At its Legislative Council meeting of October 19, 2016, the Arts Undergraduate Society of McGill University (AUS) endorsed the collective bargaining demands of the Association of McGill University Support Employees (AMUSE). AMUSE represents over 1,500 casual and temporary non-academic workers at McGill and has been in negotiations with the University for a new agreement since June 2015.
At a Special General Assembly held on October 20, AMUSE members overwhelmingly approved a mandate to engage in pressure tactics up to a general strike. The AUS supports AMUSE in its efforts to ensure that its bargaining demands are heard and met by the McGill administration.
Approximately 85% of AMUSE members are students, while over 50% work for $10.85 an hour (only 10 cents above minimum wage). Current bargaining priorities include re-hiring priority for existing positions; a $15 minimum wage plus benefits; and better posting and oversight of Work Study opportunities.
AUS Councillors expressed support for the motion in light of the high number of AMUSE members who are also members of the AUS. They also indicated the importance of adequately paid student employment, and expressed their commitment to striving for a living wage for workers employed at McGill.
Student members of AMUSE include students working in units like Athletics, the Bookstore, Phonathon, and most Work Study positions on campus.