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FAQ: AGSEM is mandated to hold a strike vote


On January 30, the TA assembly unanimously adopted a pressure tactics mandate, including a mandate to hold a strike vote the week of March 11. 


The pressure tactics mandate means AGSEM committees, delegates, and rank-and-file members will take action to increase pressure on the employer to give us an offer we deserve. 


Our mandate to hold a strike vote means that if McGill doesn’t give us an offer that satisfies our demands by March 11, we will hold a special assembly over multiple days to decide whether we want to strike, what kind of strike it would be, and when. A strike is the ultimate pressure tactic, leveraging all of our power to win our demands. 


Read the FAQ below for more.

AGSEM is mandated to have a strike vote.

Why did TAs vote for this? 

  • TAs at the assembly on January 30 were very excited about our demands. The room was unanimous in wanting to build our power as over 2500 TAs and use it to get us a contract we deserve. 

What does this do for bargaining?

  • Before our assembly, McGill had not given a counter-offer to our monetary proposal in almost 2 months, and showed signs of delaying bargaining. Slowing down negotiations is a strategy that benefits them (and which they have used many times throughout AGSEM’s 30-year history). When AGSEM and McGill next met, we finally received a counter-offer (that was terrible—read about it here!) and were able to schedule more negotiation sessions. 

  • Scheduling a strike vote gives McGill a very good reason to negotiate with us on a reasonable timeline—and to give us an offer we deserve.

Why the week of March 11?

  • TAs at the Jan 30 assembly wanted a schedule for a good deal—they weren’t interested in waiting around any more.

  • It would also position us, should we choose to strike, to withhold our labour at the most critical time of the year: the end of classes and during finals.

When would we be on strike?

  • Our Bargaining and Mobilization Committees will come to the strike vote with a proposition for the format and timing of the potential strike. The proposal will be discussed, amended, and voted on during the special assembly.

  • We will not necessarily be voting to start a strike the week of March 11.

What happens until then?

  • Our Bargaining Committee will continue to meet McGill at the negotiation table, every week of the month of February, and try to win the contract we deserve.

  • We will be taking action to increase the pressure on our employer. 

  • AGSEM organizers will be having one-on-one conversations with every single one of the more than 2500 TAs on campus. This is where our power comes from. Join the party: sign up for organizer training.


I want to learn more about bargaining!

I want us to win! What can I do??

  • Sign up for organizer training

  • The training covers core concepts of organizing & organizing conversations, practice having organizing conversations over the phone and in-person, training on our data management system, and the logistics of signing up for phonebanking, walkthroughs, and other organizer activities.

  • To win these life-changing demands, we all need to participate. This is our job. Our wage. Our university. Our negotiations.

  • Our power comes from talking to each other. Our fight is to talk with every single TA before March 11. Sign up for organizer training.

If McGill doesn’t give us the offer we deserve by March 11: we proceed with a strike vote!

What will the format of the strike vote be?

  • The current plan for the special assembly is to break it into 3 hybrid meetings to be held at different times through the week of March 11—weekday daytime, weekday evening, and weekend daytime. 

  • Each assembly will have a detailed presentation about what being on strike will look like, including strike pay, participation, and legal protections. The presentation will be given by a representative of our affiliate, the Confédération des syndicats nationaux (CSN). 

  • All members of the union will have the opportunity to make an informed vote by secret ballot. The vote will be tallied and shared at the end of the final session of the special assembly.

Can I vote?

  • All members of Unit 1 of AGSEM can vote. Members are current TAs or TAs who have worked within the past 12 months who have signed their membership form.

How will we decide what type of strike to vote on?

  • We’ll start the first session of our special assembly with a rough proposal for striking, built by the mobilization committee through organizing conversations with TAs, analysis of our position at the bargaining table, discussions with our CSN advisors, etc. 

  • The whole assembly will then discuss and make amendments to the proposal until we agree on a whole strike motion to vote on.

  • All sessions of the assembly will discuss and vote on the same strike motion—so amendments will only be possible in the first session.

More questions?

Winning the contract we deserve means we all have to fight. Sign up for organizer training.

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