After more than two weeks of strike and an unprecedented web campaign, McGill University floor fellows have reason to celebrate: the Association of McGill University Support Employees (AMUSE-PSAC) has reached a tentative agreement with the employer.
“With a 14.8% wage increase and gains on many of our priorities, the strike will not have been in vain,” said AMUSE-PSAC President James Newman. “This is a significant victory for this group, and we want to thank the many people who signed our support letter.”
The strike began on March 17 after floor fellows voted overwhelmingly in favour of a strike mandate on March 7. AMUSE-PSAC and Unit B floor fellows had been in bargaining for over 18 months. The collective agreement expired in 2020. Negotiations had reached a standstill in recent months as McGill University refused to offer floor fellows a decent rate of pay, provide retroactive pay and adjust its staff meal plan to the current rate.
“This is a big win for our members. I would like to commend the bargaining team for staying the course and not backing down despite the pandemic. This agreement once again emphasizes the importance of engagement and mobilization,” added PSAC-Quebec Regional Executive Vice-President Yvon Barrière.
The AMUSE-PSAC bargaining team unanimously recommends ratification of the new agreement. Details on the ratification vote will follow shortly. If ratified, the agreement will improve working conditions in several ways:
- The hourly rate will increase 14.8% (from $13.50 to $15.50) over the term of the collective agreement.
- Retroactivity: Those who worked in the last academic year will receive $450. Those who worked in 2020-2021 and 2021-2022 will receive $800. This is the first time that this unit receives retroactive pay.
- The amount of the meal plan will be raised from $4,500 to $4,750, a first increase since 2017.
- Macdonald Campus floor fellows will receive $250 on their One Card in lieu of a meal plan.
- Macdonald Campus floor fellows will be paid for 10 hours a week instead of 7.
- Floor fellows will now be able to study part-time. Until now, they were required to be full-time students. This will allow them to adjust their course load if necessary without having to give up their job.
- Floor fellows will now be entitled to guaranteed periods of rest of 36 consecutive hours per week.
- They will be entitled to 3 days of bereavement leave.
- They will now be allowed to invite more than 2 people to their room, which was previously forbidden.
- Floor fellows will be represented on the policy committee.