The Association of Graduate Students Employed at McGill (AGSEM) is the oldest Teaching Assistant Union in the province of Quebec. As a labour union, AGSEM represents TAs and Invigilators at McGill. AGSEM has bargained with the McGill administration to produce TA and Invigilator Collective Agreements, which are legal documents that protect student workers.
We believe collective action can improve working conditions and, consequently, educational outcomes.
On January 11th, 1993, AGSEM was certified as a union to represent Teaching Assistants and to negotiate a collective bargaining agreement (CBA) with McGill University. AGSEM Unit 1 is the Union of Teaching Assistants.
Today, we continue to fight for better working conditions and pay rates for Teaching Assistants. We are dedicated to improving the quality of education at McGill for both graduate and undergraduate students by advocating for increased teaching support and student services.
Invigilators at McGill were accredited as a union in March 2010, after a successful vote (94%) in favour of unionizing. We signed our first collective agreement on October 7, 2013. AGSEM Unit 2 is the Union of Invigilators at McGill University.
In March 2013 Invigilators decided to join the Executive Committee structure, Budget and Delegate Council with those of AGSEM Unit 1 (Teaching Assistants). The highest decision-making body of our Unit is our Unit General Assembly where every invigilator has a vote and a voice. All decisions related to bargaining are made at the Invigilator General Assembly, which is why it is so important for all members to come out and join in the discussion.
AGSEM is an autonomous union affiliated with the CSN, FNEEQ and CCMM. Unlike other labour organizations, these are not “parent unions”: all decision-making takes place at the local level. Our highest decision-making body is the General Assembly, where every member has an equal vote and right to speak.
The Union subscribes to the declaration of principles of the CSN and has as its objectives the examination and improvement of the social, professional, economic and political interests of its members. These goals shall be pursued collectively and include negotiating Collective Agreements, precluding any form of discrimination based on race, sex, language, age, political opinion or affiliation, religion, sexual orientation, social class, ethnicity, or physical or mental disability. The Union shall also seek to ally itself with similar union organizations.