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TA Bargaining Update, October 3, 2019, or "I can't believe we are still negotiating this s***"

On Oct. 3, we continued negotiations on Article 6, which deals with sexual harassment and discrimination. We submitted a proposal that we think will resolve the deadlock that has kept us from moving forward for the past few months. Our counter proposal attempts to address the principles of the mandate given to us by the membership, which includes

  • Prevention of sexual harassment in the context of the workplace,

  • Making sure that McGill adheres to the survivor-focused, trauma-informed principles that students fought so hard for in the University's Sexual Violence policy

  • Means to clearly and directly address those who have authority over us in the workplace about what is and what is not respectful, professional conduct.

We have offered a counter proposal that would create collaborative approaches between McGill and the union when it comes to responding to concerns about harassment. Our proposal respects the existing policies and regulations at McGill, while giving the union more oversight and participation in terms of how these policies are applied to our Bargaining Unit. We are also close to reaching an agreement about setting up clear procedures for disability accommodations.

We were not able to receive a concrete response from the University, and were stalled again as McGill's negotiators reiterated their refusal to define the deadline to file a grievance regarding harassment in the CA. The ambiguity and confusion this would entail for survivors presents yet another institutional barrier to survivors seeking recourse for harassment and discrimination. We find that the principles that the University repeatedly espouses are absent from their bargaining position with student workers. We get one message from the senior administration, and another from their representatives at the table. We hope this is a misunderstanding that the University will finally resolve after 6 months of bargaining on this article.

Next up: Negotiations on Oct. 10, 10:00-2:00.

The TA Assembly is right before the General Assembly on October 16 (5:30 in Arts 215 West). The BC will bring several options to the members to determine our next step forward.


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