The McGill floor fellows’ collective agreement negotiations with the University made “some solid movement” this week after the floor fellows boycotted a staff training session held last Sunday.
Floor fellows – upper-year students who live in residence and provide support to first-year students – were unionized with the Association of McGill University Support Employees (AMUSE) last spring, and have been negotiating their first collective agreement with the University since the fall.
According to AMUSE VP Floor Fellows Christina Clemente, the mobilization took place because the administration had not been receptive to the floor fellows’ demand to formally include their “core values,” which include a harm reduction approach and an anti-oppressive mandate, in the collective agreement itself.
The floor fellows met again for negotiations with the University nearly a week later on January 30; this time, the meeting had a different outcome.
“They came to us with a new proposal and they want to have some time to develop a way to include our values in the collective agreement,” Clemente told The Daily.
According to Clemente, the University will take the next month to develop a set of guiding principles to include in the collective agreement. They will meet with the floor fellows again in March to discuss this new proposal.
“It did seem like, finally, [the University is] taking us seriously, and they sensed that we weren’t willing to budge on this,” said Clemente. “They proposed something that we could actually see ourselves moving forward with.”