Get involved in the campaign

Want to meet some student organizers? Join us for our weekly open-door call Tuesdays at 1:30pm EST here. All welcome!

We need your help to make it happen

Join us! Send us an email at organizeuw@joincupe.org or message us on social media to get involved!

Without engaged supporters, our campaign to unionize won't succeed. Our grassroots volunteer group is student-driven (and goose-inspired), and over time has grown as more and more students, sessionals, and UW community members become engaged.

Table of Contents

Here are some ways that you can help the campaign to organize the University of Waterloo:

1. Sign a card

First and foremost, it's important to sign your union card! This step might seem obvious, but it can often be forgotten ;)

  • If you're unsure about eligibility, check out this page or contact us to discuss your specific situation.
  • You can still volunteer even if you're not eligible right now. We just ask that all volunteers who can sign a card please do so as their first step to supporting the campaign.

Once that's done, you may want to follow us on social media to get updates on the drive, including events, news, announcements, etc. We'll also send you an occasional newsletter (~monthly) to the email you used to sign your card (you can unsubscribe at any time). Please email us to manually subscribe.

2. Spread the word

  • Talk to 2-3 friends about the campaign and ask them to sign cards
  • Share info about the drive in your network, whether by social media, private message, group chat, email, list-serv, or phone, or at a class, student club meeting, department social event, etc.
  • Help organize in your department/school/lab (click here for some handy card-signing tips)
  • Spread the word about an upcoming webinar in your department/school/faculty, or help host one
  • Get your departmental/faculty Grad Association or campus group to vote to endorse the drive

Note: Next to signing your own card, the single biggest thing you can do to help the drive succeed is to talk to some people you know about the union and ask them to sign up too. This is absolutely vital, as signed cards are how we actually officially form a union! Between 1 in 5-6 people who sign up go on to get at least one other to sign too - if we can keep up this awesome level of engagement, we'll be unionized in no time! If you want to help with card-signing, but are nervous/need support, please reach out! We'd love to help and have many resources and ways to assist you.

BUT, don't feel bad if you're not a social person, don't know anyone you could talk to, or can't talk to people for whatever reason. There are many more ways to help!

3. Contribute your voice

  • Let us know your views on a workplace issue you care about in your department/school/faculty
  • Share your personal experience at UW, such as problems you've experienced as a student or worker
  • Submit a testimonial about why you support unionization, how a union at another school helped you, grassroots actions that have been organized to improve working conditions, what unionization means to you, etc.
  • Talk to us about a topic in which you have lived experience/expertise, e.g. advocacy for marginalized groups, labour organizing, student activism, anti-racism, etc.

Note: all stories or testimonials are submitted in the utmost confidence and will only be shared beyond the core organizing team with your free, prior, and informed consent. You can absolutely choose to stay anonymous. We're grateful for all submissions and pledge to listen and not judge.

4. Share your skills

  • Join the core organizing committee
  • Help with campaign research, strategy, technology, communications, campus outreach, or planning events
  • Help recruit, support, and train volunteers and card-signers
  • Join a sub-committee/task group (international students, sessionals, English, mental health, website, etc.) or start a new one
  • Contribute special skills, e.g. marketing, web or graphic design, translation, baking cookies, editing, etc.
  • Once things re-open/weather improves, help put up posters, distribute swag, staff a table in the park, collect paper cards, etc.
  • Have an innovative idea for organizing that you don't see us doing, but think we really should be? Let us know!

Note: showing up willing and eager to learn and just being an awesome person in general who helps with whatever needs doing is an amazing special skill too!

Our philosophy

We don't set a minimum time commitment to volunteer with the union drive, because a union is made up of all (potential) members. Therefore, all are welcome. No contribution is too big or small, and you're in control of how much time you spend, how you want to communicate with us, and how you help. Our group is flexible and supportive, and understanding of student and sessional workloads that shift week to week over the semester. The more folks we have on board, the easier it is to share the load (not to mention, it helps ensure our future union local is representative and inclusive from day one)!

All we ask is that you complete the tasks you commit to, or ask for help if you need it. Open, respectful communication, mutual support, having an open-mind, and being willing to learn are key to a welcoming and effective team. We make most decisions by consensus after discussion, and require that all volunteers engage respectifully and maintain the dignity of others in the drive and the UW community.

We hope you'll join us - every bit counts!

Questions?

If you're not sure yet how you want to/can help, that's ok too! You can find answers to some FAQs about volunteering here, and feel free to reach out with any and all questions, concerns, or ideas you might have about volunteering. We can discuss current drive needs and what kind of activities might best fit your skills and avilability.

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, inquire about volunteering, or simply say hi and meet our student organizers.

Note: Click here to join the weekly meeting
Committee to Organize uWaterloo
Committee to Organize uWaterloo
supported by CUPE

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), Canada's largest union.