Student employees at the Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières say yes to unionization
Almost 80% of the some 500 student employees at the Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières (UQTR) have voted in favour of unionizing. Following the application for certification filed by the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) on August 5, 2010, the Commission des relations de travail (CRT) in Quebec held a vote from January 28 to February 25, 2011 to gauge the willingness of UQTR employees to join the union. The votes were counted in the offices of the Quebec CRT on March 1.
“We had a lot of catching up to do in comparison with our colleagues in other universities, and now that we are organized, we will be able to improve our salaries and working conditions in general. For the first time, student employees at the university will be able to sit down with management to address the various problems we experience during the course of our work,” said Hugo Loranger, a master’s student involved in the organizing campaign.
The vast majority of UQTR students work as research and teaching assistants (correctors, exam supervisors, etc.). Others work in the university’s auxiliary services such as the sports centre, the International School of French and IT teaching support.
Ashley Petrin, who headed the organization campaign, pointed out that students were very receptive and very open to the idea of organizing when the idea was raised to them. “Student work is very precarious, and many students have told us about problems of unpaid hours worked and the recognition of their contribution to research. They also experience other difficulties on the outside, because their salaries do not keep pace with the cost of living.” “We are pleased to welcome these new members to our union,” added Jérôme Turcq, the Regional Executive Vice President for PSAC in Quebec.
PSAC represents more than 20,000 people in the university sector in Quebec on the campuses of the Université du Québec à Montréal, Université de Montréal, Concordia University, Université Laval, Université de Sherbrooke, McGill University, Université du Québec à Chicoutimi and the Université du Québec en Outaouais.
Union representative - Organization
Date Modified : 2011/03/03