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2014 CGEU Conference

The 2014 meeting of the Coalition of Graduate Employee Unions will take place in Montréal, Québec from July 31 to August 2.

We are meeting at a critical moment for academic labour. Higher education – in form, content, and purpose – is on the precipice of a fundamental reorganization. On the other hand, the labour movement overall is weak, and attacks on unions, in the university and outside it, are deep and increasing. Yet the emerging resistance is inspiring. On campuses from Québec to California, students and workers are organizing together and fighting back.

This summer, we invite student employee unions from across North America to three days of discussion, debate, and exchange. Meet union activists, share tactics and strategies, and help build the struggle for the future of academic labour and of the university.

Please register at For more information, contact

The Coalition of Graduate Employee Unions is a coalition of student-employee unions from universities across North America. Its annual meetings bring together union activists to share experiences, discuss and debate strategy and tactics, and build solidarity between and across campuses.


We are asking all individuals wishing to attend to fill out the registration form. Unions may send up to two voting delegates and as many additional delegates as they wish. The registration fee for voting delegates is $50. If your union is in a situation of financial difficulty and is unable to pay the fee, please contact us.


In addition to this year’s workshops and panels, we will be preparing a collection of essays, stories, and reflections to open the conversation leading up to the conference. These will be published online.

We will be holding workshops under the following themes (and we are still accepting workshop proposals and text submissions!):

    • How should academic labour unions approach the relationship between “being a student” and “being a worker”; What response should the labour movement take to broad attacks on unions and unionism (Right-to-work laws, anti-strike laws, injunctions, etc.); Union democracy and mobilization
    • Confirmed workshop topics: Mobilizing precarious workers ; Union democracy, internal and external
    • Responding to privatization; How should the University be organized; What is the role of labour unions in the future of higher education
    • Confirmed workshop topics: Online Courses ; Privatization and Commodification of Higher Education ; Organization of Work in the University
    • Strikes and pressure tactics; Bargaining; Building coalitions inside and outside the University
    • Confirmed workshop topics: The 2012 Québec student strike ; Critical history of Québec social movements ; Collective Agreement information exchange

Most workshops will take place in a panel format, with each presenter given 10-15 minutes, followed by an open discussion. If you are interested in presenting as part of a panel, please send a brief description of what you would like to talk about, as well as any resources you might need (eg. a projector or a whiteboard), to If you would like to present a longer stand-alone workshop, please send a full proposal to the same address; while the final schedule has not been confirmed, expect each workshop to last about two hours, in total and including discussion.

All text submissions received will be published online, in this space. We welcome stories about personal experiences, successes and failures, opinion pieces and analyses; we also encourage group submissions. There is no word limit; however, it may not be possible to include all submissions, or exceptionally long submissions, should we eventually publish the texts in print. Submissions should be sent to and will be published as we receive them.