What unionization can do for postdocs – national meeting discusses successful collective bargaining

Post-doctoral scholars from PSAC locals across Canada came together to share why unions are so important for workers in the post-secondary education sector.  

The national workshop, put on by the Canadian Association of Postdoctoral Scholars, brought together speakers from postdoc associations across the country as part of the 2021 National Postdoc Appreciation Week.  

Panelists from PSAC locals at Western University, Dalhousie University, Université de Montréal, McGill University, and other campuses shared their experiences unionizing their workplaces to fight for better benefits, more job security and a safer workplace. 

Université de Montréal SERUM-PSAC representative Dr. Willemieke Kouwenhoven shared that through collective bargaining, postdocs finally have access to the essential healthcare benefits they were fighting for. 

Health care benefits, critical to those who are in ongoing precarious work situations, were especially important for international postdocs with no other access to drug coverage. Their members also won paid sick leave, better wages, and employer-paid training.

PSAC’s postdocs at Dalhousie University are beginning their bargaining and hope to build on the success of their last round of negotiations when they successfully bargained for 26 weeks of paid parental leave. 

PSAC proudly represents nearly 30,000 members in the post-secondary education sector, and continues to bargain fair collective agreements that build better workplaces. 


October 13, 2021