APF afterwork Thursday 30th

Dear post-doc,

The APF is happy to invite you to share some drinks with nice people (and your new executive board 🙂 ) this Thursday, 30th of November at Thomson House, begginning 6:00 pm. All post doc are awaited for this event.

Please register beforehand using the evenbrite link.

Hope to see you there,

Your APF Exec.





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APF Welcome event – September 25th – 5:30 to 8:30 pm

Hello McGill Postdocs,

The Association of Postdoctoral Fellows of McGill University is organizing a special WELCOME EVENT just for you!

This is a great opportunity for you to meet fellow postdocs, the Dean of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (GPS), the committee members of the Association of Postdoctoral Fellows (APF), and the executives of the Post-Graduate Students’ Society (PGSS).

There will be food and drinks, as well as an information session

The Welcome Event will take place September 25th at 5:30PM in the Thomson House Ballroom (3650 McTavish, 2nd floor, Montreal, H3A 1Y2).

Please register to the eventbrite event.

We are looking forward to seeing all of you there.


-APF Executive




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Family picnic for Postdocs – May, 20th – 2 to 5 pm

As McGill postdocs we want to celebrate the end of the cold winter by enjoying a social afternoon at one of the most emblematic open spaces in the city of Montreal: Parc Lafontaine.

We are inviting all postdocs and their families to join us in for a fun Saturday afternoon. Food, drinks and children activities will be provided.

Hope to see you all there!

Please register in the Eventbrite event (link below) and let us know how many family members are you bringing to the event.



-APF Executive


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Postdoc ratification vote results (January 12th)

Dear Postdocs,

The results of January 12th ratification vote were 66% against.

summary of the agreement and the full text of the collective agreement that was presented that day are available.

The AMURE postdoc union invites postdocs to a bargaining meeting on Tuesday, January 17th at 11:30 am to their offices (517 des Pins, next to the Gym). During that meeting, the feedback received by AMURE union will be evaluated and prepared for bargaining meetings with McGill that will take place on January 19th and 20th. Interest postdocs can attend that meeting as well as part of the bargaining team.

Please RSVP by sending an e-mail to the AMURE union (sean.cory@aerum-amure.ca) if you would like to attend the bargaining meeting on January 17th.

For any further questions about bargaining or feedback, please email sean.cory@aerum-amure.ca


Thank you,

APF Executive.

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Postdocs’ Change of Status

Postdocs’ Change of Status Q&A

(link to the GPS post)

This page was last updated at 3:30 pm on December 19, 2016, and will be continually updated as we receive further inquiries.

Q. Am I affected by the changes?

Following the Quebec government’s decision, there are effectively four groups of postdocs at McGill.

  1. Postdocs who are not paid by McGill University (identified as “Group A” in some previous communications):These individuals are considered postdoctoral fellows (students) and will be unaffected by the changes, as they are not McGill employees. This includes postdocs paid by the MUHC Research Institute, the Douglas Mental Health University Institute, etc.
  2. Postdocs who come to McGill with their own personal awards, and are paid 100% out of those awards (identified as “Group B” in some previous communications):These individuals are considered postdoctoral scholars, and will be unaffected by the changes, as they are not McGill employees. They are not paid by McGill funds – even if their income is processed through McGill’s systems – and they are therefore not McGill employees.
  3. Postdocs who receive more than 25% of their funding from McGill funds (identified as part of “Group C” in some previous communications): These individuals are now postdoctoral researchers, and are considered by the Quebec government to be McGill employees, because they receive McGill funds – regardless of whether they are paid completely or partially by McGill funds. As well, they are unionized and will be represented by AMURE.
  4. Postdocs who receive McGill funds, but for whom McGill funds constitute 25% (or less) of their total funding (identified as part of “Group C” in some previous communications):These individuals are now postdoctoral researchers (NU) and are considered by the Quebec government to be McGill employees, because they receive McGill funds – regardless of whether they are paid completely or partially by McGill funds. However, they are not unionized and will not be paying union dues.


Q. What exactly changes for postdocs in Groups 3 and 4?

On June 9, 2015, the Quebec government’s Tribunal administratif du travail determined that McGill postdocs are employees as defined by the provincial Labour Code – not students, as McGill has long considered them to be. This government decision meant that McGill must apply the same payroll deductions to these postdocs as are applied to all other employees working in Quebec.

As a result:

  • These individuals must pay provincial income tax and other provincial payroll deductions.
  • They will be eligible for Quebec government benefits (e.g. maternity/parental leave through the Quebec Parental Insurance Plan).
  • Federal taxes will now be charged at the applicable employment income rate.
  • Postdocs who are unionized will be represented by the AMURE bargaining unit, and will begin paying union dues.
  • Researchers who employ postdocs will be charged employer fees (e.g. mandatory contributions to the Quebec Pension Plan and Quebec Parental Insurance Plan).
  • Payroll changes will be implemented as of January 1, 2017, and will first appear on the January 26 pay.

