PSAC Academic Round Table
On March 25-27, members of your executive participated in the Academic Round Table within the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC). PSAC is growing as a union, and the academic sector is one of the largest. Western TA's were the first academic local to join the PSAC, and is one of three locals within PSAC's Ontario region. The other locals are 901 at Queens, and 555 at University of Ontario Institute of Technology.
The purpose of this meeting was to address concerns within the academic sector, both at the bargaining table, but also in how PSAC can help to better represent academic locals. Aside from the direct purpose of the meeting, it was also useful to meet members at other academic locals across Canada. We learned a lot about what other locals have experienced, in terms of representation within the PSAC, but also in terms of the gains that have been made in other collective agreements.
After what happened last year during TA bargaining, it was interesting to hear from other locals, especially those in Quebec who had gone on strike, and how they managed a strike on a University campus. Of course the goal is to ensure we get a strong collective agreement, and that we don't go on strike, but given our history it is good to be prepared. Building these connections also provides us resources for the future, since it is much easier for us to reach out for advice, and to build internal solidarity with other locals.
We also went into some detail about bargaining, and met with researchers that will be helping us for the upcoming Postdoc bargaining. Queens recently made some decent gains for their Postdocs, and we will be working with them and other locals as we begin to mobilize towards bargaining.
Of course, this is just a brief summary, and there is more details, but we wanted to highlight that we are working with the PSAC to help build a stronger union. That we, as a local, and the rest of the PSAC are continuing to grow and learn. This was the first academic specific meeting with locals from all over Canada, and we hope this becomes an annual event. For more info, we will discuss some of the details at a General Meeting, but you can also visit the PSAC website for their summary.