12 March 2020
Bargaining Begins for a New Graduate Student Employee
The bargaining team for Graduate Student Employees, PSAC Local 40004, met with representatives of the University of Saskatchewan March 11-12 to begin the process of negotiating a new collective agreement. The team can report that it made modest progress during this first bargaining session with the Employer.
The Union began preparing for bargaining in October, when it issued a web survey to gather input from its members. In early November, the bargaining team held its first caucus to review member input and national trends, to do some bargaining training, and to discuss strategy and preliminary proposals. From that caucus, the team developed a provisional bargaining mandate, which it presented to members for approval.
During the first bargaining session with the University, the Union team presented non-monetary proposals based on the bargaining mandate. The team will table proposals with monetary implications at a future date.
The team was initially disappointed that the Employer came to the table with a document consisting of discussion items rather than proposals. However, we were able to engage in fruitful discussion of Union proposals, and the Employer did present counters on some of those proposals by the afternoon of the second day. In the end, the teams signed off on all housekeeping proposals, preparing the way for future negotiations on the issues that are important to our members.
The Union and the Employer have agreed to meet again April 8-9, after which we will issue another bargaining update. We thank you for your support. You are our strength at the table.
Your Graduate Student Employee Bargaining Team
Jesse Todd (PSAC Rep)
Silja Freitag (PSAC Research Officer)
John Eustace (PSAC Negotiator)