Strike by Teaching Assistants and Demonstrators at McGill


Published: 8Apr2008

To: All McGill Staff and Students

Last night, AGSEM, the union representing Teaching Assistants and Demonstrators at McGill, declared a strike.

Please be assured that McGill remains open, classes will continue and exams will be held as scheduled. The University will make every effort to ensure marks and final grades are in on time, particularly for the graduating class.

McGill has been at the bargaining table with AGSEM since negotiations began in October. The process has been positive, but the issues are complex and, as is often the case in contract negotiations, the two sides disagree about some important matters. At McGill's request, the provincial Minister of Labour appointed a conciliator to help the parties come to an agreement.

McGill wishes to continue negotiating with the union and hopes any labour disruption will be brief, uneventful and present no significant problems for any of our students.

It is important for the McGill community to be assured that various measures are being taken to maintain normal functioning of the University:

  • The University remains open, including for exams. Indeed, students are expected to attend their classes, turn in all assignments on time to their instructors, and write their exams, which will be held according to the announced timetable.
  • Students cannot be excused from a class or exam because of a picket line outside the room. We are taking all measures needed to provide safe, secure access to all classrooms and examination rooms.


  • We are making every effort to ensure marks are entered on time so that applications to graduate school or other programs will not be adversely affected by the labour dispute. The University does not anticipate any delays in the transmission of marks and is doing everything it can to avoid any delay in the submission of final grades.
  • Specific measures are being taken in all faculties to ensure academic records are protected.
  • Finally, Convocation ceremonies will be held on schedule.

We remain hopeful negotiations will produce a settlement that is fair and acceptable to both sides.

Students, faculty and staff are urged to visit the McGill website regularly for the latest information. For more information and a list of Frequently Asked Questions, please visit:

Morton J. Mendelson, Ph.D.
Deputy Provost (Student Life and Learning)