The Teaching and Research Assistants at Concordia (TRAC) is a labour union comprising the teaching assistants and research assistants at Concordia University in Montreal, Quebéc.
TRAC is local of a labour union, the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC). As a labour union, the main function of TRAC is to negotiate working conditions and pay rates, and to defends the labour rights of TRAC members under the collective agreements. In support of these core functions, TRAC engages in research about our members’ working conditions and working conditions of people similarly employed, communicates information to members regarding their working conditions and other employment related matters, mobilizes members to engender solidarity and community, and provides advocacy and grievance services to members whose rights have not been respected by the employer.
More broadly, the goals of TRAC are to study, protect, and develop the professional, socioeconomic, cultural, and political interests of its members and workers in general. TRAC promotes values of social solidarity, equity, tolerance and sharing to build a fairer society free of discrimination, violence, oppression and exploitation, a society that makes it possible to ensure that everyone develops to their fullest. TRAC finally works in tandem with other unions and employee associations, student groups and associations, and campus and community groups, to advance these goals and values.
TRAC is directly chartered local 12500 of the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC), a national union that represents more than 180 000 workers in every province and territory in Canada as well as locations around the world. PSAC members work for federal government departments and agencies, Crown corporations, universities, casinos, community services agencies, Aboriginal communities, airports, and the security sector among others. PSAC is headquartered in Ottawa with 23 regional offices across Canada. You can find more information about PSAC on the PSAC web site.
All teaching assistants (TA) and research assistants (RA) employed by Concordia University are members of TRAC. Since contracts for these positions are of a relatively short duration, membership is also extended to anyone with a promise of employment as a teaching or research assistant (such as in a letter of offer), and to anyone who has held a contract within the last calendar year, if they reasonably expect to be able to be rehired as a teaching or research assistant.
All invigilators are also members of TRAC for the duration of the semester in which they have a contract. Currently, because invigilators do not have yet a collective agreement, they do not pay membership fees to the union. They must also renew their membership at each new semester. Other than that, they share the same rights and responsibilities of TA and RA.
TRAC is “member driven” – meaning members directly participate in and make decisions for the local. Members can participate in many ways, notably by participating to the general assembly, and also as members of the Labour Council, as members of committees, and by participating in social events and mobilization activities, attending information sessions and workshops, and completing polls and surveys.
The members as a whole are the general assembly, and the General Assembly (GA) is the supreme authority of the local. The GA meets at least twice per year, but also when the need arises, to discuss matters of importance and concern. During the GA members may resolve any matter concerning the organization and internal functions of the union, choose members of all committees and the auditors, appoint delegates and representatives of the local, approve budgets, plans, and agreements, amend the bylaws, and in general, take all the steps it feels are advisable to ensure the effective operation of the local. The GA also decides whether to accept or reject proposed collective agreements, and decides upon pressure tactics and whether to strike. Finally, the GA elects yearly the members of the executive councils.
The executive council is composed of seven TRAC members elected during the general assembly who are liberated each week for working for the union. Their tasks is to defend the interests of the union, mobilize TRAC members, coordinate the bargaining with the employer, represent the union at PSAC instances or other political events and help members defends their rights. The executive council is also bound by the mandates adopted throughout the GA and can only follow what the members decided during a GA.
Delegates are members of all departments and faculties of Concordia. On a daily basis they make sure the collective agreement is respected and applied thoroughly Concordia. They also help the executives by doing many tasks, including organizing events, lending a hand in mobilization tasks or participating in committees.
The delegates meeting is held once per month. All delegates and executives meet and discuss forthcoming activities and issues observed in their respective departments and faculties.
The day-to-day work operations of the local, including administrative, advocacy, and communications, is handled by the TRAC executives. Negotiations are pursued by the bargaining committee and are supported by the work of a mobilization committee. Other than that, any members or delegates can propose to create a new committee, as long as its respects TRAC’ mandates.
The Teaching and Research Assistants at Concordia (TRAC) is a labour union local comprising the teaching assistants and research assistants at Concordia University in Montreal, Quebéc.
PR-204 and PR-205
2100 MacKay, Montreal, QC H3G 2J1
514 848 2424 extension 2917