June Bargaining Update

PSAC Local 40004 Bargaining Update

24 June 2020

Talks stall on equity survey and training for employment supervisors

The Bargaining Team for Graduate Student Employees, PSAC Local 40004, met with members of the University of Saskatchewan team on June 23rd and 24th.  On the first day, the team built on the progress it had made during the last bargaining session, signing off on several articles.  On the second day, however, that progress came to a halt when the Union Team engaged the Employer in discussions on the union’s remaining non-monetary proposals: the creation of an Employment Supervisor Training Workshop and the formation of a joint Employment Equity Committee to determine if the needs of equity seeking groups are being met.

The University expressed some willingness to ensure that Employment Supervisors understand the collective agreement and spoke of their commitment to addressing Employment Equity and systemic discrimination on campus.  The University is, however, not willing to demonstrate a commitment to either in enforceable contract language.  Your Bargaining Team sees this unwillingness as a problem, particularly in the context of current events.

Our position is that the University should demonstrate its commitment by working with the Union to ensure that all members receive fair and consistent treatment and to address issues of Equity and systemic racism.  A top-down approach is not the right way to address these important issues for our members or for the broader campus community.

After some frank discussion with the Employer, during which we registered our disappointment, your Bargaining Team indicated that we would park these proposals until the next bargaining session, when our monetary package, as well as everything else, will be on the table.

While we hold that the Union’s proposals on Employment Equity and Employment Supervisor Training are reasonable, we did express a willingness to moderate them in a way that would serve what should be our mutual interests.  And we remain hopeful of making progress during the next session (the dates for which have yet to be determined) and of achieving a fair and reasonable agreement that reflects our members’ demands.

Thank you for your continued support and solidarity. You are our strength at the table!

In solidarity,

Your Graduate Student Employee Bargaining Team

Sam Netzke

Naheda Sahtout

Jeffery Zielinski

Jesse Todd (PSAC Rep)

Silja Freitag (PSAC Research Officer)

John Eustace (PSAC Negotiator)