In this initial bargaining round our membership presented key bargaining priorities to ensure RAs have the rights and protections they need:
- maintain a broad definition that covers all types of research work at the University, so that all RAs and grant employees have access to advocacy, employment standards, WorksafeBC, and other basic protections, while also capturing the key points of the different characteristics between student RA positions and “open” RA positions;
- bring transparency by ensuring every RA and grant employee gets an outline of what’s expected of them, what pay rate they will receive, and how many hours they’re being paid. As well, to ensure jobs, outside of those going to the supervisor’s student, are posted on central website;
- protect against key inequities our members face such as bullying and harassment, intellectual property theft, wage theft that occurs for student RAs every time teaching positions go up in pay and RA positions go down by the same amount to offset costs; and have a mechanism for long-service RAs to earn priority for future appointments;
- build a fair wage and benefit floor ensure that every RA and grant employee has a living wage and access to a base level of benefits, including employer paid MSP (international student health fee), and protections of the employment standards act, WorksafeBC, paid training and orientation, etc;
- extend existing TSSU Collective Agreement rights to RAs. This would include already existing human rights and harassment protection, health and safety protections, grievance procedures, childcare fund, intellectual property protections, tuition deferment, and more.
These priorities were developed in light of the fact that the next round of bargaining can commence as soon as November 1, 2021. This means that whatever we achieve at this first round of collective bargaining can be built upon by all TSSU members exercising their collective power at the bargaining table come November!
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