LGBTQ Meeting: Tuesday October 18th 4:30pm B106 Mac Corry

Tuesday October 18th 2011, 4:30pm, B106 (PSAC 901 Office), Mac Corry

Join us for PSAC 901’s first LGBTQ meeting of the year. We will develop our Mission Statement, appoint a chair and brainstorm ideas about LGBTQ committee goals. Some initial ideas include: gender neutral bathrooms, documenting everyday barriers and discrimination for LGBTQ workers at Queen’s, establishing equity and anti oppression training for 901 stewards and members at large, education and outreach around LGBTQ discrimination and barriers in the workplace, establishing safe space in our workplace, LGBTQ social events in collaboration with other equity seeking groups on campus, etc. These are some initial ideas, we are seeking more input and involvement from anyone interested in equity in the workplace, all are welcome (including those who are not 901 members).

Contact the Equity Officer, Hannah Johnston: or Vice- President of Community Krystle Maki: for more information.

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PSAC 901 Steward Council Agenda and Callout for October 19th, 2011

Our names are Christo Aivalis and Doug Nesbitt, and we are the PSAC 901 Chief Steward and Assistant Chief Steward, respectively. As you likely know, PSAC 901 represents graduate student Teaching Assistants and Fellows here at Queen’s.

Stewards represent TAs/TFs in their department of work by ensuring that the workplace is safe and by ensuring that the employer respects the collective agreement regarding how your colleagues are treated in terms of pay, job appointments, hours of work, and many other factors. Stewards are both the front line in union service and activism, and are an essential conduit between the general membership and the executive.

We are asking that all those interested in serving as a departmental steward for our union come to the Steward Council meeting on October 19th from 5:00-6:30PM; Room 344 in the John Deutsch University Centre (the room is tentatively booked, but the time/date is confirmed) Below is the proposed agenda for the meeting

  1. Quorum Check
  2.  Approval of Last Meeting’s (21st September) Minutes
  3. Quick Introductions for New Members
  4. Updates/News From Everyone
  5. Current TA/TF Issues In Your Departments
  6. Getting Committees Up and Running (Flying Squad, Strategic Research Committee, Grievance Committes, Other Committees)
  7. Thoughts on the October 13th General Meeting
  8. Ideas/Experiences for Engaging Members in Your Department (The importance and Strategy of Departmental Rounds)
  9. New Business
  10. Next Meeting Date

We are especially seeking participation that would make our stewards’ council more diverse and representative. In this regard, we strongly encourage engagement from TAs/TFs in the pure and applied sciences, International Student TA/TFs, and people who self-identify as being a member of a PSAC equity-seeking group (Women, Racially Visible Persons, Persons with Disabilities, Aboriginal Persons, and GLBT Persons)

We, along with the rest of the 901 executive, would love to see you there next Wednesday! If you have any questions at all, you can check our website ( or you can email Christo Aivalis at or Doug Nesbitt at

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Fall GM: Notice of PSAC local 901 General Membership Meeting, Tentative Agenda, and Bylaw Amendments

PSAC local 901 invites all graduate-student Teaching Assistants and Teaching Fellows to attend the first General Membership Meeting of the 2011-2012 academic year.

PSAC local 901 Fall 2011 General Membership Meeting
Date: 13 October 2011
Time: 5:00pm -7pm
Location: John Orr Room 344, JDUC

We will be providing free food and refreshments at the start of the meeting, and encourage you to join us in a more social setting at the Tir Nan Og after the meeting.

You must be a member in good standing to attend, vote, or run for office. If you have questions about your membership status, please email

Please post this notice on all graduate-student list serves so that all graduate-student Teaching Assistants and Fellows will be notified of the upcoming General Membership Meeting.

