: Elect a Collective Bargaining TEAM!
The bargaining team is selected from the elected bargaining committee. The team is tasked with representing ALL members of the local at the bargaining table. The team works closely with the appointed Regional PSAC Negotiator to prioritize strategies and develop wording and proposals that are presented at the bargaining table.  Not only does the team attend all negotiation sessions, but they also serve as a liaison to the bargaining committee. This helps keep members informed of how the negotiation process is proceeding.

Contract negotiation takes place between the Collective Bargaining Team and Queen’s University administration. When a tentative agreement has been reached, the bargaining team will issue a recommendation to either accept or reject the agreement. The agreement will then be presented before the membership and union members will have an opportunity to participate in a ratification vote. Only if this vote is successful is the tentative agreement adopted as the new union contract.