PSAC reaches collective agreement

File photo. Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) headquarters building in Ottawa. (m.gifford / Flickr)

In the fall of 2011, the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) began a drive to unionize student workers on campus.  The union drive was successful, and students voted to become PSAC members, forming Local 55601.  On June 25th, 2013, a tentative collective agreement was reached.  This agreement covers research assistants, student assistants, academic residence assistants, student ambassadors, tutors, and all other student employees not covered by existing collective agreements. This tentative agreement was ratified on August 27th and will be in effect from September 1st, 2013 until August 31st, 2016.

The rates of pay mirror the current guidelines and are as follows:

Student Assistant I: $10.75/hour (plus 6% vacation)

Student Assistant II / Research Assistant I: $11.25/hour (plus 6% vacation)

Student Assistant III / Research Assistant II: $12.25/hour (plus 6% vacation)

Student Assistant IV / Research Assistant III: $14.75/hour (plus 6% vacation)

Research Assistant IV: $20.75/hour (plus 6% vacation)


Lump Sum Payment with no hours reported:

Student Resident Assistant: $3500-4000 for Fall and Winter Term

Academic Resident Assistant: $750 for Each of Fall and Winter Term

Spring/Summer Resident Assistant: $750

Resident Council Presidents: $800 per Academic Term

Resident Floor Representatives, Treasurers, and Secretaries: $200 per Academic Term

Effective April 1, 2014, all wage rates and lump sum payments will increase by 2% and effective April 1, 2015, all wage rates and lump sum payments will increase by another 2%.

The new Collective Agreement also describes seniority, grievance procedures, and job posting language.  .966% of wages or lump sum payments earned will be paid in union dues to PSAC and an additional amount to be determined by the local at the next membership meeting will also be paid.  $1/month from will be deduced from students for PSAC’s Strike Fund.

A membership meeting will be held in late September or October to hold formal elections and deal with business, as the Annual General Meeting held on August 26th had incredibly low attendance.

Any questions or comments can be directed to PSAC’s interim President, Carissa Taylor, at

Republished from The Quill print edition, Volume 104, Issue 1, September 4, 2013.