How to Participate in the Online TA Assembly on September 30

The meeting link will be emailed to everyone who RSVPs on the event page.


AGSEM is working hard to ensure the validity of any legally-binding votes that we hold at this assembly, and RSVPing is an important part of this process. RSVPs mean we have the time to check membership forms, and more securely send out a Zoom link (minimizing the risk of “Zoombombing”). Our top priority is ensuring that TAs can exercise their right to participate in their union democracy. If you know someone who did not RSVP 24hrs before and who wishes to attend this assembly, rather than sharing the meeting link please have them RSVP online as well as contact us as soon as possible at mail@agsem-aeedem.ca, and we will do our absolute best to accommodate them.



How to Participate in the Online Assembly


Note: For easiest participation in the meeting, we strongly recommend that you attend this meeting using a computer rather than a phone.


We will open the meeting at 4:30pm EST, and we encourage you to enter before the scheduled 5:00pm start. We will admit people from the waiting room.


We ask that you change your Zoom profile to your full name, your pronouns, and “V” for voting (eg: Frank Sobotka, he/him - V). If you are a non-voting attendee, please write “Guest” instead of “V”. You don’t need to have your camera on, and you should keep yourself on mute when not speaking. Please reserve the use of the Zoom chat for participating in the meeting.


By 5:00pm EST, we plan to call the meeting to order. It’s okay if you are late and enter after 5pm, but it is helpful to inform us of this beforehand. We will have a team of people taking attendance throughout the meeting in the background in preparation for the secret-ballot ratification vote. If it turns out that you cannot attend the assembly, you do not need to inform us.


The agenda is available here. The most important part of this assembly is the ratification vote for the tentative bargaining agreement that was reached between AGSEM and McGill for a new TA Collective Agreement. This vote will happen following a report and discussion about what is contained in this tentative agreement—that is, what the TA Collective Agreement will become if the assembly votes in favour of ratification.


Under provincial law, the ratification vote must be held by an anonymous secret ballot. All other procedural votes will be held using the Zoom polling feature, and, as in a regular assembly, will not be anonymous to the union (but, unlike an in-person assembly, how an individual votes will be anonymous to the other participants).


Once we reach the secret-ballot vote, we will not admit anyone else into the meeting, and only the people who are in the meeting at the moment we start the vote will receive the ballot by email. This is due to regulations around binding union votes: we must “lock” meetings during a vote (in-person, this looks like no one being allowed inside or outside the room where voting is taking place). We will walk everyone through the process of voting by secret ballot during the meeting, and ensure that everyone receives the emails they need to participate. If you would like to know more, we have also prepared a guide for the secret voting process here.


We anticipate that this secret vote will be held at least 1-1.5 hours into the meeting—possibly later depending on the length of the discussion. Please prepare yourself for a long meeting (bring a snack, stay hydrated!), and do try to stay in the Zoom meeting until we hold the secret vote. If you aren’t present in the meeting once we start the vote, you will not receive a ballot. It is not possible to use a proxy to vote, or vote later, or have an absentee ballot, or use the PGSS voting system (see our FAQ)—this is the law, and it’s cumbersome and inconvenient, but this is an important vote and we need to do it right.


That said, we hope that you bring your questions and your curiosity about the tentative agreement to the assembly. We’re excited to be able to share the results of over two years of negotiations with you!


As always, any questions about participating in the assembly can be directed to Kiersten at president@agsem-aeedem.ca.

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).

Email: mail@agsem-aeedem.ca

Phone: 514-398-2582

515 avenue des Pins, 2ème étage
Montréal, Québec H2W 1S4

*Please note that our office is unfortunately not wheelchair accessible

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