Learn more about UGSW

The Union of Graduate Student Workers and Postdoctoral Fellows are structured as a Directly Chartered Local #60550; part of the  the Public Service Alliance of Canada. At peak employment during the academic year, UGSW has over 400 members and about 60 postdocs. We see our Union experience, a first Union for many members, to be an educational stepping stone to many workplaces after graduation from university.

UGSW Bylaws
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Our History

Untitled design (7)

PSAC Local 60550 is composed of two units. It began its organizing drive as the Union of Graduate Student Workers 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 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 in April 2008. They signed a first Collective Agreement with the University of New Brunswick on December 7, 2010. A second Collective Agreement was signed March 29, 2017. 


Postdoctoral fellows were certified in September 2017 to be unionized and have reached a tentative agreement with UNB for the first collective agreement on 27 May, 2020 and the contract was ratified by members at a later date.

Collective Agreements

Public Service Alliance of Canada

The Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) is a nationwide labour union representing more than 215,000 workers in many different sectors. Within the University Sector, PSAC represents 30,000 members working at 25 post-secondary institutions across the country. Locals like UGSW form the foundation of PSAC.

PSAC National

2021-2022 UGSW Executives

UGSW Committees

Steward's Newtwork

Our Local has two levels of membership representation: Stewards and Grievance Officers. Both are very important parts of our Union. Whether they are selected to represent a Department, Faculty/GAU, or marginalized group, our Stewards ensure the diversity of contexts, needs, and experiences in our working environments are heard and respected. At minimum, it is best to have at least one steward from each department but more are welcome - all members are entitled to this opportunity!

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Joint Union-Management Committee

  • There shall be a Joint Union-Management Committee consisting of three Bargaining Unit representatives appointed by the Union & three representatives appointed by the Employer. The Parties shall endeavour to ensure representation from the Saint John campus.

  • The purpose of this Committee is to review matters of mutual interest arising from the application of this Collective Agreement & to foster communications & co-operation between the Parties, but the Committee shall not have the power to deal with any matters which are properly the subject of grievance or negotiation. 

  • The Committee shall meet at least twice per term & whenever the need arises, upon five (5) days written notice given by either Party. 

  • The Committee shall have Co-Chairpersons appointed by the respective Parties.
Harassment and Discrimination Working Group

  • The Parties agree to form a joint working group to review Article 9 – No Discrimination, No Harassment and Whistleblowing Protection and make any recommendations for changes to it. The Joint Working Group shall consist of two (2) co-chairs, one (1) appointed by each of the Parties and four (4) additional members, two (2) appointed by each of the Parties.

  • This Joint Working Group shall determine its own process and shall have the authority to invite input from external specialists, such as but not limited to, the UNB Human Rights Officer and the PSAC Human Rights Officer. 

  • The Joint Working Group shall not have the power to implement changes to existing provisions of the Collective Agreement. This may only be done through a written agreement of the Parties. Once ratified by the Parties, these changes shall be deemed to be part of the Collective Agreement. The Joint Working Group shall complete its review and make recommendations as quickly as possible.
Joint Committee for International Graduate Student Employees

  • The Parties have agreed to form a joint committee to discuss issues affecting international Graduate Student Employees. The committee shall be co-chaired by a member of the Local and a representative of the University. In addition, two other Local members and two other Employer representatives will be appointed to the Joint Committee.

  • The committee may make recommendations to the Parties as it sees fit. Any such recommendations shall be non-binding on the Parties and will only be implemented with the written agreement of authorized representatives of both the PSAC and the Employer.

  • The Committee shall meet whenever the need arises upon written notice given by either the Local or the Employer.
Joint Committee for Employee-Employer Evaluations

  • The Parties agree to create a joint committee to consider and make recommendations on a standard form for evaluations under Article 18. The Joint Committee shall operate by consensus, shall determine its own procedures and shall consist of two (2) persons appointed by the Employer and two (2) persons appointed by the Union.

  • The Joint Committee will make every effort to complete its work within eight (8) months of the signing of the Collective Agreement or such longer period as may be agreed by the Joint Committee.

  • The Committee may make recommendations to the Parties as it sees fit. Any such recommendations shall be non-binding on the parties and will only be implemented with the written agreement of authorized representatives of both the Union and the Employer. These representatives shall meet to review and make a determination on the recommendations within one (1) month of receipt.
Joint Committee for Intellectual Property Rights

  • Whereas the Parties have discussed Article 22, Intellectual Property Rights, including Clause 2.01, during the negotiation of the second Collective Agreement; And whereas the Parties acknowledge and recognize the uniqueness and complexity of intellectual property rights, including copyright; And whereas the Parties recognize a need to continue discussions on Article 22, Intellectual Property Rights, including Clause 2.01, beyond the negotiation process;

  • The Parties therefore agree to establish a joint committee to discuss and make recommendations on potential revisions to Article 22, Intellectual Property Rights, and Clause 2.01, including but not limited to issues raised at the bargaining table.

  • The joint committee may make recommendations as it sees fit. Any such recommendations shall be non-binding on the Parties. The Parties will discuss any recommendations of the joint committee and may either agree to make changes during the life of this Collective Agreement or bargain the issues during collective bargaining after the expiry of this Collective Agreement.

  • The joint committee shall consist of equal representation. The joint committee will comprise of co-chairs appointed by each party and two voting representatives and such other non-voting members as parties shall find useful. The Committee will set its own procedures. This Committee will convene a meeting as soon as reasonably possible.
Joint Health & Safety Committee

The University Joint Health & Safety Committee (J.H.S.C.) has a membership equally representative of workers and supervisory or management personnel. The Committee of the Fredericton Campus is comprised of ten (10) full members and ten (10) alternate members. Four (4) of these members represent the various employment groups (A.U.N.B.T., U.N.B.E.A. [G.L.T.A. & A.V. and S.A.L.A.C.], A.P. & T.), four (4) represent the employer as management personnel and UGSW. The University EHS Manager, as ex-officio member, oversees the committee function and its activities on behalf of the University administration. The Student Union safety representative participates in the J.H.S.C. as an observer.

The Committee on the Saint John Campus is comprised of six (6) full members and four (4) alternate members. Four (4) of these represent the various employment groups (A.U.N.B.T., A.P.& T., C.U.P.E. A.V.& G.L.T.A.) and two (2) represent the employer as management personnel.