Union of Graduate Student Workers and Postdoctoral Fellows


Public Service Alliance of Canada

Local 60550



Who are we?

PSAC Local 60550 is composed of two units. It began its organizing drive as the Union of Graduate Student Workers (unit 1) on the University of New Brunswick Fredericton & Saint John campuses in 2007 and later added a second unit including the Postdoctoral Fellows in 2017.

The members of the unit 1 (UGSW) are Graduate Student Teaching Assistants and/or Graduate Student Research Assistants and unit 2 consist of Postdoctoral Fellows currently working at the University of New Brunswick. UGSW was certified by the Labour and Employment Board (New Brunswick Department of Postsecondary Education, Training and Labour) in April 2008. They signed a first Collective Agreement with the University of New Brunswick (the “Employer”) on December 7, 2010. A second Collective Agreement was signed March 29, 2017. Unit 2 of the local, i.e., postdoctoral fellows were certified in September 2017 to be unionized and have reached a tentative agreement with the Employer (UNB) for the first collective agreement on 27 May, 2020 and the contract was ratified by members at a later date.

What is PSAC?

The Union of Graduate Student Workers and Postdoctoral Fellows are structured as a Directly Chartered Local (#60550); part of the over 170,000 members of the Public Service Alliance of Canada / Alliance de la Fonction Publique du Canada (PSAC-AFPC). At peak employment during the academic year, UGSW has over 400 members and about 60 postdocs. There are over 20,000 university sector members Canada-wide in PSAC-AFPC. We see our Union experience, a first Union for many members, to be an educational stepping stone to many workplaces after graduation from university.


Are we a member of the union?

Graduate students employed by UNB as Graduate Student Teaching Assistants and Graduate Student Research Assistants employed on Fredericton and Saint John campuses automatically become dues-paying members of our Union Local and the Bargaining Unit of the PSAC-AFPC. The employment positions are normally an average of 130 hours (13 weeks x 10 hours/week or similar) per term to a maximum of 520 hours per academic year. Many contract positions have less hours.


To make the most of your Union membership you need to become a card-carrying member in good standing of PSAC-AFPC. Contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for assistance in signing your application card. Starting 2020 the membership card will be filled online and updated instruction on this will posted here soon.


What is the benefit of becoming full member?

By actively joining, you will have a voice in the Union, you can vote and stand for election to the Executive Committee, to the Stewards Network and committees, and you will be able to enjoy the benefits of belonging to the Union and the PSAC-AFPC. Benefits include access to our free group life insurance policy (valued at up to $5000), rental car and hotel discount rates, access to PSAC member and dependant scholarships, free Union training courses, and more. A full list of the PSAC membership benefits can be found at:



Orientation 2020

During the orientation week every year, the union provides orientation packages to its member containing information packages, collective agreement, and sign up cards. Due the 2020 COVID19 pandemic, UGSW&PDF has decided to deliver this package online to the members.

Orientation Presentation: including basic concepts, structure, and definitions, contact information


The Collective Agreement defines both Employee and Employer rights, minimum rates of pay, leave and much more. Read and become familiar with it as a guiding document for your work experience at UNB.

Here is the link to download the Collective agreement of the UGSW members.

And here is the one to download the Collective agreement of the PDF members.



Hardship Funding

The Hardship Funding Application has been established by your local executives to assist members who are facing financial difficulties and, from now on, will be in place for three rounds per year. For more details and information about the application process and deadlines, please refer to the documents linked below.
If you are a PSAC Local 60550 member currently experiencing unexpected financial need, you can read the policy information for this funding and download the application form.



Upcoming Events

Feb 17, 2021 -- United Campus Labour Council Meeting


Past Events

Jan 11, 2021 -- UGSW Orientation (in GSA Information Session)

Nov 04, 2020 -- General Membership Meeting

Oct 15, 2019 -- General Membership Meeting

Sept 3-6, 2019 -- Fall Orientation Week

April 11, 2019 -- General Membership Meeting

Feb 28, 2019 -- Stewards Network Meeting

Read more: Events

Welcome to UGSW!

Who we are:
We are a Directly Chartered Local with the Public Service Alliance of Canada. The Union of Graduate Student Workers (UGSW) is composed of those that are employed as Graduate Student Teaching Assistants and/or Graduate Student Research Assistants that are enrolled as a graduate student at the University of New Brunswick and working at the Fredericton or Saint John campuses. We are also pleased to announce that those employed as Post Doctoral Fellows by UNB are entering into bargaining for their first Collective Agreement in the near future.
For further information on our Union's structure, download the following orientation kit for new members. When you've received your membership package you can click this link for guidance in completing your application for full membership, or contact our office at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.for assistance.


Why do we need a Union?
First and foremost, we are able to negotiate a Collective Agreement that reflects the nature of our work, stipulating terms and conditions that must be respected by our employer, the University of New Brunswick. Arbitrary decisions and actions by an employer will not be permitted with respect to the contents of the contract. We have a collective voice and are able to make democratic decisions about our workplace. Our stewards, along with our executive and other committees, assist with ensuring the strength and stability of our voices.

Unionized graduate students at other universities throughout North America have made great strides through negotiations, including benefits such as childcare, health and accident coverage, assistance funds for international students and for professional development, protections for intellectual property and academic freedom, to name only a few.

All graduate student TAs and RAs at UNB receive the rights and benefits established in our Collective Agreement. All UGSW members have the right to assistance from the Union when required. Fully registered membership in the Union gives the right to participate in local elections and general meetings. The Union negotiates and acts on behalf of all members. The more graduate student TAs and RAs who participate, the more accurately our decisions will reflect our collective concerns. This is why a healthy network of stewards is an important feature of our Union.


Apply for PSAC Scholarship Program - 2021

Click here for details


Contact & Engage


Office: 10 Mackay Drive,
Marshall d’Avray Hall 322-1B

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Mail: Box 612, Stn A Fredericton, E3B 5A6




Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun