POSTED ON May 08,2017

The Context

The Student Academic Success Service (SASS) is tasked, among other things, with offering academic accommodations for students who have a temporary or permanent disability.

To this effect, students academic workers are hired to proctor exams. With the help of these workers, SASS can offer 10,000+ hours of service each year.

The Issue

This political grievance deals with the University’s unwillingness to recognize that these jobs are covered under our Collective Agreement.

The University’s position was that proctors working at SASS are not members of our union. Consequently, these student workers did not enjoy the benefits, protections and wage rates stated in our Collective Agreement.

CUPE 2626 took the opposite stance and decided to defend their workers’ rights.

Our Victory

After months of discussions and seeing that the University wouldn’t come to a mutual agreement, CUPE 2626 chose to bring the issue to arbitration.

In July 2016, an arbitrator confirmed that student workers hired to proctor exams for SASS are indeed members of CUPE 2626.

From that point on, their work conditions are set by our Collective Agreement.*

The arbitrator also sentenced the University to disburse $185.000 in back pay to the proctors that worked for SASS between February 2013 and July 2016. The arbitrator therefore recognizes that the University should have known these workers are part of are union and given them decent work conditions.

This is one of our most important monetary victories to date.

* SASS does not have the same operational needs as other departments, particularly when it comes to work schedules, hiring and evaluation processes, and wage rate. The arbitrator recognized these particularities and ordered both parties to come to a mutual agreement.

As part of this mutual agreement, the wage rates for all proctors hired by SASS has been set at the undergraduate rate ($25.18/h) — the majority of our members working for SASS are undergraduate students.

This mutual agreement is temporary and only effective from March 2017 to August 31, 2017. On September 1, the applicable wages rates for graduate and undergraduate workers  will be the ones set by the our new Collective Agreement.