All posts by Shannon Potter

Sharing Union Responses to COVID-19

Solidarity between graduate employee unions is more important than ever as we all face the COVID-19 pandemic, and what this means for the continuation and evolution of our labor movement. We, the CGEU, call on our member unions to share any of their impact bargaining strategies and/or contract wins during this time so that we all may learn from each other as we struggle through very similar challenges. We want to hear:

▪ What workplace safety protections and accommodations have your members been able to win?
▪ Has your administration taken advantage of this crisis to oppress graduate students, how have you fought back?
▪ What strategies has your union used to put pressure on the administration during quarantine?
▪ If your union is on strike, how are you maintaining momentum?
▪ How are you bargaining with your administration when everything has moved online?
▪ Have you been successful through impact bargaining around COVID-19?

If you would like to share stories or strategies for how your union is fighting through the COVID-19 crisis, please send them to and we will disseminate so that as many graduate labor unions as possible may see what their comrades are doing to rise above the chaos.

Please find a list of resources we have started compiling here. We hope these resources can be helpful for unions looking to craft their own petitions and/or letters to the administration.

CGEU Refoundation – June 6, 2020

In August 2019 in Toronto, CGEU delegates passed a resolution (“Toronto Proposal for CGEU Refoundation”) which included provisionally adopting constitutional amendments, and forming a Coordinating Committee tasked with: (1) investigating the logistical and legal conditions necessary to implement the provisionally adopted amendments; (2) proposing additional amendments as necessary and (3) proposing guidelines for sound financial practices.

En août 2019 à Toronto, les délégués du CSEE ont adopté une résolution comprenant l’adoption provisoire d’amendements constitutionnels et la formation d’un comité de coordination chargé de: (1) enquêter sur les conditions logistiques et juridiques nécessaires à la mise en œuvre des amendements provisoirement adoptés; (2) proposer des modifications supplémentaires si nécessaire et (3) proposer des lignes directrices pour de saines pratiques financières.

This proposal is our committee’s best attempt to reconcile the stated preferences of the member unions.

Cette proposition est la meilleure tentative du comité afin de réconcilier les préférences déclarées des syndicats membres.

To discuss the proposal, please comment on the document or join the discussion in slack.  

Pour discuter de la proposition, veuillez commenter le document ou vous joindre à la discussion sur la plateforme Slack. 

The meeting on the proposal will be held online on June 6-7, 2020. Registration is open now

Postponing April & May meetings

After consulting with Member Unions, the CGEU is postponing the Constitutional Convention (originally scheduled for April 4-5 in Toronto). The Constitutional Convention will be held the weekend of June 6-7 and will be an online meeting. Registration is open here.

As well, at this time the Annual Congress, originally scheduled for the weekend of May 29 hosted by UIUC-GEO, is cancelled indefinitely. Please note that we plan to hold the business meeting later this summer (likely online), per our constitutional requirement. We will be back in touch about this.