The parties met for two half days in presence of the conciliator recently appointed by the Ministry of Labour. During the first meeting, the parties detailed the progress made during the eleven days of negotiation since August 2014.
Although most of the elements brought forward by the parties at the beginning of negotiations are now resolved and ratified, some unresolved non-monetary items along with all monetary elements were flagged as requiring further discussion.
Beyond wages, the issues included on the list of pending non-monetary and monetary items are: ratio of students to TAs, discrimination and harassment, university contribution to tuition fees and student medical insurance for teaching assistants, and the approval mechanism for an appointment of less than forty five hours.
Both parties briefly explained their position and the rationale for supporting each of these elements. The parties agreed they should reflect on the issues and return to the table for further discussion on April 2.
On April 2, at the request of the conciliator, the parties were invited to explore avenues that could represent for each of them possible solutions to pending non-monetary items and to all monetary elements. Each party identified possible paths toward a solution, allowing to better understand and narrow down what are the most critical elements.
After discussing several possible solutions and realizing the feasibility or non-feasibility of each, the parties along with the conciliator acknowledged that some further negotiations are required to reach an agreement.
Further meeting dates are set for April 9, 13 and 17.
This update is intended to inform the community about the evolution of negotiations with AGSEM teaching assistants in view of the renewal of their collective agreement and is issued without validation from the union.