Polytechnique postdoctoral fellows reach tentative agreement

Just two weeks after reaching a tentative agreement for teaching assistants and demonstrators, the Association pour une Solidarité Syndicale de l’École Polytechnique (ASSEP-PSAC) has reached a tentative agreement for postdoctoral fellows.

After an arduous bargaining process requiring conciliation, ASSEP-PSAC has emerged victorious. The bargaining team achieved its two main goals, namely group insurance and a wage floor increase. 

“We were able to raise the wage floor by 10.1%,” enthused PSAC-Quebec regional representative Alain Lachapelle. “This is the biggest increase ever achieved for a postdoctoral group in Quebec.”

“We were able to secure concessions in areas the employer was extremely reluctant to budge on,” added ASSEP-PSAC coordinator Sébastien Paquette. “We owe these gains to the tenacity of the bargaining team. This agreement is a step forward in recognizing postdoctoral fellows and their major contribution to academic research.” 

Here is an overview of the agreement:

  • Better union leave approval
  • Better layoff notice
  • 35 (rather than 40)-hour work week confirmed
  • Up to ten days of sick leave or family leave per year, rather than seven days for sick leave only
  • A medical certificate can only be requested after three consecutive days of sick leave, rather than on the first day
  • Better bereavement leave, now counted in working rather than consecutive days
  • Better marriage leave, now five working days rather than consecutive days
  • Group insurance now at the same level as that of other Polytechnique employees (except for dental), which is a major improvement.
  • Wage increases:  
    • Minimum wage to be raised 10.1% over the term of the collective agreement, up to $40,300 as of September 1, 2024. 
    • The raises will be as follows: 
      • 2020: 0%
      • 2021: 2% (retroactive to September 1, 2021)
      • 2022: 2%
      • 2023: 2%
      • 2024: 2.25%
  • Five-year collective agreement term (nearly two years already elapsed)