TAs and Postdocs at Western University
All TAs and Postdoctoral Associates at the University of Western Ontario are understood to have specific rights and responsibilities that are defined by Collective Agreement. Through periodic negotiations, the University and PSAC Local 610, establish the Collective Agreement, which defines our working conditions, compensation, and benefits. The Local works to ensure that all the GTAs and PDAs are aware of their rights under this agreement, and that the terms of the agreement are honoured by the Employer. It also provides assistance to individual GTAs and PDAs in instances where the Collective Agreement is violated. Its elected officers represent the membership and act as advocates for GTAs and PDAs both individually and as a whole.
The Local also organizes our resources to provide benefits to our members; for instance, we are able to access extended health care coverage that supplements the Society of Graduate Students plan, and there are several bursaries and scholarships that you may be eligible for.
As well, the Local works with other groups in the University community to promote the concerns of teaching assistants and to ensure that community concerns are reflected in Local’s policies and priorities. We also work in partnership with other progressive and labour-movement organizations in our community to promote social justice and a decent quality of life for all.
PSAC Local 610 is composed solely of us, the Graduate Teaching Assistants (GTAs) and Postdoctoral Associates (Postdocs) of the University of Western Ontario. Although PSAC Local 610 is a Directly Chartered Local of the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC), GTAs and PDAs establish the priorities and policies of the Local. both individually and as a whole.
Why join the Union?
All GTAs and PDAs at Western receive the rights and benefits established in the collective agreement. All GTAs and PDAs have the right to assistance from the Union when required. All GTAs and PDAs pay Union dues. However, not all GTAs and PDAs are members of the Union. Membership in the Union gives a GTA and Postdoc the right to fully participate in Local elections and General meetings. To join the Union one need only sign a union card. Union cards are always available at the PSAC Local 610 office. All GTAs and PDAs are encouraged to join and participate. The Union negotiates and acts on behalf of all GTAs and PDAs. The more GTAs and PDAs who participate, the more accurately will our decisions reflect our collective concerns both individually and as a whole.
How do I contribute?
Sign your union card! Become a department steward! Run for an executive position! Join a local committee! Attend a general meeting! Participating in the Local is an excellent way for GTAs and PDAs to contribute to the community, and gain worthwhile experience. both individually and as a whole.