University of Saskatchewan Research Associates Receive Arbitration Award For First Agreement

University of Saskatchewan Research Associates Have Their First Agreement

After many months of hard work, we have finally achieved a first collective agreement.  We are very pleased to have established many protections for Research Associates. 

After arguing our case in arbitration back in October, we now have a final and binding award which establishes your working conditions until October 31, 2024.  Some of the highlights of the agreement include:

  • All members will receive the following wage increases:
    • 5% retroactive to November 1, 2021
    • 75% on November 1, 2022
    • 2% on November 1, 2023
  • The new minimum salary for all RAs is $55,000. Any new hires or contract renewals must be paid at least this new rate – those paid at higher rates can continue to earn that higher rate
  • Benefits and pension are secured and will remain as is. The employer pushed hard to make many reductions to benefits.  They rolled back the benefits of many other non-unionized workers.  Our fight kept our benefits as is.  If not for unionization, our benefit entitlements would have been reduced.
  • Vacation leave will remain at 6 weeks per year. Again, the employer pushed hard to roll that back to 4 or 5 weeks, depending on years of service.  We fought off that reduction.
  • New paid leaves for sickness, family-related responsibility, bereavement, and many other situations
  • Top-up to 95% of salary for up to 21 weeks while on maternity or parental leave

There are many other positive changes as well in this agreement.  This is the first step in our journey as a union.  We believe that this forms a strong foundation for us and we will continue to work on other improvements in the future, such as increasing job security.