PSAC Local 901 Byte (e-newsletter) January 2017

Please click 'view entire message' to see all of this newsletter.
View this email in your browser
901 BYTE 
Public Service Alliance of Canada Local 901 
Union of Teaching Assistants, Teaching Fellows & Postdoctoral Scholars at Queen's 
Happy New Year from PSAC Local 901!
PSAC Local 901 is happy to start a new exciting year with you. We hope you had a productive, safe and relaxing break. We are your Teaching Assistant, Teaching Fellow and Postdoctoral Scholars union at Queen's University.  There are many exciting things planned for the upcoming year: Ongoing Unit 2 bargaining, upcoming Unit 1 bargaining, social and Childcare Bursary application deadline. Keep in the know by following our weekly mail blasts and semester e-newsletters, our website or email us at  

In Solidarity,
PSAC Local 901
Teaching Assistants and Teaching Fellows contract expires April 30th, 2017
PSAC Local 901 – 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.
901 Meetings & Events

Fix Phoenix Pay System demonstration
Friday, January 13th
at 4:00pm
Mark Garretsen's Office 841 Princess st.

Childcare Bursary Application
Sunday, January 15th 

Stewards' Council Meeting
Thursday, January 26th 
at 6:00pm
Kingston Hall Room 101

 901 Winter Member  Social  
Friday, February 3rd 
at 7:00pm
Grad Club

 Social Justice /Childcare Committee Meeting 
To be announced after Childcare Bursary Deadline
Unit 2 Bargaining Update
Dear Postdocs,

Welcome back! The year 2017 promises to be exciting for all of our members. Since June 30, 2016 Postdoctoral Scholars have been without a new contract. The Postdoc Bargaining team and Chief Negotiator MaryAnne Laurico have been at the bargaining table with Queen’s University since early summer. The ongoing bargaining sessions led to Conciliation in late Fall with Labour Board appointed Conciliator Diane Bull.

Throughout the process Postdoc participation was impressive! For example, Postdocs helped launch the far-reaching Dr. Noodles Campaign, sending their thoughts about Postdoc conditions to the Queen’s Administration. These messages reached Postdocs and community members all across Canada and the USA, making sure that our issues are heard. Following the vote for a strong Postdoc Strike Mandate, allowing them to take Labour Action, members elected a Strike Committee at a Special General Meeting. Strike Committees ensure that Labour Actions are appropriate for the membership, organize logistics such as childcare and a hardship Defence Fund, and more. Members also received Strike Captain training at the PSAC Regional Office in December. Unit 2 members are definitely ready for anything in 2017 that the employer throws at them!

Media attention gained momentum as our campaigns rolled out through the fall. Postdocs and their issues were featured in the Kingston Whig Standard, The Queen’s Journal, CFRC Radio, Channel 14 and CKWS TV. For the Holiday Season members of the Bargaining Team created tongue in cheek radio ads featuring a rather Grinchy employer, reminding Queen’s (and Kingston) that Postdoc minimum salaries need to be raised!

Postdocs deserve a great new contract with salaries enabling them to live in dignity! We will not stop fighting until this happens. Keep in the loop by reading our updates in email newsletters, checking out and following social media! Please email me at if you have any questions, comments or concerns, or if you would like to be involved in this very interesting process.

Much success (and a great new contract!) in 2017!

In Solidarity,

Silja Freitag
Vice-President Postdocs 
Childcare Bursary Deadline
January 15th
The deadline for the next PSAC Local 901 Childcare Bursary is January 15th
This bursary is for expenses that occurred during the semester that you worked. If you have had childcare expenses and held a Teaching Assistantship, Teaching Fellowship or Postdoc contract between September 1st and December 1st you may be eligible for our bursary of $500.00 per semester. 
For eligibility requirements and the application form, please visit our childcare bursary webpage. If you have any questions about the bursary please contact us at
"Fight for your right to party!" 


Friday, February 3rd

at 7:00pm

at the Grad Club 
162 Barrie St

Live music - DJs - Appetizers & Dancing 
Free childcare available from 7:00pm - 10:00pm. RSVP your child(ren) by February 1st at 4:00pm by emailing
New Paycheque Code for Training
for Teaching Assistants and Teaching Fellows
In February 2016 a new and separate pay code was created by the employer, Queen's University, for one-time payments to Teaching Assistants and Teaching Fellows, to cover "Employer Required Training" (ie, AODA, Equity and Health and Safety, etc). This one-time payment is when Teaching Assistants have any training hours that are not included in their TA contract hours form. Note, Teaching Fellows are always paid for training in in addition to their contract. You should see the description "Employer Required Training" under the hours and earnings section of your pay stub, if you were paid a one-time payment for training not included in your contract hours. This change to the pay cheque will assist members to better identify when they are paid for training and is the result of result of a policy grievance filed by PSAC Local 901.
Download Work Time Tracker 
Your union has created a new and efficient Work Hour Time Tracker that allows you to track your working hours in your contract. Tracking your hours will ensure that you are not overworked nor underpaid. Under the collective agreement, you can review your hours with your employment supervisor and ensure your hours are on-track. This tool will provide you with resource required to facilitate that conversation.

 We strongly encourage you to download this excel sheet and use it to track hours of work in tutorials; labs; meetings with students and supervisors; reading course material; attending TA course; all training; marking and emails (every five minute email counts!). 

The instructions on how to use the time tracker are found in the document. You can download the document on our website
Headlines From Fall 2016

PSAC Ontario Donates $850 to AMS Food Bank                                       December 2016

Postdoctoral Scholars at Queen's University Welcomed to Alma Mater Society Food Bank in Time for the Holidays                                                                               December 2016    
Queen's University Postdocs Challenge Employer to Match Food Bank Donation                                                                                                                                       December 2016                                                                         

Queen's Journal: PSAC Strike Looms, Union asks Queen's to Rejoin Table                                                                                                                                                   October 2016

STATION 14 Media Coverage: Interview with Postdoc Monique Giroux.        October 2016                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

Contact Us: 
 Public Service Alliance of Canada Local 901
 68, Union St, Queen's University, Mac-Corry Hall, Room E324, Kingston. 
613-533-6000, ext. 77010
Office Hours: 
Mon - Fri: 10:00 - 14:00

Copyright © 2016 PSAC Local 901