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AGSEM Newsletter - November 2022

Updated: Jan 9, 2023

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  • Meetings and Events

  • Important Reminders

  • Negotiations, Labor Relations, and Unionization Drive

  • In the Community

Meetings and Events

2SLGBTQ+ Introductory Coffee Hour - November 18

The AGSEM 2SLGBTQ+ Working Group is hosting its first coffee hour this Friday, November 18 at our office, 3641 rue University. Come out, chat, drink coffee, play games, make a puzzle, and eat pastries with your fellow 2SLGBTQIA+ TAs and Invigilators from 11:30am to 1pm!

AGSEM Unit 2 Assembly - November 17

After a year and a half of negotiations, we have a tentative agreement for our next contract. Some highlights include an immediate wage increase to 15.75/hour + 6% vacation pay; regular raises scheduled up to $18/hour + 6% vacation pay by May 1, 2025; and a 15-minute indemnity (extra wage) for working through paid breaks.

This is substantial! But it is not everything that the bargaining team asked for. We went into negotiations asking for bigger improvements to working conditions, including an immediate wage increase to $18/hour.

You, as workers and union members, get to decide whether we accept. It is your contract. It is your working future. Bargaining doesn’t always feel like it is in the hands of the workers. But at a moment like this, the collective discussion and vote decides the path we will take.

Come to the Invigilator Unit Assembly to hear directly from the bargaining team, to discuss our options, and to vote on whether we accept.

Invigilator Unit Assembly details:

Thursday Nov 17, 5:30pm - as late as necessary

Hybrid - on zoom and in person Rutherford 103

Tentative agenda.

RSVP here. RSVP is required to be able to vote.

Dinner provided - let us know about dietary restrictions in the RSVP.

Anyone who has worked as an invigilator in the past twelve months is eligible to attend. Remember to sign your AGSEM membership form!

Please bring a phone or laptop in order to vote. Please wear a mask if you attend in person.

AGSEM Fall General Assembly - November 30

Our Fall 2022 AGSEM General Assembly will be held on Wednesday, November 30th, 5:30pm EST, in hybrid format in Leacock 219 and virtually over Zoom.

The General Assembly is the highest decision-making body of our Union. All AGSEM members are welcome to attend. You are a union member if you have either currently work or have worked as a TA or an Invigilator within the last 12 months.

Registration online to the assembly is necessary to be able to vote, whether you attend in person or online. Dinner will be served. In your RSVP, please indicate whether you plan to attend in person or online, and whether you have any dietary restrictions. RSVP here.

The meeting information and agenda will be sent before the meeting to those who have registered. We will follow up with registrants for whom we do not have a signed AGSEM membership form. At this General Assembly, we want to inform you about what we have done but we also want to hear from you to plan for the months ahead! The agenda will include the following:

  • Mid-year Financial report

  • Executive and Committee reports

  • Motions on which members can vote to adopt or not!

You are also invited to submit any topic of discussion or motion to adopt that you wish, simply by emailing the chair at up to 24 hours before the start of the meeting.

Pre-Bargaining Tabling

The TA Pre-Bargaining committee hosted a mobilization event in the Leacock lobby on November 15th, 2022, and will host an event in the Macdonald-Stewart Foyer (Macdonald Campus) on November 18th, 2022 from 10 am to 4 pm. If you are interested in giving feedback to improve provisions in the current TA collective agreement, feel free to drop in, and grab some granola bars!

Mapping your Workplace

The Organizing committee of the Industrial Union of Workers - Montréal (IWW-SITT) is inviting all workers to a workshop on how to do the social and physical mapping of our workspaces. Mapping workplaces is an important tool for effective organizing. The workshop is at their union office at 3340 Ontario St. East (near Prefontaine and Joliette metro stations). Register and read more information about the event here.

Movie Night: Pride - December 1

Wrap up the term with hot chocolate, sweet treats, a gay union movie, and new union pals!

Event starts at 6:30pm, movie screening at 7:00pm.

Tea, hot chocolate, and sweet treats on us!

"Pride is a 2014 British historical comedy-drama film written by Stephen Beresford and directed by Matthew Warchus. Based on a true story, the film depicts a group of lesbian and gay activists who raised money to help families affected by the British miners' strike in 1984, at the outset of what would become the Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners campaign. It was screened as part of the Directors' Fortnight section of the 2014 Cannes Film Festival, where it won the Queer Palm award. The film was nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy and for the BAFTA for Best British Film, Best Actress in a Supporting Role for Imelda Staunton and for Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director or Producer."

Important Reminders

Payroll and Workday

If you are working as a TA or Invigilator, you are paid by direct deposit biweekly on Thursdays (see the pay schedule here).

If you are a TA, your contract is averaged over the length of your contract (usually a semester). You do not need to fill out a timesheet on Workday to get paid. Since your pay is averaged over the semester, it is up to you to keep track of the hours you are working and inform your supervisor if you are at risk of working over your hours. We have prepared a few resources to help you keep track of your hours on our website.

If you are an Invigilator, you will need to submit timesheets of the hours you work on Workday.

As a TA, you should receive your pay within 30 days of starting work. If you have not received any pay yet, something may be wrong. Please contact us at as soon as possible.

