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Letter to the employer: Agreement regarding s. 109.1 ss. c of the Labour Code


2024-03-24 - Letter Regarding the Employer's Application of 109.1 c
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24 March 2024

Mrs. Diana Dutton

Interim Vice-President (Administration and Finance) McGill University


Object: Agreement regarding s. 109.1 ss. c of the Labour Code


 

Mrs. Dutton,


Recently, the McGill administration has suggested that graduate Teaching Assistants who also hold other forms of employment on campus (i.e., Research Assistants, Course Lecturers, Invigilators, AMUSE-Casuals, graders, etc.) will invariably be suspended or terminated from their other positions should TAs go on strike, as stated in the document entitled “Frequently asked questions Labour dispute AGSEM – TAs”.


However, it should be noted that the Quebec Labour Code (RLRQ c C-27) allows the Employer and AGSEM to come to an agreement allowing Teaching Assistants who also hold other jobs at the university to continue non-TA positions. The Labour Code states that:


109.1. For the duration of a strike declared in accordance with this Code or a lock-out, every

employer is prohibited from

[...]

c. utilizing, in an establishment where a strike or lock-out has been declared, the services of an employee who is a member of the bargaining unit then on strike or locked out unless

i. an agreement has been reached for that purpose between the parties, to the extent that the agreement so provides, and, in the case of an institution contemplated in section 111.2, unless the agreement has been approved by the Tribunal;

[...]


Dismissing TAs who work other unrelated positions at the university such as RAs, Course Lecturers, Invigilators, AMUSE-Casuals, and graders, etc, would be exceptionally disruptive for all parties, including the employer.


It is AGSEM’s opinion that these jobs are essential to the learning and research mission of the university. Terminating or suspending individuals in these positions because a separate employee group decided to go on a legal strike would negatively impact the quality of education and work on campus.


Furthermore, these jobs provide essential income to graduate students and it would be unduly cruel to dismiss them from these jobs when there are mechanisms within the Quebec Labour Code to keep these graduate students employed. We have a growing list of TAs who are understandably upset that their employer would consider terminating or suspending their employment in other positions when it could come to an agreement to prevent this eventuality.


In writing this letter, AGSEM is making every effort to protect its members from additional hardship and will use all available means to ensure an agreement is made with the administration that allows our members to keep working their regular duties in their other positions at the university for the duration of the TA strike.


Should the employer decide that such a turbulent disruption is necessary, let us be clear that this decision rests solely with the employer. AGSEM stands ready along with fellow unions the Association of McGill University Research Employees (AMURE), the Association of McGill University Support Employees (AMUSE), the McGill Course Lecturers & Instructors Union (MCLIU), and the McGill University Non-Academic Certified Association (MUNACA) to negotiate an agreement that protects graduate students, professors’ working conditions, and the delivery of education.


Sincerely,


Mario Roy

President, Association of Graduate Students Employed at McGill (AGSEM)



c.c.

Francis Desjardins, Director, Labour and Employee Relations

Étienne Clark Labour & Employee Relations Advisor

Yolande E. Chan, Dean Desautels Faculty of Management

Elham Emami, Dean, Faculty of Dental Medicine and Oral Health Sciences

Lesley Fellows, Dean,Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences

Sean Ferguson, Dean, Schulich School of Music

Valérie Orsat, Acting Dean, Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences

Robert Leckey, Dean, Faculty of Law

Bruce Lennox, Dean, Faculty of Science

Lisa Shapiro, Dean, Faculty of ArtsVictoria Talwar, Interim Dean, Faculty of Education

Carola Weil, Dean, School of Continuing Studies

Viviane Yargeau, Dean, Faculty of Engineering

Raad Jassim, President, McGill Course lecturers and Instructors Union (MCLIU)

Dennis Wendt, President, Association of McGill Professors of Education

Evan Fox-Decent, President, Association of McGill Professors of Law

Sean Cory, President, Association of McGill University Research Employees (AMURE)

Harlan Hutt, President, Association of McGill University Support Employees (AMUSE)

Sophie Hough-Martin, President (Acting), McGill University Non-Academic Certified Association (MUNACA)




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