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

General Inquiries:
519.661.4137 (p)
519.850.2998 (f)

Fall/Winter Office Hours:
Monday - Friday: 9am - 2pm
Office Closed from
11:45am to 12:15pm Daily

View complete PSAC610 Personnel Contact Information Here.


Socialize with Us

PSAC Facebook Link     PSAC Twitter Link


Sign Your Union Card!

Become a member in good standing simply by signing your blue union card every academic year. You must sign your union card in order to be eligible for union benefits, vote, etc. The blue union cards are available in the office.

It's Your Union...Get Involved!

Become a steward and/or join a committee!


Strike FAQ

 Strike/Lockout Q&A Regarding UWOFA


Picket Lines


  1. How will UWOFA communicate with us about picket lines?


Our Local Executive Committee Officers are speaking directly to the President and members of UWOFA and we will continue to communicate going forward in person, by email/text, social media etc. for ongoing updates. As we get more information and as we get closer to the strike date, we will communicate to our membership on our website, by email etc. In addition, PSAC Ontario REVP, Sharon DeSousa is working directly with PSAC’s legal department and our Local 610 to give us assistance and guidance, as is our assigned PSAC Regional Representative. Also, see #4 below.


  1. How do we determine how to interact with the UWOFA picket lines?


We will work with UWOFA to develop a strike protocol for engaging with picketers, entering and exiting the premises etc., physically and/or virtually. There are six main entrances for picketing locations (Richmond Main Gates, Western and Sarnia, Western and Elgin, Western and Lambton, Western and Wellington, and Sunset Drive at Huron St.) and UWOFA will give us guidance as per their plans.  Be absolutely respectful when interacting with UWOFA members, Strike and Picket Captains. We encourage our members to join the picket line on their free time to show UWOFA our solidarity.


  1. Can we stand with them on the picket line without repercussions?


Yes, absolutely.  It is our legal right to associate with and support UWOFA on our free time, as per the Ontario Labour Relations Act that governs both this employer, our union, as well as UWOFA.  We have the legal right and freedom to associate as per the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. 


  1. To what extent can we refuse to cross the picket lines?


First it is our hope that the employer will cancel all classes if UWOFA is out on strike and that all students would support UWOFA by not using the services provided by the university or completing their course work, either electronically or otherwise.


Both PSAC GTA Union members, and PSAC Post Doc members have current collective agreements, which do not expire until Aug. 31, 2020 and Dec. 31, 2019 respectively. This means we are not in a strike position and therefore cannot refuse to cross the picket line if we are assigned to work.


Although it is our hope that the employer cancels classes, if the employer insists that our work continues we are obligated to work. We will share the strike protocol between PSAC and UWOFA as soon as it is developed. Should you have questions when you reach the picket line you can speak to a strike or picket captain. You can also contact our Local President, Katelyn Mitri or any other PSAC Local 610 Executive Officer for additional guidance. 


  1. Is there any way the University can punish us for not crossing the picket lines?


Yes, there can be repercussions by the university if you are required to work by the employer. However, we are free to walk the picket line during non-working hours and we encourage all members to do so.




  1. If classes are cancelled do we still have to teach tutorials?


The continuation of tutorials will be on a case-by-case basis and will depend on the course the TA teaches. In some classes, tutorial work would not be feasible without the course instructor, however, some tutorials may continue without the course instructor.


  1. What kind of work can we refuse to do if asked by the employer?


Each TA member has a Duty Specification Agreement which outlines your job descriptions. If you are asked to do any work that would normally be done by your Supervisor, Professor or Department Head who are members of UWOFA, we ask that you get in touch with a Local Executive member immediately following to file a grievance. 


For our Postdoctoral Fellows members, you can refuse to do any work that is performed by UWOFA members, as this protection is clearly stated in your Collective Agreement. Section 9.03 of your Collective Agreement states that you have the right to decline work of striking or locked out UWOFA members. Please cite this article for filing grievances, should you be asked to perform such duties.


  1. In the case that the strike extends to winter term, how will the lack of duty specification agreements affect what we can or cannot do if asked by the employer?


Unfortunately, there is no clear answer at this time. We expect that the employer will assess contracts case-by-case.


  1. Is there any way the strike can affect our pay?


No. The employer is committed to paying out the full amount of funding allocated towards TAships even if the full 140 hours per term is not worked.


  1. If my contract expires during the UWOFA strike and is not renewed, do I still need to complete my 140 hours of work once they return to work?


No. After your contract has expired, you will not be required to do extra duties or hours of work.



  1. Can my duties change during the UWOFA strike?


Your DSA are the duties that have been assigned to you.  If the employer asks you to do the work of a UWOFA member, state that you object and the reason for your objection (i.e. invoke your DSA if a GTA or Art. 9.03 if a PDF), and if the direction to perform that work is confirmed by the employer, comply with the direction by performing those duties but then initiate a grievance at your first opportunity.




  1. Will a strike affect pay/benefits?


No. Your pay/benefits will not be affected by the strike of another employee group.



  1. How will a strike affect my ability to do research?


Our research can continue provided that we respect the UWOFA picket line protocols.


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