Report VPPD Bargaining January 11th


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 Grinchyemployer, 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 [email protected] 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