I am currently the Vice Chair of Unit 5 (2020-21) and served as the Unit 5 Bargaining Support Chair for the last round of bargaining (2019-20). I have also been the Unit 5 representative on the Arts & Science North Joint Health and Safety Committee since 2019. Before taking up my postdoctoral fellowship, I worked as a staff member at UofT (USW) and, while completing my graduate studies, as a course instructor and teaching assistant (CUPE 3902 Unit 1). Having held a wide variety of contract-work positions at UofT, I understand the challenges faced by the precariously employed and am dedicated to improving working conditions for all CUPE 3902 members.
As the current Vice Chair of Unit 5, I have successfully improved mobilization and engagement within the unit. Through steward recruitment, town halls, workshops, and most recently the development of union orientation sessions, I have worked hard to connect postdocs at UofT with their local and to give them the resources they need to advocate for themselves in their workplaces. Over the past year, I have advocated for our members with the employer and lobbied the provincial government on issues including pandemic-related funding extensions for postdocs and the inclusion of postdocs and other on-campus university workers in Phase II of the provincial vaccine rollout.
The upcoming year will be a critical one for Unit 5, as postdocs face the expiration of their current collective agreement in 2022. To make significant gains in the face of Ontario’s unfair 1% salary increase cap on public employees, Unit 5 members will need to be organized and engaged for their next round of bargaining. If elected, I will continue to mobilize and build Unit 5 capacity in the local to ensure that postdocs are in the strongest possible position when we return to the bargaining table.