University of Alberta Bargaining update

Significant Progress in GSA Negotiations

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Significant Progress in GSA Negotiations

The GSA Negotiating Team met with the University of Alberta team on August 29th and 31st for its third
session of negotiations. The GSA team is pleased to report it made significant progress in negotiations
of non-monetary issues during this session. The team made so much progress, in fact, that at the end of
the session we tabled our monetary proposals.

The GSA team reached agreement on 11 articles and appendices, several of them completely new.

Agreement on amendments to existing articles:

• Article 5 – Collective Bargaining – mirroring the Alberta Labour Relations Code on notice to
bargain provisions

• Article 22 – Safety, Health and Wellness – employees can file a complaint under the employer’s
Discrimination and Harassment Policy and/or file a grievance. Timelines for Discrimination and
Harassment grievances extended to 12 months from the incident.

• Article 24 – Dispute Resolution - clarified timelines and improved language on grievances

• Article 6 – Appointments – clarified that copies of the signed Letter of Appointment or signed
amended letters will be sent to the Graduate Assistant

• Appendix A – Letter’s of Appointment will contain a statement indicating that members can
share them with the GSA

Agreement on new articles:

• Union Dues – new article reflecting existing practice on dues collection

• Information – new article providing the GSA with information on its members at the end of each

• Holidays – new article listing designated holidays and providing that Graduate Assistants cannot
be required to work on a holidays or any day the university is closed. Also language providing
process for observing other religious holidays.

• Workplace Accommodation – new article referencing the university policy and committing the
parties to take a collaborative approach to workplace accommodations

• Safe Disclosure – new article referencing university policy and providing protection from

• Leave for Tradition Indigenous Practices – new article providing 5 unpaid days per calendar year
to engage in traditional indigenous practices, including hunting, fishing, harvesting, and

The team also made substantial progress on other issues, though we have not yet reached agreement
on them. Significant outstanding issues include Academic Conference Leave, Vacation, and pay in lieu of

As indicated, in our last meeting with the University, the GSA team tabled its monetary package, which
you will find attached to this communication. The GSA’s monetary demands reflect the fact that
members have not received general economic increases over the last two collective agreements, as well
as the fact that inflation is likely to have a significant impact on our members over the next three years.

While dates have yet to be established for the next bargaining session with the University, we will be
aiming for another meeting by mid-October. We will provide another update at that time.
Thank you for your continuing support and solidarity. You are our strength at the table!

In solidarity,
Your GSA Negotiating Team
Hiren Kaklotar (GSA VP-Labour)
Josephine Bolaji (GSA Team Member)
Dayton Chen (GSA Team Member)
Erika Heiberg (GSA Associate Director)
Mathew Ashworth (PSAC Rep)
Rachel Stark (PSAC Rep)
Silja Freitag (PSAC Researcher)
John Eustace (PSAC Negotiator)