Alberta Postdocs have won employment status, collective bargaining, and EI/CPP

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

As many of you know, the Alberta legislature passed the Act to Enhance Post-Secondary Academic Bargaining (formerly Bill 7) in May granting employment status to all Postdocs.

Briefly, this is a major win for the rights of Postdocs working in Alberta. We now have collective bargaining rights and access to Employment Insurance (EI) and the Canadian Pension Plan (CPP).

When the Post-Secondary Learning Act was first passed in 2004, it included students, staff, and faculty at our universities, but postdocs were omitted. This left us in an awkward grey area where we weren't students, we weren't employees, but rather an amalgamation of the two and we were often labelled as "trainees".

Bill 7 requires that we update the constitution for our Postdoc Association and hold new elections.

Your University of Lethbridge School of Graduate Studies, Human Resources, and Postdoc Association are all working to make this a smooth transition.

While the deadline for its implementation is June 2018, the SGS and HR is working to have everything complete by Oct 1st of this year. This means our October 31st 2017 paychecks will see the first deductions for EI and CPP. In the attached PDF, you'll find links to calculate your expected deductions.

I urge everyone to read the attached letter (Only a few pages), which has many details and links for finding other information online.

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact myself or Senthil DK. We are doing our best to make this as smooth as a transition as possible.

Additionally, if you would like to become involved with this work and wish to join our executive council/committee please contact us, we need your help.


Michael Kyweriga, PhD
Mohajerani Lab
Polaris Brain Dynamics Research Group
University of Lethbridge
4401 University Drive West
Lethbridge, AB, T1K 3M4, Canada

President of the University of Lethbridge Postdoc Association