Graduate Teaching Assistants

GTAs ratify three-year deal, April 27

Graduate teaching assistants at Western have agreed to a new three-year contract with the university. The 2,000 graduate teaching assistants, members of Public Service Alliance of Canada, Local 610, voted on Thursday and Friday to endorse a tentative agreement the negotiating teams reached on April 20 with the help of a mediator.

Ratification will also require approval from Western’s Board of Governors.

The deal would provide hourly wage increases, as well as non-monetary improvements, and would be retroactive to September 1, 2017. Details of the contract will not be released publicly until after the Board of Governors has had an opportunity to vote.

Graduate teaching assistants are part-time employees who assist professors and undergraduate students in lectures, tutorials, labs, exams and other areas, while also studying towards advanced degrees.

University, Union reach tentative deal for GTAs
April 20, 2018

Western and the Public Service Alliance of Canada, Local 610, have reached a tentative deal which the negotiating teams have jointly agreed to recommend to their respective parties.

Representatives of the University and the Union met with a mediator this week and reached agreement early Friday morning.

Graduate Teaching Assistants will vote on the tentative agreement, which has been recommended by their union, on April 26 and April 27. Ratification would also require approval from Western’s Board of Governors. Details of the tentative contract will not be released publicly until both sides have had an opportunity to vote. 

As has been Western’s commitment throughout the process, exams will continue to take place as scheduled.


Mediation: Update April 16

Negotiators for Western University and Public Service Alliance of Canada, Local 610, which represents the Graduate Teaching Assistants (GTAs), are resuming negotiations, April 18 and 19, with the assistance of a third-party mediator.

Until mediation is completed, the union has agreed not to go on strike. GTAs will continue to perform all duties as outlined in their previous contract.

Unless you receive official notification to the contrary, you should expect no change in the status quo. Specifically,

  • there is no strike or labour action at this time;
  • exams are proceeding as scheduled;
  • undergraduates are expected to attend those exams;
  • Graduate Teaching Assistants with proctoring and marking duties will continue with those duties; and
  • Graduate students (whether Teaching Assistants or not) are expected to continue with their research and academic responsibilities.


Negotiation Update - Graduate Teaching Assistants (Public Service Alliance of Canada Local 610) - April 14, 2018

Mediator appointed, GTA negotiations to resume

Western University and the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC), Local 610, which represents Graduate Teaching Assistants (GTAs) at Western, have agreed to enlist the services of a mediator, and to resume negotiation on April 18 and 19. A mediator is an independent professional that both sides agree to engage in helping them reach a settlement.

Please continue watching the University’s Contract Negotiations website for the latest information.



Negotiation Update - Graduate Teaching Assistants (Public Service Alliance of Canada Local 610) - April 12, 2018

Graduate Teaching Assistants, who are members of the Public Service Alliance of Canada, Local 610, have rejected Western’s last offer, putting GTAs in a legal position to strike, effective 12:01 a.m. on April 13. 

However, the union, which represents approximately 2,000 GTAs, has not notified the University of its intentions: if or when they plan to strike, or whether they intend some other form of labour disruption. 


Negotiation Update - Graduate Teaching Assistants (Public Service Alliance of Canada Local 610) - March 28, 2018

The negotiating teams representing the University and Graduate Teaching Assistants met for 11 hours on March 27. While we did not reach a settlement, the Union has agreed to bring our last offer to GTA members for a vote on April 11 and 12.

We have resolved many differences that separated our two positions and we remain hopeful Teaching Assistants will ratify this fair last offer.

It remains our hope there will not be a labour disruption. We value the work of GTAs, and we have worked hard towards a reasonable and responsible collective agreement that reflects their employment role and the fiscal realities that exist in the post-secondary sector in the province. See letter from Provost and Vice-President (Academic) Janice Deakin here.

See Provost Janice Deakin’s update letter (.pdf).

Negotiation Update - Graduate Teaching Assistants (Public Service Alliance of Canada Local 610) - March 23, 2018

Today, following a strike vote by members of PSAC 610, we asked that the conciliator who has been working with University and union negotiators file a “no board report” with the provincial Labour Minister. It signals that conciliated talks have so far failed to produce a settlement. It also means neither side may initiate a labour disruption until at least 17 days after that report is filed and approved provincially.

This timeline provides predictability for students as they approach the end of term and prepare for exams.

We are hopeful an agreement can be reached at our next negotiation session on March 27 and continue to work towards a contract that is reasonable and responsible.

See Provost Janice Deakin’s update letter (.pdf).


Negotiation Update - Graduate Teaching Assistants (Public Service Alliance of Canada Local 610) - March 19, 2018

The University and negotiators for approximately 2,000 Graduate Teaching Assistants (GTAs), represented by the Public Service Alliance of Canada Local 610 began collective bargaining on Nov. 22, 2017. To date, 11 bargaining sessions have taken place and another negotiation meeting is scheduled for March 27, 2018. 

PSAC 610 has informed its members they will be taking a strike vote March 19 through March 22. While this does not necessarily mean a strike will take place, the University is preparing for all eventualities.

The University is committed to ensuring undergraduates finish this term, and that grading of papers, assignments, exam writing, and convocation take place as scheduled.

Western wants to achieve a mutually agreeable contract that is reasonable and responsible with the union representing the approximately 2,000 TAs. These teaching assistants currently receive $43.61 an hour and are guaranteed a maximum of 140 hours per term. 

Currently, Western GTAs earn $2.77 more per hour than Ontario GTAs receive on average. Only four universities, three of them in Toronto, provide higher rates to their GTAs. Our offer on the table is also in line with contracts recently negotiated with other employee groups at Western.