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Vote Now in the GLU Dues Referendum

Why are we asking for this?

Members of the GLU support the union via dues. Members only have to pay their dues while they are working a GA contract. These dues currently sit at 0.5% of earnings (for a full GAT, this works out to about $11/mth).  This is significantly lower than other unions in Canada and will impact our ability to adequately represent our members.   

In comparison:

  • Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC): 1.57% + $1/mth for strike fund
  • Teaching Support Staff Union (TSSU, SFU): 2.5%
  • Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW): 1.71%
  • Alberta Union of Public Employees (AUPE): 1.25%
  • Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE): 0.85% + local rate of typically 0.65%

GLU expects union dues to bring in about $105,000 this year and is projected to run a small deficit of about $2500.  The complete annual budget for 2024-2025 can be found here, with major expenses being:

  1. PSAC Service Agreement – $50,000 
  2. GLU Honorariums (Chair + 5 VC’s) – $31,000
  3. Office Space – $23,318

Why do we need these expenses?

Over the first two years of the PSAC Service Agreement, the services provided to GLU were valued at over $400,000.   As well, most academic unions in Canada are provided office space on campus at no cost and their committee/hearing obligations are considered worked time; this is currently not the case for the GLU and is reflected in the honorariums and office space budget lines.

It is our belief that these core items are fundamental to the operations of GLU.  As a result, we will be seeking to gradually increase our union dues to be comparable to other unions.  At our most recent General Member’s Meeting, a ranked ballot vote chose to hold a referendum with the current proposal over other options including no increase.

We understand that graduate workers are struggling right now, but we cannot continue to fight for increased pay and against collective agreement violations without adequate funds.

How much will this cost me?

The initial increase to 0.6% will translate to an additional deduction from your semi-monthly paycheques as follows:
(Note that a GANT is at the same rates as a GAT)

1 GAT3/4 GAT1/2 GAT1/3 GAT1/4 GAT1/6 GAT$25/hr GAR at 10hrs/wk
0.6% increase

Why are the increases structured like this?

The purpose of the first increase is to ensure that GLU does not have a deficit this year while only modestly impacting graduate workers monthly income.  However, as GLU takes on a bigger role in representing workers, expenses will increase.  The second increase is delayed so that GLU can get you real pay increases at the bargaining table before it is implemented, while also providing ample opportunity for next year’s graduate workers to provide feedback before it kicks in.

How will the referendum work?

All Academically Employed Graduate Students (those that have held a GA in the last 12 months) are eligible to one vote.  You will be required to enter your email address to authenticate your vote, however an independent Chief Returning Officer has been appointed to ensure your vote remains anonymous during the authentication process.  If you have questions about this process, please contact CRO Brandon at

If you have any questions about the GLU budget or operations, please email or stop by the GLU office at 192 Macewan Student Centre (right by bound and copied).

Check your email for the voting link. If you are an academically employed graduate student who did not receive the link, email

In solidary,

Your Graduate Labour Union Executive Team