CARE Resources

News Resources

March 11 & 13: Vote on A New Collective Agreement

Save the Date and Cast your Vote.

After a very long and difficult bargaining process, CARE’s bargaining committee has reached a Memorandum of Understanding with the University. Please review the documents we send you by email very carefully to understand what the new Collective Agreement entails.

As members of CARE, it is our responsibility to vote on whether we accept this proposed Collective Agreement, or send the bargaining committee back to the bargaining table. 

According to PSAC bylaws, to vote on the Collective Agreement, members must have signed a union card, and must be participating in either of the 2 information sessions for CARE members on March 11 or March 13th. At the end of each session, a vote to ratify or reject will be held via Zoom. To ratify the collective agreement, more than 50% of the CARE members attending the meetings must vote “Yes”. 

Check email for instructions to register for meeting on March 11 at 18:00; or March 13 at 12:00. (You need your PSAC ID to register.)

Please note that even if you do not sign for a union card,  and not vote, your employtment is still governed by the terms of the collective agreement. Your participation ensures that your interestes are communicated to all parties involved.

If you do not sign your union card, or do not register for the meeting, or cannot attend either of these meetings, you will not be able to vote.

We realize this may be a short notice, but this is to avoid further delays and confusions with regards to your salary adjustments.

Please pay close attention to your emails for instructions and information.

What’s on the Table?

Please check your emails for documents in English and French that summarise the proposed changes; please read them, and bring any questions you have to one of the ratification meetings. A vote “Yes” binds us to the Collective Agreement. A vote “No” sends the CARE team back to the bargaining table with the University to try and get a better deal.

How can you help?

Please do what you can to be sure your CARE peers are informed about this important vote. Beyond attending one of the ratification meetings, the most useful thing you can do as a CARE member is to check that other CARE members you know are informed that these meetings are happening. Ask your CARE colleagues if they have received this email! We must include as many members as possible for these critical votes, so if you think we’re missing someone (especially those who have stopped being CARE members after Dec 15 2023), please let us know. 


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Letter to Demand Good Faith

Please note that this letter has been approved by both the Executive Committee and Public Service Alliance of Canada.

Letter to Demand Good Faith–CARE bargaining

Dear Concordia University’s Human Resources department,

Concordia Association of Research Employees (CARE) is currently representing me at the bargaining table during negotiations with the employer. 

I would like to see that the employer is and will be negotiating in good faith as much as CARE’s Bargaining Committee so that both parties can reach a new collective agreement.

Offering various suggestions and requesting conversations on crucial items at the bargaining table, CARE’s Bargaining Committee has shown its will to reach agreement with the University. However, it has been a serious disappointment for both our team and our union members including myself to learn that crucial items, such as monetary issues and benefits, have not been discussed at the table.

I would like to know that the employer will agree with the CARE bargaining team that it is crucial that we discuss and resolve these critical issues without further delay as part of its practice of negotiating in good faith. I ask that you communicate your agreement with this position by March 10th, 2023. 

Best regards,

[member’s name]


Grievance 101

Protect Your Labour Rights!

What is a Grievance?

A grievance is a formal complaint made by a union. It is a means for the union to protect members’ rights. Filing a grievance is a legal right when there has been a violation of a right outlined in the collective agreement and/or a member has been disciplined or terminated.

Types of Grievance 

Individual Grievance

A complaint by an individual whose rights, as set out in the collective agreement, have been violated by management through, for example, discipline, harassment, denial of benefits or denial of entitlements. The individual grievance is filed by a union representative.

Group Grievance

A complaint by, for example, a group of individuals from a particular department or shift that has collectively been affected by a management action. Examples include the following:

  • an employer refusing to pay a shift differential or premium pay when the contract entitles members to it; 
  • management unilaterally changing the start time of a shift; or 
  • an employer refusing to allow a group of members to take family related leave, even though such leave is covered by the collective agreement. 

The group grievance is filed by a union representative. All the members should sign the grievance, since adjudicators/arbitrators have been known to award compensation only to signatories.

