"I felt completely alone and powerless, with no professional body or sympathetic individual to turn to who could effect any real change to my desperate situation. Several of us, myself included, sought professional psychological help to deal with depression and anxiety. Several years later, many of the group are still dealing with these issues...The issues related above are, unfortunately, facilitated by a wider institutional attitude to research staff. There is a culture of impunity that allows rogue PIs to subject their researchers to such behaviour, and with no oversight from a union, there seems little will to bring workplace practices up to modern standards that respect basic human rights."
"We have grown increasingly concerned over the terms and conditions of work of postdoctoral scholars, and have been encouraging and assisting organizing and advocacy campaigns amongst postdocs at Canada’s research universities. We are delighted that the Union of Postdoctoral Researchers at Dalhousie is seeking certification for postdoctoral researchers at Dalhousie University with the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC)."
"...For several reasons the creation of a union or professional association of PDRs at Dalhousie (following the pattern of other successful union drives for postdoctoral researcher unions at Queen’s, Western, and Memorial), is not only timely, but also essential to provide key protections, to promote university research based on wide-ranging intellectual inquiry and rigorous evidence-based methodology, and to serve the public interest of the Canadian taxpayers who help to fund such research and stand to benefit from it...."
"As an academic, a specialist in labour relations, and a former president of the Saint Mary’s University Faculty Association, I enthusiastically endorse the campaign of post-doctoral researchers at Dalhousie University to unionize....If even tenured profs need unions, then it stands to reason that others in the academic labour market need them as well. I know how hard postdoctoral researchers work and therefore how much you need a standard set of rights to protect against exploitation"
PSAC Local 60550 Representing Graduate Student Workers at the University of New Brunswick
"By organizing graduate student teaching assistants and research assistants at University of New Brunswick, UGSW has added clarity, fairness, and respect to graduate student–academic supervisor relationships while also establishing community and communications across faculties and departments on the two main campuses of the University of New Brunswick. We have established minimum employment standards, including wages and hours, and have negotiated improved rights—including academic freedom and intellectual property rights—within the longer cycle offered by a Collective Agreement, thereby providing improved stability for our members’ employment and academic environment."
"Despite Dalhousie's reputation as a highly regarded research institution, those whose work most directly benefits this standing are not adequately compensated. While individual workers may request better standards it is only through the collective efforts of both this bargaining group and the administration that a more long-term agreement can be reached."