SSJC Letter of Solidarity with AGSEM’s Campaign to Unionize Teaching Support Workers at McGill University

The Solidarity & Social Justice Committee of the Teaching Support Staff Union (TSSU) stands in solidarity with The Association for Graduate Students Employed at McGill (AGSEM) in their campaign to unionize teaching support workers at McGill University.

As unionized workers ourselves we recognize the vital importance of unions in academia, where precariousness, insecurity, and exploitation run rampant. A union would entitle teaching support workers to basic protections and rights, advocacy and grievance procedures, and protections for medical and parental leave, among other important benefits.

We further recognize the uneven unionization currently in place at McGill – with some teaching support workers enjoying unionization while others are left without – which creates a troubling hierarchy between people doing similar or nearly identical work. As such, we agree with AGSEM in their belief “that teaching support workers at McGill should receive the same benefits and protections of unionized teaching assistants and invigilators, and that the absence of these benefits and protections presents many serious threats to the protection of all teaching labour at McGill.”

The work performed by teaching support workers at McGill is critical to its functioning and must be recognized as such. We encourage eligible workers to join AGSEM to further the goal of union certification. Moreover, we call on McGill Administration to not interfere with the unionization drive and, when the time comes, bargain fairly and in good faith with AGSEM in their role as the agent for teaching support staff at McGill.

In solidarity,

Solidarity & Social Justice Committee

Teaching Support Staff Union

ssjc@tssu.ca