Unit 1 Bargaining Updates

Bargaining Launch


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December 11, 2020

Unit 1 Bargaining Committee for 2021 was struck at our Special General Meeting on December 11th, 2020. The following members were elected to represent Unit 1 members and facilitate the Bargaining process:

  • Justyna Szewczyk, Teaching Assistant [Department of History]
  • Robert Foreman, [Department of Industrial Relations]
  • Astrid Hobill, Teaching Assistant [Department of Art History]
  • Raphaelle Walsh-Beauchamp, Teaching Assistant [Department of Classics]
  • Craig Berggold, Research Assistant [Department of Kinesiology and Health Studies]
  • Doug Yearwood,  Teaching Fellow [Department of Political Studies]
  • Brittainy Bonnis, Research Assistant [Cultural Studies Graduate Program]
  • Ethan Mitchell, Teaching Assistant [Department of Global Development Studies]According to our bylaws the following members also also a part of the Committee:
  • Prerna Subramanian, Equity Officer of 901 and Teaching Assistant, [Department of Film and Media]
  • Rohit Revi, President of 901, Research Assistant and Teaching Fellow [Center for Neuroscience/Department of Film & Media]
  • Canan Sahin, Chief Steward of 901 and Teaching Assistant [Department of Political Studies]
  • Harshavardhan Thyagarajan, Chief Steward of 901 and Teaching Assistant [Department of Biosciences]

The Bargaining Committee meets every Friday at 1 PM. All members are welcome to join this meeting and may do so by letting their interest known to Brittainy Bonnis at [email protected]


The Unit 1 Collective Agreement that represents both Teaching Assistants and Teaching Fellows at Queen’s University expires April 30 2021. 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! 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! We are currently drafting up the survey!

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.