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Bargaining for new Unit A Collective Agreement (temporary full/part-time employees)
As of 11:59PM November 2nd, the strike status is lifted for casual workers at AMUSE.
Background: On October 20th, your union held a Special General Assembly to discuss the current status of negotiations with the university, which have been ongoing for a year and a half.
We discussed proposals submitted by the union in the course of negotiations which included detailed, pragmatic, pathways to make right the numerous systemic problems with wages, working conditions, and job classifications of temporary jobs on campus. We also discussed the obstacles McGill University, in its role as employer, has placed in the way of proposed reforms.
At the end of our Assembly we took a vote about whether to give the union a mandate to take strike action up to and including a general strike.
The results of the Strike Vote: 82% In favor of strike action up to and including a general strike.
Some of Our Key Priorities
1. Recognize the contribution of casual employees as equal to other employees
2. Ensure no worker is left behind due to misclassification
3. Create a path to permanency
4. Increase wages for casual workers
5. Fight back against casualization and create better job security for our members
6. Make Work Study work for students
7. Build a Stronger Union
Most recently, we put our monetary demands on the table for McGill’s consideration in negotiations. It includes major changes, such as job titles for all casuals and a minimum wage above $15 for our members. The current minimum is $10.85. We will hear back from the University on October 14, 2016 with their response to our position. If their response is not favourable to our membership, we will have to work together as a union to come up with alternatives and take action to support the priorities that we have voted on in 2015 and 2016 at our General Assemblies. If you have not been involved before, now is the time to join the fight!
We are also fighting for some non-monetary issues including language about communication with the Work Study office, posting for work-study positions, and McGill ID Cards for non-student casuals. Did You Know?
▪ The Work Study office is not at all involved in the hiring process or HR processes, so they would not know if, for example, the rate of pay for a project was under the minimum
▪ Work Study jobs currently do not have to be posted, meaning that students with financial need cannot find jobs easily on campus
▪ Work Study employees do not have priority for jobs that they’ve already done, unless they meet a high threshold of hours in their job
A second non-monetary issue that we are dealing with is McGill ID Cards for non-students. Casual employees who do not have student IDs do not get McGill ID cards like all other staff members – e.g.Claire Michela, President of AMUSE, was an employee for two years in one department working full-time and was prohibited from getting an ID card which contravenes McGill’s own security requirements. Our bargaining demand is that non-student casuals have access to ID cards in the same way as all other employees.
So Far We Have Accomplished
Psychological Harassment & Discrimination
↬ Further definitions about what psychological harassment looks like and how the complaint procedure will work. We used more terms to define what discrimination can be based on (Priority 1)
↬ We changed the conditions of the probationary period, so that more people who have the same job for at least one year have the possibility of exiting their probationary period and have priority hiring for other positions in the same hiring unit (Priority 5)
Rests and Meal Periods
↬ We defined clearly the rests and meal periods afforded to all employees provided by Labour Law (Priority 1)
Employment Injury & Health and Safety in the Workplace
↬ We further defined the rights of Employees under the Law (relates to our Priority 1)
↬ This is a new Article that is brief but, importantly, defines training which is already required by law (Priority 1)
↬ A grievance is a formal complaint and it is the institutionalized way that we argue for the rights that are enshrined in the law and collective agreement. We have upped the grievance delays up to 6 months after the incident has occurred instead of 4 months, which will allow you more time to come to us with issues.
Payment of Salary
↬ The employee will get paid within 30 days of the beginning of their contract as per the law
As we continue to bargain for our priorities, we are in conciliation with the University, which means that we are in a formal mediation process the goal of which is to come to an agreement with the mediator’s help. But nothing moves unless we are willing to use our union muscle.
If you would like to help the work along, get in touch with us either by email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or by letting us know on one of our social media pages.
Bargaining for Unit B (Floor Fellows) Collective Agreement
Updates on the Unit B Bargaining process are primarily disseminated to Floor Fellows directly. Should you wish to find out more, please email our VP Floor Fellow and check out the Floor Fellow page here.
Additionally, past bargaining updates can be found here.