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Key Facts

The Association of Graduate Students Employed at McGill (AGSEM) is a union that represents teaching assistants and invigilators (exam proctors) at McGill University. Certified in 1993, it is one of Canada’s oldest teaching assistant unions. 

AGSEM represents more than 2000 teaching support workers divided into two units: Unit 1, for teaching assistants, and Unit 2 for invigilators. AGSEM is presently engaged in a campaign to unionize graders and other casual teaching support workers that do similar work to that of teaching assistants but are not currently protected by a collective agreement. 

AGSEM is directly affiliated to the Fédération nationale des enseignantes et des enseignants du Québec (FNEEQ), itself a part of the Confédérations des syndicats nationaux (CSN).

AGSEM operates on a principle of direct democracy. Its membership, through the General Assembly, is sovereign.

McGill’s teaching assistants have been without a collective agreement since June 30th 2018. 

AGSEM has been negotiating with the employer since September 2018, and has the following mandates as voted on by its members: 

  • Address the issue of overwork by increasing the resources McGill devotes to teaching support.

  • Reduce the pay gap between McGill teaching assistants and other comparable institutions. Although Maclean’s magazine has ranked McGill as the top university in Canada for the second year in a row and enjoys the second highest operating budget in the country, McGill teaching assistants are still paid far less than their counterparts at the University of Calgary, Western University (London, ON), the University of Waterloo, or McMaster University (Hamilton, ON). 

  • Institute improved protections against sexual violence and harassment in the workplace. 

Thus far McGill has failed to address our members’ concerns on these broad issues and negotiations are ongoing. 


Press Releases

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Press Contact

For all information and interview requests, please contact:


Kiersten van Vliet  

President of AGSEM


Useful Links



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Association of Graduate Students Employed at McGill

The Association of Graduate Students Employed at McGill (AGSEM) was accredited in 1993 to represent Teaching Assistants at McGill, making us the oldest TA Union in the province. Invigilators joined AGSEM in 2010 and Course Lecturers in 2011. Course lecturers have since separated into the McGill Course Lecturers and Instructors Union (MCLIU).


Phone: 514-398-2582

3641 rue University, suite 207
Montréal, Québec H3A 2B3

*Please note that our office is unfortunately not wheelchair accessible, and due to the pandemic, we are not currently in-office. Send an email, and we will get back to you with an online meeting time and date!

© 2019 by The Association of Graduate Students Employed at McGill.