Testimonial Section

Carol Johnson, Queens Faculty of Law

As a member of the Steering Committe of the Staff Union Campaign, I've had conversations with literally hundreds of staff during the course of the campaign and, together with the results of the vote, it has become clear that staff want to be consulted on the issues which affect not only themselves but their families too. I believe that when salaries, benefits, and fair work practices are at issue, staff should have representation equal to that of other Queen's employees.

Sadly, staff morale has suffered in the past decade because of a disconnect that exists, but I'm a firm believer that when the words equity, fairness and respect enter into the lexicon of the workplace it will foster a greater awareness of what motivates staff to become Queen's best asset - the welcoming, human, face of Queen's which can convey to the world that Queen's is the best place in the world to work and come home to.

Deborah Stirton-Massey, Queen’s Department of History


I have been very fortunate to have spent my career at an organization with the comraderie that I find at Queen’s. I have had many opportunities here, and enjoy working with a large number of dedicated colleagues, many of whom represent the loyal and hard-working support staff of our institution. I have been working at Queen’s in various capacities long enough, and in different positions, to have developed a good appreciation for many of Queen’s strengths and weaknesses.

The University’s direction and way of operating are changing. In response, other groups on campus have joined or formed genuine labour organizations. Support staff at Queen’s have been very fortunate that QUSA has been led by many dedicated and hard-working people over the years. However, support staff need to adopt an approach similar to that of the other groups on campus, to ensure that we are not disadvantaged and that we have an effective voice in the decisions that affect us. The Steelworkers have an impressive record of successfully representing similar groups at other institutions, and I am optimistic that they will help us negotiate a legally binding contract that we will be happy with. If we do not unionize now, I’m afraid that our future security is at great risk.

Lisa Marzano, Queens School of Graduate Studies

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I recently attended a one-day conference for administrative staff Queen’s. The workshop, offered by Human Resources, was entitled, “Change, Challenge and Opportunity”.

At the end of the day, each person in attendance was given a small laminated card that outlined some specific behaviors that can be adopted into our day-to-day lives to help us deal effectively with change including:
- Be receptive to change
- Contribute your ideas to make the change successful
- Share your concerns and be open to listening to others
- Volunteer to take an active part using your talents
- Maintain your professionalism throughout the change.

The overall message of the day had a profound effect on me, and I keep the little card on my desk, in plain sight, as a reminder to remain open to “change”; as it is the only thing that remains consistent.

We at Queen’s live in a world of shifting priorities and fiscal constraints. Without legal bargaining rights, and no collective agreement, Queen’s staff are left in a very vulnerable position. We are now “challenged” with the task of finding a way to ensure that we not only keep the rights, compensation, and benefits we currently enjoy, but to also make strides to consistently improve upon those issues.

Thanks to the excellent work of the “Working Group on Unionization” we now have a wonderful “opportunity” to partner with the USW and form a union for Queen’s University staff. The USW has the resources and expertise to assist us in attaining our goals. I have confidence in their track record in the university support staff sector and I am impressed with their professionalism.

Please make your opinions known when it comes to “Change, Challenge and Opportunity”: sign a union card, join the campaign, and vote ‘YES’ to a real voice in the decisions that affect us!

Karen MacIntyre, Queens School of Environmental Studies

As I enter my 20th year of employment at Queen’s, it is hard for me to fathom working anywhere else. All staff can be proud of our contributions to the university. However, in the contemporary climate at Queen’s, with job security becoming more of a worry and with the absence of a true grievance process with representation, I am more and more concerned about staff being fairly treated. This has led me to consider the value of a union that will put us on an even playing field with other employee groups at Queen’s.

Like some others, I am sometimes surprised to find myself involved in a unionization campaign. However, I’ve come to reflect on what a great place Queen’s is to work at and how important it is to maintain that. Through the union selection process, I realize that the United Steelworkers are best positioned to help us achieve that goal.

I eagerly anticipate Queen’s staff moving forward and working with the United Steelworkers to solidify a collective agreement that will strengthen our voice on campus.

Carol Kavanaugh, Queens Faculty of Arts and Science

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Why USW? Why now?

I believe Queen’s staff need a strong union at the negotiating table, along with all the other unionized Queen’s employees. After investigating 5 unions, the USW impressed me with their knowledgeable, professional, respectful and supportive attitude and resources.

USW has extensive experience in our sector, and encourages a collaborative, cooperative relationship with University management. USW knows about the unique funding and fiscal challenges facing universities today, and has presented to and lobbied governments for support of universities.

I hope that Queen’s staff vote to build their own union local, in the USW, where staff can have a fair, respected and equal voice in determining and negotiating future terms of employment at Queen’s.

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