University of Lethbridge bargaining update #5

More progress at the Bargaining Table

For the most up to date information visit the local website at

The ULGSA Bargaining Team held its fourth bargaining session with the University of Lethbridge on October 25th-27th.  While the Union Team continued to build on advances made during the previous meetings, the pace slowed considerably during this session as the we began negotiating some more difficult issues.

The team did manage to sign off on two important articles and a memorandum of understanding (articles on Collective Bargaining, Management Rights, and an MOU on Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion). However, progress slowed as we began to negotiate provisions around appointments, assignment of duties, and hours of work.

The week began with the University proposing a significant revision of the existing articles on Offers of Appointment and Assignment of Duties by merging them into one article.  While the union team had no issue with merging the two articles, some elements of the proposal tabled by the Employer were problematic. In particular, the Employer wants to expand its right to prorate GA (Teaching) Appointments—that is, deviate from the norm of Full and Half Appointments—and expand the use of casual contracts for Graduate Assistants as part of their funding packages.  While we engaged in discussions with the University to try to better understand their positions on these matters, the Union team has not agreed to these proposals.

The next scheduled bargaining dates are December 13th to 15th.  We hope to make more progress during that bargaining session, but progress may be difficult if the Employer continues to push for concessions that could negatively impact the financial security of our members. We’ll provide another update at that time.

As always, you are our strength at the table.

In solidarity,

Your Graduate Student Employee Bargaining Team

Jackson Ham

Jenn Prosser

Luke Saville

Rachel Stark (PSAC Representative)

Silja Freitag (PSAC Researcher)

John Eustace (PSAC Negotiator)