We are writing to you in the capacity of President and Vice-President (Postdoctoral Scholars) of Public Service Alliance of Canada Local 901, representing over 1,600 Teaching Assistants, Teaching Fellows and Postdoctoral Scholars at Queen’s University.
Postdocs are highly trained research professionals who provide their considerable expertise to academic research labs performing the majority of research in Canada. Unionizing and joining PSAC local 901 has brought many benefits to Postdocs at Queen’s University.
- Queen’s University Postdocs are employees, not contractors, something many
Postdocs at other universities still strive for. As employees we benefit from
employment insurance, CPP and standard parental leave. These programs provide
an invaluable safety net.
- Like the other employees at Queen’s University, Postdocs (and their families) are
automatically enrolled in employer paid Health, Drug and Dental benefits. We also
have access to an Employee Assistance Program and a pension plan.
- Queen’s Postdocs have standard contracts with the employer and a minimum salary.
- A supported, standard grievance procedure ensures that our grievances are taken
seriously by the employer.
- Our collective agreement protects our Intellectual Property rights.
- The PSAC local 901 Childcare Bursary reimburses our members with up to $500 of
childcare expenses per semester.
- We have a supportive community that is working hard on increasing the profile and
well-being of our Postdoc population.
- We continue to fight to improve employment legislation for Postdocs on a provincial
and federal level.
With the full support and guidance of PSAC, we are now negotiating for an even better
second collective agreement:
- At Queen’s University, the vast majority of employees, other than Postdocs, receive
childcare benefits, with faculty members receiving in excess of $2000/year/child. We
are fighting for the same benefits.
- We are negotiating for an increase in our minimum salary, as well as yearly
- It is very difficult to find a family doctor for our Postdocs while they live in Kingston.
We are thus bargaining for guaranteed access to a family doctor.
We stand in solidarity with PSAC local 610 at Western University and commend your
commitment and perseverance in fighting for better working conditions, fairness and dignity
for your Postdocs.
Craig Berggold, MA (President)
Silja Freitag, PhD
(Vice President Postdoctoral Scholars)