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.
Our Annual General Meeting for PSAC Local 40004 will be held on March 21st at 4:30pm in Arts 146. A meal will be provided.
The meeting is open to all PSAC Local 40004 members. we encourage all postdoctoral fellows, graduate student workers and veterinary residents and interns to attend so that you can find out what is happening with your union.
The AGM is the time to elect our Executive Officers for the coming year.
Executive positions are:
Vice President Graduate Student Workers
Vice President Postdoctoral Fellows
If you are interested in a position or have questions, please send your union representative an email: email@example.com
A link to the proposed agenda can be found at the following link:
Members, we are excited to introduce Isaac Armstrong! He will work with our local full-time and has years of union experience.
Isaac is located in 131 McLean Hall Monday-Friday 8:30-4:30. He can be reached by cell at 306-370-9399 or email at armstrI@psac-afpc.com. If you have questions about your union or need assistance with employment issues he is here to help. All conversations and correspondence with your union representative will remain confidential.
Isaac is a former federal public servant and PSAC member from 2006. He served as President, Vice-President and Shop Steward in his Locals. Isaac has 12 years of experience representing members in grievance and disciplinary hearings, as well as representing members on staffing complaints. He holds a M.A. in Labour Studies from the University of Massachusetts (Amherst, MA) and a B.A. in Sociology (Honours) from Bishop’s University (Sherbrooke, QC). Also, he is a graduate of the Labour College of Canada certificate program through the Canadian Labour Congress.
Our Annual General Meeting will be held on March 26th at 3:30pm in Arts 263.
The meeting is open to all PSAC Local 40004 members. Your executive encourages all postdoctoral fellows and graduate student workers to attend so that you can find out what is happening with your union.
The AGM is the time to elect our Executive Officers for the coming year. Your Executive positions are:
Dear Members and Former Members,
We have heard from a lot of members and wanted to clarify a few issues about the retroactive pay.
1. Retroactive pay applies only to graduate student workers (i. e. those who were RAs, TAs, or SAs). It does not apply to post doctoral fellows because they will be under a different contract. The post-doc bargaining team is currently in negotiations with the employer. If you want to contact the post-doc bargaining team please email your union at: firstname.lastname@example.org
2. The settlement agreement with the Employer was that “Any retroactive wages shall be paid only to members or former members of the bargaining unit who remain active University of Saskatchewan graduate students or who are on an approved leave from their studies at the time of ratification of the collective agreement.” This means to receive retro pay you need to have been a registered graduate student in the Fall 2017 term.
3. The union understands ConnectionPoint is supposed to handle all payments related to retro pay so you should contact them if you have questions. We recommend emailing them. If you want to discuss any answer you receive from them you can contact your union at email@example.com
4. If you were paid to work as an RA, TA, or SA above the negotiated rate then you will not receive retro pay. The negotiated rates are:
Effective Sept 1, 2015 $18.88
Effective Sept 1, 2016 $19.26
Effective Sept 1, 2017 $19.64
We hope that you’ve settled into the Winter 2018 term. When the contract was ratified it included retroactive pay for graduate student workers who worked as TAs, RAs, or SAs between 1 September 2015 and 31 October 2017. Members who worked as TAs, RAs, or SAs during the Fall 2017 semester should have seen their retro pay on their December 2017 pay cheque. Members who are eligible for retroactive pay but did not work during the Fall 2017 term should receive their retro pay by the end of January. We strongly urge members to check their pay cheques to verify if they have received their retro pay.
Please note that the retro pay applies only to hours worked. It does not apply to scholarship pay.
We want more people to be involved with our union. If you want to get involved with your union let us know! Being involved with your union can be as easy as reminding other members in your department when events are happening and keeping people up to date on our union. You can also become a union rep (aka a shop steward) for your department.
A big thank you to the previous Executive Committee for all their support and hard work on behalf of PSAC Local 40004 members! A new Executive Committee was elected at the last Annual General Meeting and we look forward to getting to know our members.
President: Dr. Elaheh Khozeimeh Sarbisheh
SHRF and CIHR-THRUST Postdoctoral Fellow in Department of Chemistry
Vice President: Saman Naghieh
PhD candidate in Department of Mechanical Engineering, Division of Biomedical Engineering
Treasurer: Laura Larsen
PhD candidate in Department of History
Secretary: Dr. Sampath Perumal
Postdoctoral Fellow in Department of Plant Sciences