Rally on Queen's Campus to Support Equity and Fairness in Bargaining

KINGSTON, ON, Oct. 5, 2016 /CNW/ - The United Steelworkers (USW) Local 2010-01, representing Academic Assistants, and the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) Local 901 Unit 2, representing Postdoctoral Scholars, will hold a rally Oct. 11 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. outside Richardson Hall on Queen's campus in support of decent work, equity and fair bargaining at Queen's University.


Queen's University Academic Assistants and Postdoctoral Scholars


Rally in support of decent work, equity and fair bargaining


Outside Richardson Hall, Queen's campus


Tuesday, Oct. 11, 11:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m.


This rally is supported by the Queen's University Unity Council, representing all unions on campus, including the Queen's University Faculty Association and CUPE staff employees.

Negotiations continue to be difficult, as Queen's administration remains unwilling to meaningfully engage with some of the biggest issues left on the table. A Ministry of Labour conciliator has been called in to help negotiate the contract renewals.

"The plain facts are that we, as Academic Assistants, have had practically stagnant wages for 22 years. We just want to negotiate a fair base wage that reflects the value of the work we do," says Jane Russell Corbett, USW Local 2010-01 Unit Chair.

"We really feel that the employer is trying to strong-arm us into accepting a deal that is unfair. This rally is to show the employer that the Queen's community supports fair wages, equity and valuing people appropriately for the work they perform. It helps to know that the Unity Council, representing the presidents of all unions on campus, is supporting us." 

USW Academic Assistants (base rate) are paid $10/hour less than PSAC Teaching Assistants, who are graduate students. Academic Assistants do the same work as Teaching Assistants and are demanding equal pay for equal work. 

PSAC 901's Postdoctoral Scholars are fighting for equity.

"We are asking for fair minimum salaries and childcare benefits, like those already enjoyed by most of Queen's staff, faculty and senior management, and access to health care services. Employees should not have to worry about how to feed their family while working at Queen's," says Craig Berggold, PSAC 901 President.

"Our members struggle to make ends meet, while Queen's is counting on them to conduct innovative research and teaching, to uphold its reputation as a world-class institution. Each year, Postdocs and their Principal Investigators (supervisors) attract hundreds of millions of research dollars to Queen's. Principal Investigators already do their best to support Postdocs. Queen's should contribute to help out their Principal Investigators. It's time for a change."

The minimum salary of Postdoctoral Scholars is $32,174 per year, with limited benefits compared to other employee groups on campus.

Lunch will be served at 11:45 a.m. and speakers will begin at approximately 12:10 p.m. All are welcome.

SOURCE United Steelworkers (USW)

For further information: Briana Broderick, USW Local 2010 Vice-President, 613-533-6000 ext. 75701, briana.broderick@usw2010.ca


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