Tentative Agenda:

  1. Quorum check
  2. Approval of minutes from AGM (26 April 2011; minutes are posted at
  3. Local updates from Executive Officers
  4. Affiliation with the Kingston and District Labour Council and the Ontario Federation of Labour
  5. Bylaw amendments
  6. Local’s budget
  7. New Business
  8. Nominations and elections for delegates to PSAC National Triennial Convention
  9. Nominations and elections for local 901 vacant officers (Secretary, Health and Safety Officer, Moderator, and Chief Returning Officer)
  10. Adjournment

Bylaw Amendments up for consideration:

Changes to executive Position names and status:
1. “Assistant Chief Steward” and “Chief Steward”: At all instances where this office is mentioned, the names shall be changed to  “Co-Chief Steward,” to reflect the equal partnership between the two chief steward offices. If the 2012 AGM adopts a motion to dissolve the position of the second Chief Steward, “Co-Chief Steward” shall then be changed to read “Chief Steward”.
2. “Secretary”: At all instances where this office is mentioned, the name shall be changed to “Information Officer” to better reflect the broad objectives of this position and how it relates to the membership.
3. “Occupational Health and Safety Officer”: this position’s description will be moved from bylaw section 5.2.3 to bylaw section 5.1.7. This move reflects the change of this position from a non-executive office to an executive office.

Additional Committees to be added to section 7, Committees, of the bylaws:
7.2.8. Flying Squad
The Flying Squad shall:
(1) Consist of at least two Executive Officers, each acting as co-chair, and at least two additional Members in good standing; and
(2) Organize, facilitate, and participate in direct action against forms of social, political, economic, and ecological oppression
7.2.9. LGBT Committee
The LGBT Committee shall
(1) Consist of one Executive member and at least two additional Members in good standing, any of which may act as chair; and
(2) Organize, facilitate, and participate in research and other activities to raise awareness around LGBT issues and to work toward creating more inclusive spaces in the local, the university, and the broader Kingston community
7.3.0. Strategic Research Committee
The Strategic Research Committee shall:
(1) Consist of the President, acting as chair, and at least two additional Members in good standing of the local; and
(2) Build, maintain, and enhance the local’s understanding of the institutional structures within and intersecting with the university, the academe, and other relevant organizations and communities

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Call out for First General Meeting for Postdoctoral Fellows at Queen’s

At this time, the PSAC is calling for a general meeting of Postdoctoral Fellows at Queen’s. At this meeting, postdocs will elect a bargaining committee that will work with PSAC Regional Negotiator, Kim Beemer, toward negotiating a first collective agreement for postdocs at Queen’s. Also at this meeting, postdocs will decide how to organize their affiliation with the PSAC.

Details of meeting:
Thursday 6 October
Robert Sutherland Room, second floor of the John Deutch University Centre (JDUC)

You must be a full member to attend, vote, or run for the bargaining team at this meeting. To be a full member, you must sign a card. If you haven’t done so yet, there will be an opportunity to do so before the meeting. If you have any questions about the meeting, or to sign a card before the meeting, please email

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J4MW Pilgrimage to Freedom

October 2, 2011

Simcoe – Brantford – Hamilton – TORONTO!!!!

  September 25, 2011

Windsor – Leamington – Chatham – Dresden
Windsor meeting point:
11:00 am at the Tower for Freedom Monument, at 100 Pitt St East, Windsor Ontario, and get on the bus for the Pilgrimage to Freedom Caravan!!

October 2, 2011

Simcoe – Brantford – Hamilton – TORONTO!!!!
Brantford meeting point:
10:00 am at S. R. Drake Memorial Church, at 165 Murray st, Brantford, On.


Brantford meeting point:
10:00 am at S. R. Drake Memorial Church, at 165 Murray st, Brantford, On.

The caravan will end in Toronto with a march and celebration, featuring a great line up of speakers and performers such as Rosina Kazi from LAL. Join us as we make labour history!!

Toronto meeting point:
3:00pm, Ontario Ministry of Labour, 400 University Ave.
(just south of Dundas St. W and St. Patrick subway stattion)

Marching to the Simcoe Park Workers’ Monument
(Front St. and Simcoe St.)
for closing celebration from 3:30- 5pm

** If you cannot join the march, consider waiting at the park and be part of the reception for the caravan!

*RIDES to Simcoe/Brantford: Being a grassroots organization, we have very limited funding and it will go to paying for the buses of the tour and transporting farmworkers, so we cannot offer a bus leaving Toronto. However, we will do our best to coordinate rides so people can attend from out of town.

