Working conditions for Graduate Teaching and Research Assistants at USask are falling behind those of our unionized peers. Without collective representation, we are unable to negotiate even basic job protections and benefits. The AGE is campaigning to certify as a union for USask TAs and RAs. Once certified, we will enter into collective bargaining.
In lacking the support of a union, we are the exception to the rule. Most graduate TAs and RAs in Canada have union representation. Comparing our conditions to those of unionized universities gives us a reasonable expectation of what can be gained through voting for a union. As post-secondary enrolment rises, our role is becoming increasingly important. TAs and RAs are essential for today’s universities to function. However, many TAs and RAs at our school are unaware of their rights. Many feel compelled to work for free beyond their hours. Many have lost opportunities to work or been disadvantaged because of illness, disability or family responsibilities. Many do not know what they can do if they are harassed by a student or a supervisor. And even more are concerned about what the coming changes at the university will mean for their ability to get work throughout their degrees. The Association of Graduate Employees formed at the University Saskatchewan in the summer of 2014. We are committed to:
- providing a representative voice on campus, advocate for the needs of graduate student employees
- better understanding the variety of work that Graduate Student Employees do to keep the university running
- working toward unionization
- combating university-wide changes that are not in the best interests of our work and our educations