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:http://psacunion.ca/new-benefits-program-psac-members



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.




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