Support Graduate Research Workers at UBC

Brad WalchukUncategorized

Last year CUPE Local 2278 had a campaign to unionize graduate research assistants. Despite thousands of UBC student workers expressing their desire for change by signing union cards, UBC has failed to recognize their rights as workers. The decision on this from the labour relations board is expected April 30th. 

Local 2278 is looking for support from other unionized workers, particularly in the university and education sectors, to tell UBC that research is work. 

The University of British Columbia is the largest university in BC and one of the largest in Canada. Yet it is one of the last universities in the country without a union for graduate research assistants.

The lack of a union has prevented UBC student workers from being able to affect their working conditions and negotiate for fair wages. It has meant that they face workplace issues alone, including inadequate health and safety protocols, unclear or inconsistent hiring processes, unchallenged harassment, lack of support for mental health, and widespread overwork and burnout.

To date, thousands of UBC student workers have signed union cards because they want change. Last spring, UBC graduate research assistants signed enough cards to pass the threshold for automatic union certification. And yet, UBC refuses to acknowledge them as workers.

UBC could not function without the contributions of graduate researchers and other academic workers, and they deserve the support and protections of a union.

Tell UBC: Research is Work! Add your name if you agree.