1. Am I represented by this union?
2. Why should I sign a membership card?
3. Who are the elected representatives of the union and what do they do?
4. What should I do if I have a work-related problem?
5. How can the union help me resolve my work-related problem?
6. If I believe I am being harassed in the workplace, what do I do?
7. Why do I pay union dues?
8. How much do I pay in dues?
9. Where do my dues go?
10. Why does the university deduct dues from my pay even though I have not signed a membership card?
11. Why should I attend the General Assembly?
12. How can the union help me organize a meeting in my department?
13. How can I get involved in the union?
14. Are course lecturers and instructors eligible for Employment Insurance (EI) benefits?
MCLIU represents all course lecturers and instructors currently working, or who have worked, at McGill University in the past year.
The union represents all employees covered under the certificate of accreditation, written below in French, with some English terms, as rendered in the official version of the certificate of accreditation. Please note that the exclusions are in English: the union does not represent visiting academic staff, guest lecturers/speakers, or ranked academic staff.
“Tous les chargés de cours et instructeurs de l’université McGill, salariés au sens du Code du travail, qui exercent leurs fonctions à tous les établissements de l’Université McGill, à l’exclusion:
- des personnes qui sont invitées à donner des conférences, à animer occasionnellement des Séminaires ou à faire des présentations (visiting academic staff, guest lecturer/speaker);
- des membres du personnel enseignant régulier avec rang académique (ranked academic staff) de l’université McGill;
- des membres du personnel enseignant régulier avec rang académique provenant d’autres universités qui sont invités à donner des cours à l’Université McGill (visiting academic staff)”.
All employees in the union will automatically benefit from the union’s protection, but signing your membership card will make you a card-carrying member, and ensure that your voice will be heard in the important process of building the collective agreement with our employer. As a card-carrying member of the union, you will receive regular updates, and you will be invited to attend unit and general assemblies, meetings, and other events where you can share your views, voice your concerns and ideas, and vote on important issues that arise at the bargaining table, and so help shape our future working conditions.
In short, by being a card-carrying member you can exercise your democratic right and fully participate in the union’s affairs. This is particularly important at present because we are in a bargaining year, working toward our first collective agreement. Your participation is an important part of this process, and the only way that we, as a union, can move forward to positively affect change in the university and make our university a better place to work and to learn.
The executive committee and the bargaining committee are formed of elected union members. The executive committee’s mandate lasts two years whereas the bargaining committee’s mandate is until 60 days after the deposit of signed collective agreement in the ministry of labour. These committees represent your needs and interests in a variety of ways.
The bargaining committee works to represent you and ensure that your interests are met at the bargaining table in negotiations with the employer.
The executive committee acts as the designated representative for all course lecturers and instructors covered by the union. The president is in charge of overseeing the overall union activities, as assisted by the vice-president, who is also the chair of the bargaining committee. The executive committee provides its members with a grievance officer who is in charge of counselling them in the event of work-related issues and providing the possibility of grievances and complaints. The mobilization and communication officer is responsible for building and maintaining relationships with the university’s departments and hiring units. Finally, the budget officer takes care of the finances of the union and budgetary issues.
For information on your rights as a course lecturer and instructor, please visit the Know Your Rights section of our website. If your rights are being violated, or if you’d like more information regarding your case, contact your grievance officer.
Your grievance officer, backed by legal guidance from FNEEQ and the CSN, can determine whether a problem can be solved, and how to proceed. Until we have a collective agreement, labour disputes are governed by article 59 of the Quebec Labour Code, which states that working conditions must remain as they were at the time of accreditation. In our case, this was August 30, 2011. Some disputes may also fall under the Commission des normes du travail.
All cases are treated with discretion and complete confidentiality, and airing a complaint is the first step in the process of resolving it, so all are encouraged to come forward.
You should first consult the McGill office that deals with harassment issues. We advise that you immediately contact an assessor to speak about your case.
Union dues support the infrastructure of our union. They ensure that your union has the resources to effectively represent you in the bargaining process, so that together we can secure a good collective agreement and establish better working conditions for instructors and course lecturers. In addition, dues permit your union to provide you with legal guidance, and support through any work-related grievances and complaints.
Union dues are 2.5% of your gross pay, and are deducted automatically from your pay cheque.
51.2% of the total dues go to our affiliate unions, CSN, FNEEQ, and CCMM. This portion ensures that we are provided with the legal and mobilization support necessary to negotiate a fair and equitable collective agreement. Being part of this alliance also helps us to participate in and benefit from the larger workers movement within the province. The rest of the dues stay at MCLIU.
According to the Quebec Labour Code, as soon as the Labour Board certifies a union and recognizes its members as unionized workers, dues must be paid to the union. As a union member, you pay dues whether or not you have signed a membership card, since the working conditions of all employees who are in the bargaining unit are protected by the union. The dues you are paying ensure this protection. That said, signing a membership card ensures that you enjoy all the benefits of the union, including voting rights and making your voice heard in the bargaining process, as well as consistent updates on union negotiations and all union-wide affairs. If you want your voice to be heard, contact us to arrange signing your union card.
General assemblies provide you with the opportunity to discuss the university’s responses to our proposals and to vote on important issues that arise at the bargaining table. The bargaining committee, the elected members who sit at the bargaining table, can only bargain when given a mandate from the membership as a whole. Your participation is thus an important part of this process, and the only way that we, as a union, can move forward to positively affect change in the university and make our university a better place to work and to learn.
As a card-carrying member, you can attend the general assembly and find out how your money is spent. It is also an opportunity to get to know the executive committee and ask them questions and hear other members comment on the working conditions in their department.
Finally, important votes and elections are held at these assemblies. Don’t miss your chance to cast your vote about what direction the union should prioritize. Sign your membership card if you haven’t done so yet, to fully benefit from being a member, get updates and vote on important motions.
MCLIU has resources and people to help you organize a meeting about the union or an event linked to the union in your department. Please contact us with your ideas and we will let you know what resources are available.
MCLIU is always looking for members who wish to be involved in the organization. You could be a delegate in your department and serve as a representative, a liaison between the executive committee and your department. You could also help organize events all over the university. You may also want to run for a position on the executive or bargaining committees. Contact us for more details.
It depends upon whether the course lecturer or instructor meets the requirements of the Employment Insurance commission. Consult the EI page of the Service Canada website or contact your local Service Canada office.