PSAC Statement on Tuition Increase



February 14th, 2020

Statement on Proposed Tuition Increase
Executive, PSAC Local 40004

We are deeply concerned by the proposed tuition fee increase put forward by the interim Dean of the College of Graduate Studies and Post-Doctoral Fellows. The report proposes a ten percent increase per year for five years for domestic students with a 6.9 percent differential increase for international graduate students. These increases will put a significant burden on already financially-stressed graduate students.

As a union, our concern is the well-being of our members.  These proposed tuition fee increases will place members in undue hardship, negatively effecting the financial stability, food security and mental health of graduate students. The scholarships and bursaries the university is offering does not do enough to help students as the struggle to keep up with increases roughly five times the rate of inflation, five years in a row. There are no proposed needs based grants.

Graduate students teach classes, assist with laboratories/tutorials, provide research assistance, and many other forms of work at the University of Saskatchewan.  They contribute to the prestige of the institution through this work and their scholarship.  Nevertheless, many graduate students struggle to provide for their basic needs. The proposed increase will only make this situation worse.

Our union is currently in bargaining to renew our collective agreement. We will be taking this proposed tuition increase into consideration during this process. We will continue to monitor this situation closely and are in communication with the GSA on planning a route forward. We strongly urge the University of Saskatchewan to reassess their intention to increase tuition.

If you want to get involved in the fight back effort, get in touch with Jesse Todd, Regional Representative, at

In solidarity,

Local 40004 Executive


Graduate Students Bargaining Update 

November 2019

The union bargaining team met on November 6th to review and discuss member input gathered from our recent survey on working conditions among U of S TAs, RAs, and SAs.  Based on those survey results, your team has generated the following items in its unranked mandate for bargaining:

  • Strengthen harassment and discrimination language to ensure a fair and speedy process when an incident occurs.
  • Ensure Employment Supervisors receive training on the collective agreement so they understand members’ rights and supervisory responsibilities.
  • Ensure the union gets the information it needs from the Employer so it can defend the rights of members, and ensure members get the information they need so they know their rights.
  • Get more details in the letter of offer so members understand what their responsibilities are.
  • Ensure members receive notice of appointment at least a week before the appointment begins.
  • Ensure members have an opportunity to meet with the Employment supervisor to complete Appendix B during the first week of classes.
  • Ensure members are not required to work more hours than their contract stipulates without remuneration.
  • Improve compensation and benefits.

The union needs your feedback on the mandate the team has produced from the bargaining surveys.  To that end, we would like to provide you with two opportunities to share that feedback, either by email or in person.

In solidarity,

Your PSAC Local 40004 Bargaining Team

Saman Naghieh

Naheda Sahtout

Jeffery Zielinksi

Jesse Todd (PSAC Regional Rep)

Silja Freitag (PSAC Researcher)

John Eustace (PSAC Negotiator)

Meet Your Union at the GSA Orientation

We are excited to be part of the GSA’s Fall Orientation.

September 4th from 5 – 8 pm in BIOL 106 followed by a BBQ in the Bowl.

Come out to hear what it means to you as a graduate student working as a teaching assistant, research assistant, or student assistant to be part of a union.

Annual General Meeting – March 21st

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
Chief Steward

If you are interested in a position or have questions, please send your union representative an email:

A link to the proposed agenda can be found at the following link:

AGENDA AGM March 2019

We hope to see you there!

-The Executive of PSAC Local 40004


Postdocs! Your new PDF Contract – highlights, and Q & A sessions

Hi all!

As per our brief email last week, the Arbitrator awarded our final contract and as of last Wednesday, it is officially in effect. It has been a long road to get here, and this is a big cause for celebration!!

Attached to this post you will find a PDF contract information kit, including a short “highlights package”, as well as the full language of the contract in its entirety. We encourage you all to read it, especially if you haven’t been with us since the beginning, and may have missed some pieces of information.

Since there are likely to be many questions, we invite you all attend one of our two Q&A sessions:

When: Tuesday, February 5, 2019

 Meeting 1: 12pm-1pm

 Meeting 2: 4pm-5pm

 Location: GSA commons

In the meantime, we will be working with the University HR on a timeline to implement new benefits and rights that are contained in this contract, including extended health and dental benefits, salary increases, and EI and CPP obligations. If you have urgent questions or concerns, please reach out to us at

A huge thank you to everyone for their support in this, and to the members of the bargaining team, past and present. You are all amazing.



Bargaining team member

2019-01-21 info kit – u of sask pdfs

Welcome BBQ

Your union is  celebrating you, the members of the Union of Graduate and Postdoctoral Workers at the University of Saskatchewan, as part of Orientation Week.  For new members and returning members we cordially invite you to….

• Outside of the GSA Building (1337 College Dr)
• September 7th from 4:00 – 6:00 pm

Bring your friends and family!

There will be swag to give away (union t-shirts, frisbees, water bottles, etc.)
You can meet and speak with the Executive of your local.
Meat and veggie options will be on offer.


Contact Your Union

All Union Pancake Breakfast!

In conjunction with the other unions on campus, PSAC Local 40004 is pleased to invite you to….

• FREE Pancake Breakfast!!
• In the Bowl
• September 6th from 7:30 – 10:00 am

All are welcome!

Gluten free pancakes will be available for those with dietary restrictions.

Union Education – May 26, 2018

For members interested in learning more about their union there will be union education on May 26, 2018  from 9:00 to 4:30

It’s a great way to learn more about your union. Registered participants will receive a $50 per diem. If you need childcare please contact the Saskatoon Regional Office at (306) 244-3033.  When you register our component is Directly Chartered Local and our Local is 40004.

Register online

Date: May 26, 2018

Time: 9:00AM to 4:30PM

Location: Saskatoon Regional Office  (#5 – 511 1st Avenue North) (Map)

 Description:  This course will cover the following:
  • PSAC Structure
  • Dues
  • Why Sign a Membership Card?
  • Saskatchewan Employment Act
  • CBA (Collective Bargaining Agreement)
  • Grievances
  • Understanding Your Roles

If you have any questions, please contact the Saskatoon Regional Office.