The Ontario Labour Relations Board issued a certification order on Feb. 16, 2017, certifying Public Service Alliance of Canada’s application to represent a bargaining unit of certain graduate students employed as research assistants at Queen’s.
In the course of the proceeding, the Ontario Labour Relations Board did not determine which individuals will be considered bargaining unit members. The parties continue to disagree with respect to which graduate students will be covered. The university anticipates that very few will satisfy the test for status as an “employee,” a legal prerequisite under Ontario’s labour law for inclusion in a bargaining unit.
Queen’s University and the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC), and its Local 901 (Unit 2), reached a tentative agreement on Feb. 13. The agreement is subject to ratification by both the university and the bargaining unit.
PSAC represents approximately 170 post-doctoral fellows employed at Queen’s. The university and the bargaining unit have been actively engaged in negotiations to renew their collective agreement since May 2016.
Details of the tentative agreement will remain confidential until both parties ratify the agreement.
Queen’s University and Public Service Alliance of Canada, Local 901, met in conciliation on Wednesday, Oct. 5 in their continuing effort to negotiate a renewal of their collective agreement covering approximately 170 post-doctoral fellows.
The university tabled a salary proposal that would ensure post-doctoral fellows at Queen’s continue to be among the best compensated post-doctoral fellows under Canadian collective agreements, and would establish a childcare benefit proposal that is comparable to that enjoyed by other employee groups at Queen’s. The university also tabled a proposal that would establish a professional development fund for post-doctoral fellows.
In addition, the university has proposed an arrangement that will provide post-doctoral fellows and their family members with direct access to a family physician in Kingston.
The university values the contributions of its many employees and remains committed to a fair and respectful collective bargaining process. The university is focused on reaching negotiated agreements with all employee groups that both balance the university’s need to preserve its core academic mission and respect the limitations dictated by current financial realities.
Queen’s has asked the provincial government to appoint a conciliation officer to assist it and the Public Service Alliance of Canada, Local 901, in their negotiation of a renewal collective agreement covering approximately 180 post-doctoral fellows.
“Bringing in a neutral third party can assist the parties in finding common ground,” says Dan McKeown, Interim Associate Vice-Principal (Faculty Relations). “The university is committed to working with PSAC to conclude a renewal agreement that respects both our employees and the limitations dictated by financial realities.”
The appointment of a conciliation officer to assist parties in negotiating an agreement is a normal feature of the collective bargaining process. In conciliation, a provincially appointed conciliation officer confers with the parties as they work through outstanding issues. PSAC and the university have been meeting since April and dates are scheduled for continued talks in August.
Queen’s and several bargaining units on campus successfully negotiated collective agreements over the past year, including Queen’s University Faculty Association, United Steelworkers 2010, Canadian Union of Public Employees locals 229, 254 and 1302, Ontario Nurses’ Association Local 67, and the Ontario Public Service Employees Union Local 452. The university values the contributions of its many employees and remains committed to the collective bargaining process.
Queen’s University and the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) 901 have exchanged monetary proposals. The two parties have agreed to future meeting dates in August in order to negotiate a renewal of their collective agreement covering post-doctoral fellows at the university.
The university values the contributions of its many employees and remains committed to the collective bargaining process.