More than 800 Graduate Academic Assistants (GAAs) who work at the University of British Columbia (UBC) will join BC’s largest union, the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE). GAAs will join CUPE 2278, the union that already represents Teaching Assistants, English Language Instructors, and Exam Invigilators at the university.

“We’re excited to welcome Graduate Academic Assistants to our local,” says CUPE 2278 President Emily Cadger. “These workers play an integral role in the research and education community at UBC, and their work deserves to be recognized and fairly compensated.”

The representation vote for GAAs took place online from Monday July 10 to Wednesday July 12, and comes after an earlier application by CUPE 2278 to represent more than 3,200 Graduate Research Assistants (GRAs) this past spring.

“Thousands of graduate student workers at UBC have signed union cards this year and we’ve heard that they want access to a union and more support at work. We are looking forward to formally supporting and representing Graduate Academic Assistants and providing them additional protections for all the hard work they do,” adds Cadger.

CUPE 2278 represents approximately 3,000 workers including teaching assistants, tutors, invigilators, markers, and English language instructors at UBC and graduate teaching assistants at the University of Northern British Columbia.

CUPE is Canada’s largest union with more than 715,000 members across the country and more than 100,000 in British Columbia.