This week Gradifying’s got a guest post from some students involved with the TA/TF Union. Thanks to Atif and the folks working with the union for bringing us a great piece that demystifies yet another grad school acronym.
The Public Service Alliance of Canada, local 901 is a labour union that represents Teaching Assistants, Teaching Fellows and Post Docs at Queen’s University and has been a directly chartered local since April 2010. Our members, numbering approximately 1200, are both graduate students & workers and the local protects them as workers in their capacity as TAs, TFs and most recently, Postdoctoral Fellows (PDFs). You can find us in the basement of Mac-Corry Hall, room B106 during our office hours (M-F 10am-noon or by appointment) or on the web here. Please see the contact info at the bottom of this post for more ways to get in touch.
The union is a democratic organization that relies on member involvement. Each department has the right to elect a Steward to represent them and serve as the point of contact between the executive committee and the general membership. In certain instances, Stewards can be appointed if departments do not hold elections. Stewards from all departments meet together once a month. If you are not sure who your steward is or would like to learn more about becoming a steward for your department please contact our co-chief stewards, John Rose firstname.lastname@example.org and Beesan Sarrouh email@example.com or visit our website.
The executive committee is made up of 9 members and is elected once a year at the Annual General Meeting in April. The executive includes:
President: Doug Nesbitt (History)
Vice President-Community Affairs: Christine Grossutti (Geography)
Vice President-Post-Doctoral Fellows: Brendan Sweeney (Industrial Relations)
Treasurer: Sean Field (Geography)
Co-Chief Steward: Beesan Sarrouh (Politics)
Co-Chief Steward: John Rose (Geography)
Occupational Health and Safety Officer: A.W. Lee (Cultural Studies)
Information Officer: Meaghan Frauts (Cultural Studies)
Equity Officer: Erin Clow (Politics)
The main purpose of 901 is to negotiate the Collective Agreement with the employer (Queen’s University) and ensure it is being upheld. The Collective Agreement is a legal document that outlines the rights of workers and responsibilities of the employer and can be found on our website here. It will expire on April 30 2012. We will be entering into the bargaining process again early in 2013 to negotiate a new agreement. The election of a bargaining committee will occur at our General Meeting on October 11th at 5:30pm in Robert Sutherland Room of the JDUC. All members in good standing are encouraged to attend. Members are defined as any graduate student who holds a TA, TF, or PDF position or has held one in the last 12 months. If you have questions about the bargaining process or how to get involved please get in touch with us.
There are many other ways you can get involved with your local. We are currently looking for members to sit on working committees. These include but are not limited to the Community Affairs Committee (which organizes social events for members and mobilizes membership for political actions) and the Social Justice committee. If you are interested in any of these or have other ideas about initiatives the local could be taking, please contact Christine Grossutti, VP Community Affairs at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Want more information?
Please send us your feedback, comments, questions or suggestions!
613-533-6000 x 77101
Mac-Corry Hall, room B106, Monday-Friday 10am-noon