Organize University of Waterloo

Sign-up for membership in the union if you are working at the University of Waterloo as a:

Graduate Teaching Assistant
Graduate Research Assistant
Sessional Instructor

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Committee to Organize uWaterloo

Committee to Organize uWaterloo

supported by CUPE

Organize uWaterloo

You can sign a union card if you are working at the University of Waterloo as a:

  • Graduate Teaching Assistant
  • Graduate Research Assistant
  • Contract/Sessional Instructor

The Committee to Organize uWaterloo is a grassroots campaign to unionize the academic workers at the University of Waterloo. The campaign is supported by the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE).

With over 700,000 members, CUPE is Canada's largest union. CUPE represents 70,400 workers spanning 233 collective agreements in the post-secondary education sector.

Events

Recent & Upcoming

OrganizeUW in the Park - New Dates!

Bring a friend and come for a chat in Waterloo or Victoria Park with OrganizeUW and CUPE! Click to see upcoming dates and locations. Come and ask us any questions you have about unionization, sign a union card, bring a friend so they can sign too, and help us all gain new rights and protections! We have lots of Gizmo the Goose and CUPE swag (including masks and stickers!) and you can grab a poster to hang in your office/lab when campus re-opens. Or just come to say hi and see some friendly (masked) faces!

A careful COVID comeback: Learning from experience at UW and beyond to ensure a safe return to campus

What protections will be needed to make it safe to re-open (in part or full) at UW? A discussion among health and safety experts, grads, and student leaders from OrganizeUW, CUPE, McMasterU, and UW on COVID-19 realities and best practices for those working on campus now or set to return in a few short months (or less!).

Faculty Discussion Series on Unionization #7: School of Computer Science

The next webinar in our Faculty Discussion Series on Unionization, featuring a mix of elected student representatives, grad student organizers from the School of Computer Science, and OrganizeUW's CUPE staff rep. All grads in CS-related areas welcome!

Engineering Town Hall on Teaching Assistantships

As the pandemic shutdown looms onward, TAs across campus continue to struggle to meet deadlines and departmental expectations. Join OUW for a casual evening conversation led by your GSA reps for Civil & Environmental and Systems Design Engineering to discuss experiences, challenges, and opportunities for TAs in the Faculty.

Recent News

FAQs

Scholarships awarded should be scholarships paid - #WhyNotWaterloo?

The next blog post in our ongoing series tackles the issue of unfair pay practices. This spring, UW announced a TA pay raise from $33.89 to $45/hour. But because it engages in scholarship clawbacks to offset such increases, as a grad TAs you will very likely see zero increase, or even a slight reduction, in your take home pay. But did you know that grads at other universities get to keep their scholarship pay regardless of their work? So #WhyNotWaterloo? This unfair, exploitative, and potentially illegal practice doesn’t happen where TAs have a union. Read on to learn more and find out how you can take action to protect your pay raise from university clawbacks.

UW working conditions creating mental health crisis for graduate students (Story|insideWaterloo)

OrganizeUW calls out the University of Waterloo with new survey data suggesting graduate students are doing much worse now than before the start of the pandemic

Campaign Endorsements

UPDATE APRIL 2021: Grads in the Faculty of Environment (EGSA) and Recreation & Leisure Studies (GARLS) add their voices in support of the growing movement to improve working conditions at UW by forming a union.

Campus organizations continue to pass resolutions to endorse the grassroots campaign to unionize graduate student and sessional workers at the University of Waterloo. Read on to learn more about who has supported us and how we're teaming up to spread the word across campus!

"Scheduled Pauses" & Pandemic Support - Grad Student Experience Survey

UW recently offered a two-day “scheduled pause” to encourage wellness during the pandemic, which made us curious - were you actually able to take some much-needed time off? And have you generally felt well-supported by UW during COVID-19? What do you think UW should be doing to support graduate students, that they're not? Please take our anonymous 5-minute survey and let us know!

How to sign a card (tutorial)

(UPDATED MARCH 2020 – NEW, SIMPLER PROCESS!)

A step-by-step guide to the digital card signing process for our union drive at the University of Waterloo, featuring some helpful screenshots, tips, and answers to common questions. It doesn't take long to sign a card, but there are a few things to be aware of to ensure your card is officially “counted” by the Ontario Labour Board. Read on to learn more!

Guest Post: Migrant Students United - Survey

Guest post from our friends at Migrant Students United, inviting current and former international students to contribute your opinion on the next stage of their work:

“Migrant students & workers! FILL OUT THIS 2 MINUTE SURVEY and help shape collective priorities for change in our work ahead! We won changes to permit and immigration rules, now we’re deciding what to do next. Have your say!”

Contact

Send a question directly to an organizer

Send an email to the link below and an organizer will contact you directly. All inquiries are kept confidential.

If you're ready to sign a union card, you can fill out the sign-up form here.

OrganizeUW hosts a weekly Q&A video call at 1:30pm EST every Tuesday! Please stop by if you'd like to discuss the drive, ask any questions, or simply say hi and meet our organizers.

Note: Click here for the Weekly meeting link