Group Grievance Type 1: Policy Grievance

The union, not individual members, files a grievance when management or the employer violates or incorrectly interprets the collective agreement and a group, bargaining unit or the union at large is affected by this action. Policy grievances are not allowed in certain jurisdictions (labour codes define what may or may not be grieved). 

Group Grievance Type 2: Union Grievance

The union grieves a dispute arising directly between the union and the employer. In this type of grievance, the union considers its rights to have been violated, not just the rights of members. 

For example, a union might grieve on its own behalf when the employer fails to deduct union dues as specified in the collective agreement. Also, individual grievances can be filed in conjunction with the union grievance.

Grievance Procedure for Our Union

1. Investigate the member complaint.

2-1. If the complaint has to do with harassment, the member may file a complaint in accordance with the University’s Code of Rights and Responsibilities (see the CARE Collective Agreement, Article 4).

2-2. For other complaints:
Article 13 of our Collective Agreement specifies that “[t]he parties agree that in most circumstances it is preferable to resolve problems through discussions among those persons directly concerned before submitting a grievance.” Therefore, if possible, the union will resolve problems through discussions. Otherwise, the union will file a grievance.

3. Follow the grievance process outlined in the 2017-2022 collective agreement, Article 13.

4. Resolution / Arbitration.




Union 101

A union aims to provide a fair representation of all members and negotiates in good faith on their behalf. 

What Are the Union’s Roles? 

  • Source of information related to working conditions and labour rights.
  • Representation for the members in situations such as collective bargaining and grievances in progress. 
  • Promotion of its members’ and other workers’ interests, objectives and rights of a union.
  • Collaboration with other union bodies, organizations, and social groups.

But a union is NOT meant to protect low-performing employees.

Work standards and conduct are just as important in a unionized workplace, and management still has a responsibility to address poor performance. Unions make sure the hiring process is objective, so management can’t just hire and promote their friends.

A union is not a tool to harm the employer.

People who form a union are more satisfied and productive at work. Joining in unions also reduces costly turnover and makes the workplace safer.

Lastly, a union cannot work without members.

Unions are democratic; therefore, a democratic vote of the workers is necessary for a union to make important decisions. Furthermore, a union cannot exert its power on the bargaining table with the employer without members’ action and participation in union activities. See what you can do for your union.

How does a union work for its membership?

Unionizing is the very first step for advocating employees.

However, if members of the union do not participate in union activities, the union’s bargaining power becomes extremely limited. 

The employer gauges what they can say yes or no to the union’s bargaining team not based on how loud, logical, or persisting the bargaining team is. Rather, the employer tries to predict any feasible consequences of saying yes or no to crucial demands. 

Let’s say the employer expects their employees to not take other collective action such as demonstrating in the future, given that the employees’ participation rate in union activity is extremely low. 

Would they feel compelled to say yes to a raise that goes along with the current inflation? For the employer, there is no harmful consequence of rejecting a reasonable demand.

Union Structure

CARE is a directly charted local of the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC). PSAC represents nearly 230,000 workers in every province and territory in Canada and in locations around the world. Formed in 1966, PSAC is one of Canada’s largest unions.


AFL-CIO, What Unions Do.

Canadian Labour Congress, What Unions Do



Virtual Backgrounds and Signature for CARE members

Use Virtual Backgrounds and Signature to Show Your Support!

Download the images and set them for your work computer and e-mail signature to show your support for the current negotiation!

PREVIEW OF Virtual background images (EN/FR)
Signatures for your e-mail and work-related documents

[DOWNLOAD] Virtual background images for zoom, Microsoft teams, and more (EN/FR, ZIP format)
[DOWNLOAD] Signature images for your e-mail and work-related documents (en/fr, zip format)
[How to] set a virtual background (ZOOM)

Instruction for setting a virtual background on Zoom
(external webpage, Zoom’s official website)

[How to] set a virtual background (Microsoft teams)

Instruction for setting a virtual background on Microsoft Teams
(external webpage, Microsoft’s official website)