Pilgrimage to Freedom Caravan 2011

Last year, over 150 migrant workers and their allies made history by marching over 50 Km, an equivalent of 12 hours, from Leamington to Windsor, Ontario demanding justice, respect and dignity for the hundreds of thousands employed under the auspices of Canada’s Temporary Foreign Worker Programs. After years of harassment, intimidation and exploitation, migrant workers organized and took to the streets to stand up to these abuses.
The march called the ‘Pilgrimage to Freedom: Breaking the Chains of Indentureship’ ended in Windsor at the Tower of Freedom that is dedicated to those who travelled the underground railroad. The monument was chosen as the ending point to reflect on the connections of past and the present to slavery, indentureship and statelessness that renders racialized peoples as non-citizens. Over the last year, thousands of people have heard the testimonies and the stories that led to organizing the march. Permanent residency and citizenship status, an end to repatriations and deportations, labour law reform, equal access to social entitlements and an end to the coercive role of recruiters and contractors has inspired many others about the realities faced by migrant workers in Canada.

Migrant workers and members of Justicia for Migrant Workers have continued to organize in rural Ontario and are once again demanding that the chains of indentureship in Canada must be broken. This year the pilgrimage continues as a form of a caravan across rural Ontario. 

J4MW is requesting the support of community, religious, labour and allied organizations to join us for this year’s action. Migrant workers and their allies will be calling community meetings, and organizing meetings across south western Ontario. This year’s actions will take place across several communities.  If you are interested in further information feel free to contact Justicia for Migrant Workers. Tentative dates for stops on the caravan include

September 4, 2011
Niagara on the Lake, St. Catharines and Niagara Falls
For more details on the Niagara Action click here

September 25, 2011
Windsor, Leamington, Chatham and Dresden

October 2, 2011
Simcoe – Brantford – Hamilton – Toronto

Updates will be forthcoming in the upcoming weeks describing greater details the actions and what support we are asking for this event. We are seeking financial and in kind support but mostly your presence during these dates and communities.
Background Information

More than 20, 000 migrant farm workers from Thailand, Mexico, Guatemala, the Philippines, and the Caribbean arrive in Canada to work in our fields, orchards and greenhouses every year. Many workers pay thousands of dollars in fees to recruiters to be able to work in Canada, sometimes for jobs that do not even exist.   Once they arrive, many workers face dangerous working conditions, sub-standard housing and employment standards and human rights violations. As farm workers and migrants, they have little recourse to assert their human and labour rights and are constantly faced with the threat of deportation if they voice their concerns.

Justicia for Migrant Workers is an award winning volunteer-run collective that strives to promote the rights of migrant farm workers by creating spaces for workers to lead their own movement and articulate their own voices in a country that makes renders them invisible.


Justice for Migrant Workers!

Got food? Bought local? Thank a migrant farm worker!  

Background on the Pilgrimage:
Call out for last year’s march
Message of solidarity from the Coalition of Immokalee Workers


Labour Start’s International Photo of the Year, Pilgrimage Photo Won!
Tumblr Multimedia snapshots

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PSAC Fight Back Campaign-sign the petition!

Part of PSAC’s ‘Fight Back’ Campaign’, take a moment to sign this petition to protect public jobs and services in your community!

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Agenda For September 21st Steward Council Meeting, 17:30-19:00

  1. Approval of Agenda
  2. Introductions from Chief Steward, Assistant Chief Steward, and other executive members
  3. Quick Introductions from the floor
  4. Local 901 committees and Other opportunities for PSAC/ Union involvement
  5. The functions and goals of the steward council explained
  6. The importance of the collective agreement
  7. Required training for steward council members and schedule of events
  8. Collective Agreement mini workshop
  9. Experiences from orientation week and how to best reach out to members
  10. Election of Steward Council Minute Taker
  11. Next meeting date
  12. Closing remarks


We will also have various signup sheets for training events, committees, getting a free steward’s package and other ways to get involved

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