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:

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).

The primary aim of the organizing committee is to:

To build an inclusive OrganizeUW where human rights are built into everything we do, including in how we operate our current drive and what we plan for our future union local. By focusing on diversity, equity, and inclusion we hope to make our spaces open, diverse, fair, equitable, representative, and ultimately incompatible with white supremacy and patriarchy. Only by ensuring full, meaningful, and equitable chances for everyone to participate in our grassroots group can we hope to build a successful union movement that will truly improve the lives of everyone at UW.

Our principles and goals for this organizing campaign have been outlined by the OUW Committee for Anti-Racism, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and can be found in detail here.

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 & Talks

Recent and upcoming webinars, social events, info tables, and more!

Town Hall with UW Faculty Supporters

Join members of UWaterloo’s Faculty to learn about the ways in which their research and participation in academia fosters support for union presence at their home institution, as well as how unionization efforts can enhance course delivery and research at UWaterloo.

GSA Outdoor Movie Night & Scavenger Hunt

The GSA is hosting an outdoor movie night, with free popcorn supplied by OrganizeUW. Before the movie you can grab dinner or drinks at the Grad House, win some prizes in the scavenger hunt, and stop by our Info Table to learn more about the campaign for better working conditions at UW, sign a union card, and snag some swag.

Ice cream day - Get the scoop on OrganizeUW!

Beat the heat with a frosty treat! Want free ice cream and a chance to improve the working lives of all UWaterloo TAs, RAs and Sessionals? You and your family are invited to join us for a free ice cream this Thursday, Aug 12, between 4-7pm at Scoop du Jour in uptown Waterloo.

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!

Recent News

FAQs

Calling all faculty! Union Q&A with FAUW (Q&A|FAUW Blog)

Who is OrganizeUW? What happens once TAs, RAs, and sessionals unionize? Could student-faculty relationships be impacted? How can faculty best offer support? As a prof, lecturer, or other faculty member, you may be wondering what unionization would look like at UW and how it could impact you. In our new guest post on the FAUW Blog we work to directly address such questions and concerns. We also list some easy ways you can help, including spreading the word and filling in our quick form to register your support. Click here for the link to the full post!

Have questions for OrganizeUW? Join our weekly drop in!

OrganizeUW hosts a weekly Q&A video call at 1:30pm EST every Tuesday! All TAs, RAs, Sessionals, and other interested UW folks are welcome stop by to discuss the drive, ask questions, find out how to get more involved, or just to say “hello” and meet some organizers. We’d love to have you join us!

COVID-19 health and safety measures for in-person events

Protecting the health and safety of all attendees, organizers, and the broader community is of the utmost importance to OrganizeUW. While our union drive has been almost entirely digital for over a year, we have slowly begun holding more in-person events as public health restrictions allow and best practices shift. This post outlines the current safety procedures in place for organizers and visitors at all in-person events, in accordance with current local and provincial public health restrictions. Please take note of these measures when planning your visit!

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!

Contact

Send a question directly to an organizer

Get in touch

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

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

Weekly video chat and Q&A

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. All are welcome!

Note: Click here to join the live weekly meeting in your browser.