Open letter to Dr. Suzanne Fortier principal of McGill University

October 25, 2017


Suzanne Fortier, Principal
McGill University
Montreal, Canada

This is an open letter to address four areas that require improvements in the working conditions of Research Employees at McGill.

As you know, pay equity at McGill has been a long and slow process. Last year, McGill posted the results of pay equity and it included a 30% retroactive increase for research assistants. However, McGill has only increased the salaries of new hires. Our members are sick and tired of seeing job postings for salaries that are higher than their current salary. We feel that there is a distinct lack of progress due to a fundamental lack of leadership on this issue from the McGill administration. Consequently, McGill has incurred millions of dollars of debt simply because McGill is lost on this issue and does not know what to do.

In addition to pay equity, we feel there is a lack of employment equity in the hiring of research assistants. Currently, the proportion of equity groups is different in casual positions, compared to positions that are full-time positions. Positions that are casual are almost all women or individuals from racialized groups. We this is again due to a lack of will of the McGill administration to address and implement changes to hiring processes that will encourage a more diverse McGill.

We have also noticed a disturbing trend in the treatment of employees when pregnant, or who are on disability leave. The university simply does not do enough for these individuals in protecting their employment.

Similar to many student groups on campus, we also feel there is problem with McGill’s sexual violence policy. We feel that certain McGill professors have repeatedly abused their power over the students they supervise. McGill needs to follow the leadership of other institutions such as Harvard and Yale and ban sexual relations between students and faculty members.

We hope that McGill will take the time to address these issues of concern to our members.

Thank you,

Sean Cory

Association of McGill University Research Employees (AMURE-PSAC)
209-517 Pins, Montréal, QC H2W 1S4
Phone: 514-226-1719