Teaching Assistants and Teaching Fellows at Queen's University in Kingston

KINGSTON, ON, March 26 /CNW Telbec/ - More than 1300 Graduate Teaching Assistants (TAs) and Teaching Fellows (TFs) at Queen's University in Kingston have voted to join PSAC. Queen's was one of the last remaining Ontario universities without a union for its non-professorial teaching staff.

The PSAC organizing drive, which began last fall, involved PSAC staff and a significant number of student volunteers from the Queen's campus. The union applied for certification to the Ontario Labour Relations Board (OLRB) on March 16, and the labour board-supervised vote happened on March 23, 2010.

"By joining PSAC, Graduate TAs and TFs at Queen's will be in a better position to improve their working conditions," said PSAC Ontario Regional Executive Vice-President, Gerry Halabecki. "We're proud to welcome them to our family."

The labour board will issue a bargaining certificate soon. The PSAC will then serve notice to bargain a first collective agreement with the university covering such workplace issues as: pay security against potential budget cuts and tuition fee increases; increased transparency in the allotment of vacancies; TA joint training; hours of work; grievance procedure; and supplemental health benefits.

"PSAC has a vital presence in the post-secondary sector," said PSAC National President John Gordon. "This victory shows we're a strong union that also understands what university workers need."

In October 2009, PSAC organized 250 TAs and RAs at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology in Oshawa, and in December 2009, 3,000 part-time and casual staff at McGill University, in Montreal joined the union.


For further information: For further information: Shell Sweeney, PSAC Regional Organizer, Cell: (416) 580-1259; Hassan Husseini, PSAC Regional Political Communications Officer, Cell: (416) 200-9072

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