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PSAC Local 610
University of Western Ontario
1313 Somerville House
London, ON  N6A 3K7

General Inquiries:
519.661.4137 (p)
519.850.2998 (f)
psac610@psac610.ca

Office Hours:
Monday- Friday: 10am - 2pm

View complete PSAC610 Personnel Contact Information Here.


 

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A Message to Postdocs from the Current and Former Presidents of PSAC Local 610

Friends,

On December 8th Postdoctoral Fellows at Western University will vote on ratification of the first tentative agreement between the bargaining team of Local 610 of the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC), representing Postdocs, and employer, Western University. We the undersigned urge you to vote “Yes” to the tentative agreement on December 8th.

 

Our bargaining team negotiated to ensure that the first contract meets the demands and interests of postdoctoral scholars at Western as we continue to live in a time of austerity and precarity. PDFs have employee status as per the certificate ordered by the Ontario Labour Relations Board after PDFs voted overwhelming in a Board ordered representation vote to be represented by PSAC. We have been able to achieve some substantial gains in the tentative agreement, including:

1) increasing the minimum salary floor to $33,000  (previously, for Postdoctoral Associates, the floor was $31,850);
2) an annual wage increase of 1.25% in the first two years and 1% in the third year of the agreement;
3) health benefits – all Postdocs will be entitled to a health spending account of $1400/year (previously, for Postdoctoral Associates, the health spending account was $1200) and any amount not used for health care can be used for professional development purposes.

Postdoctoral fellows gained status as full time employees as a result of an overwhelming vote in favour of unionization in December 2015.  The tentative agreement confirms the rights of Postdocs against any arbitrary decision by the employer in hours of work and overtime, discipline and discharge, academic freedom, health and safety, and professional expenses and facilities. In case of a layoff because of reasons beyond the control of the supervisor, the researcher and the union will henceforth enjoy the rights to call for mediation and arbitration. Furthermore, the postdocs will be able to access Employment Insurance in case of layoff or maternity leave pay, which was not the case before the formation of the union. Moreover, every postdoctoral scholar is entitled to be part of CPP (Canadian Pension Plan) where both the employee and employer contribute.

Although we did not get everything we wanted in the tentative agreement, significant gains have been made.  We tried our best to gain more at the bargaining table and, as in any labour-employer bargaining situation, we ended up somewhere in the middle.  We, the past and the present presidents of PSAC Local 610, believe that no bargaining negotiation is an end in itself. Instead, it sets the stage for future struggles: higher pay, more benefits and better job conditions. We believe that this agreement helps us to fight for our rights in a more organized and united way. Previously we did not have a platform to fight injustice, now we have a union that can address your work related issues. And this is just the beginning.  By voting “Yes”, we believe you and your cohorts will pave the way for better pay, benefits and work conditions for all Western postdoctoral scholars today and in the future.

In Solidarity,
Jaime R. Brenes Reyes
PSAC 610 President (2016-17)

Indranil Chakraborty
PSAC 610 President (2015-16)

David Blocker
PSAC 610 President (2013-15)

PSAC610 / SOGS COMMON INFO:

A significant portion of our members are also members of the University of Western Ontario Society of Graduate Students.