Bargaining bulletin # 10: Dec 15, 2015

Hello postdocs, here’s a summary of recent events:

CUPA relayed a financial package to the University through our conciliator on Nov 23rd, a day after our 18 hour bargaining meeting.  The university responded on December 9th saying they’d like to meet in January.  As of this moment, neither side has called for a ‘no board,’ meaning that neither side has signalled that conciliation has failed.  If either side does this, it will be time to enter the time-boxed 17-day mediation phase.

We are still a long way from getting a decent annual wage increase, any kind of top-up from pregnancy and parental leave, access to a pension plan, or decent leaves, amongst other issues.  We need to see movement on the University’s part. They need to come to the table with an understanding that postdocs are valuable employees of the University, and not employees of their supervisors, and that the University has some financial obligations to us.

I expect we will have a strike vote meeting before we go back to the bargaining table in January. This will give us a much, much stronger position at the table, and therefore a better deal for postdocs.  We’ll definitely need everyone out for that meeting.  I will keep you posted.

In the meantime we continue to work to raise understanding and awareness. We held a meeting on Nov 27th to explain what a strike vote is. This is essentially a vote where members are asked to give the bargaining team the right to call a strike.  Going on strike remains a last resort. No one wants to go on strike, and we will continue to bargain in the hope of getting a fair collective agreement. A strong strike mandate will strengthen the position of the bargaining team and show Carleton we’re not prepared to settle for anything less than a fair agreement.

We held a successful information picket on December 4th.  The description of the event and a photo is here (  Thank you to the postdocs who volunteered their time.

Judith attended another Campus United Meeting on Dec 9th.  We are getting great support from the other unions on campus.

Today the Canadian Association of Postdoctoral Scholars has offered to help us with our petition.  (

Other awareness-raising events:


Please continue to circulate our petition ( ).  Anyone can sign.


Happy holidays, Your CUPA Executive,

Judith Brown ( and William Leight (

Bargaining bulletin # 10: Dec 15, 2015

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