You Must be Paid for ALL Mandatory Training

All Invigilators should receive training before the first time they work in a hiring unit for each semester. Under Article 13.06 of the Invigilator Collective Agreement, you must be paid for any mandatory training attended by you as an invigilator. This also includes the Employee program of the “It Takes All of Us” Sexual Violence Prevention training, if you have not been paid for this training as part of different employment at McGill.

Under Article 11.02.02 of the TA Collective Agreement, any course-specific training required by the Course Supervisor shall be paid. If you are a new TA, this includes the mandatory one hour of TA training outlined in 13.06.01. This also includes the Employee program of the “It Takes All of Us” Sexual Violence Prevention training. All hours for required training should be accounted for on the Workload Form that you fill out with your supervisor at the start of term. Track your hours throughout the semester to make sure you do not work above your contract!

If you are a first-time TA this Fall, you were entitled to earn an additional three hours of pay at the TA rate (that is, on top of your current TA contract—these hours should not be listed on your Workload Form). You will receive this compensation by completing at least three hours of the SKILLSETS New TA Training. Your right to this paid training is outlined in Article 16.06.02 of the Collective Agreement. If you attended the SKILLSETS workshops as a new TA, check your pay stubs on Workday to ensure that you received your compensation.

If you have any questions about training as a TA or Invigilator, please contact us at

Sign your AGSEM Membership Form!

We are happy to announce that Teaching Assistants and Invigilators can now fill out their AGSEM membership form online. You can sign your form here. Remember to sign and submit a membership form for each semester that you work! Please note, if you work as a Teaching Assistant and an Invigilator you must submit two membership forms, one for each respective position.

Negotiations, Labor Relations, and Unionization Drive

Invigilator Negotiations

The Invigilator Bargaining Committee and McGill have reached a tentative bargaining agreement with McGill. The Committee is now preparing a report on their activities and a comprehensive presentation on the agreement that will be presented at the November 17 Invigilator Assembly. RSVP for the meeting here.

TA Pre-Bargaining Update

The TA Pre-Bargaining Committee prepared a survey to get feedback from members to set bargaining goals. The survey responses are accepted till midnight of December 7th, 2022. We encourage members to fill the survey, and enter into a lucky draw for CAD $25 and CAD $50 VISA gift cards. If you have any questions, and suggestions for pre-bargaining, feel free to contact:

Unionization Drive for Academic Support Workers

As you probably know by now, we are in the process of unionizing all non-unionize part-time academic workers at McGill. It has been going on for more than two years now and a vote finally happened during the month of September but we are still waiting for the results. We will keep you posted on the next step as soon as we know the results of the vote!

Please email us at if you have any comments or questions.

In the Community

McGill Law Professors Unionize

After a year of legal battles, the Association of McGill Professors of Law (AMPL) has been certified as a union. This means that law professors have the ability to collectively negotiate their working conditions. AMPL is the first faculty-specific union at the university, and the first union representing professors at McGill.

AMPL joins 14 certified academic and non-academic unions at the university, and their certification only makes the community of McGill workers stronger and more united. As an union of academic workers, the Association of Graduate Students Employed at McGill (AGSEM) Executive Committee extends its heartiest congratulations to the Association of McGill Professors of Law on their certification as an exclusive bargaining unit, and looks forward to collaborating on common issues affecting both unions. Read our full statement here.

Rolls Royce Lockout Ends

After a five-and-a-half month lockout, the 530 members of the Syndicat des travailleuses et travailleurs de Rolls-Royce Canada (STTRRC-CSN) decided by a vote of 62% to accept a conciliator’s report and signed a new collective agreement. Their new contract includes a wage increase of 25%, with a $5,500 signing bonus. While there were some concessions, including a transition to a less defined pension plan in the future, the resilience of the STTRRC-CSN demonstrated the power of solidarity and direct action for workers’ rights.

On August 3, the STTRRC-CSN held a demonstration with over 200 workers walking from the Palais de Congrès to Premier François Legault’s Montreal office across from the Roddick Gates. The AGSEM Executive Committee stood in solidarity with the locked out workers that day and AGSEM made a contribution of $300 to the union from our Mutual Aid Fund. Read more about the lockout here.

Ontario Education Worker Strike

On November 4th, 2022, thousands of Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) members hit the picket lines in Ontario in what was the first day of an indefinite illegal job action. CUPE voted for a strike mandate after the parties failed to reach an agreement in collective bargaining negotiations.

In response to CUPE’s legal strike mandate, Doug Ford’s Conservative provincial government passed back-to-work legislation that invoked the “notwithstanding” clause, which imposed contracts on CUPE education workers. This made any strike action illegal with hefty fines and removed any ability for the union to challenge this legislation in court. Invoking the notwithstanding clause along with back-to-work legislation is unprecedented in Canadian labour history, and marks an attack on fundamental and constitutionally-protected rights to collectively bargain and strike.

CUPE’s direct action worked, forcing Ford’s Conservative government to back down on their application of Law 28 and return to the negotiation table, once again demonstrating the power of direct action. Solidarity! Read the AGSEM Executive statement on the strike here.

Get Involved

Would you like to get involved in your union? Contact if you are interested in becoming an AGSEM delegate or a member of an existing committee or working group for the 2022-23 academic year. If you have ideas for events, projects, a new working group, or how we can better support you in your role as a worker we want to hear from you!

If you have any questions, concerns, or comments, please contact us at

Your Executive, Bargaining, and Unionization Drive Committees


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