We are concerned about the financial hardships that the Tribunal’s ruling will cause – a decrease in take-home pay of approximately 15% for many postdocs, and new costs to researchers who must now pay fees to the Quebec government (amounting to roughly 20% of postdocs’ gross pay). We reiterate that this was not McGill’s decision – we have historically considered all postdocs to be students and applied payroll deductions accordingly, but following this government decision, the continuation of our longstanding practice would place us in breach of the law.

Q. How much will these new deductions cost?

Employer and employee deductions can be calculated with online tools provided by Revenu Québec and the Canada Revenue Agency.

Q. Are some postdocs exempt?

Postdocs in Groups 1 and 2 above are not McGill employees, as they are not paid by McGill funds. Therefore, they are unaffected by the changes.

Q. What about international postdocs?

Eligible international postdocs may claim a refund of their provincial income tax payments when they complete their tax returns. For more information, please visit the Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies website.

Q. Why are these changes necessary?

Following the Tribunal’s determination that postdocs are employees, McGill was legally obligated to apply provincial payroll deductions to their pay – just as all employers must do for their employees.

Q. The Tribunal’s decision was in June 2015 – why has it taken so long to make these changes?

Postdoctoral funding can be extremely complex, with some postdocs receiving funding from several different sources. Some postdocs secure their own funding stream(s), while others are paid through one or more McGill researchers’ grants, through other external grants disbursed via McGill’s payroll system, or through some combination of these. As well, McGill was required to make changes to its payroll systems to reflect these new employee categories. It has taken longer than expected to navigate these complexities, but as we knew that the government’s decision would create a financial burden for some, we wanted to make absolutely certain that deductions are applied only to employees who must pay them under the law.

Q. Why was the Tribunal examining the employment status of McGill’s postdocs?

The Tribunal’s determination was made during its assessment of whether some McGill postdocs are eligible to unionize. Previously they had been exclusively considered students; however, the Tribunal determined that they are employees under the Labour Code. This status confers both legal rights (e.g. the right to receive maternity leave, unionize, etc.) and legal responsibilities (e.g. an obligation to pay provincial income tax and other payroll deductions).

Q. What do postdocs get out of this?

While all employees in Quebec must pay provincial payroll deductions, they also gain access to provincial benefits such as maternity/parental leave and membership in the Quebec Pension Plan.

Q. If postdocs are McGill employees, do they get McGill benefits?

Postdocs in Group 3 – those who receive more than 25% of their funding from McGill funds – are unionized employees. Their benefits will be negotiated during regular negotiation sessions between their union (AMURE) and the University, and will be outlined in their first collective agreement.

Q. What impact will membership in AMURE have on benefits, fees, etc.?

Questions about benefits, fees, etc. will be included in postdocs’ first collective agreement. Any inquiries should be directed to AMURE representatives.

Q. Do unionized postdocs have to pay for PGSS fees in the coming semester?

No. PGSS has announced that it will not charge fees to unionized postdocs as of January 1, 2017.

Q. For postdocs who receive McGill funds, why must we apply employee payroll deductions to the entirety of their income — rather than just their income from McGill funds?

Under the law, individuals must be classified as either employees or students — they cannot have two statuses for the same job. Regrettably, this means that a postdoc earning $10,000/year from McGill and $40,000/year from an outside source will be taxed on $50,000 of employment earnings if all those funds are administered via McGill’s systems. As well, provincial benefits (e.g. payments provided during maternity leave) would be based on a $50,000/year income.

Q. Why so little notice for postdocs?

We understand that these changes will pose hardships no matter how much notice is received. However, in July, postdocs received notice that “Changes impacting the status of some postdocs at McGill University are expected as early as Fall 2016. Such changes will result in some postdocs being categorized as employees. This may result in employment/salary deductions (including income taxes), affect working conditions (including benefits), and result in the collection of union dues. More information about these changes is forthcoming. A determination will be made regarding your status at McGill in light of this and will be communicated to you during the Fall 2016 Term by Human Resources.” Similar messages were added to the postdocs’ portion of the GPS website and to the Letter of Agreement form at this time.

Q. If personal awards are paid directly from an external body to a postdoc, and don’t pass through McGill’s systems, will employee deductions be applied?

No. McGill will only apply deductions to external funds that pass through McGill systems — and only to postdocs who also receive McGill research funds.

Q. What if I have a question that isn’t answered here?

We invite you to reach out to our HR Shared Services team at 514-398-HRHR (4747) or hr.hr@mcgill.ca.

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We are the Association of Postdoctoral Fellows of McGill. We are postdocs, and represent the 650+ current PDFs at McGill, and the over 1000+ PDFs that pass through McGill every year.

APF Mission:

We aim to address the issues that postdocs face at McGill, as well as nationally and internationally. Whilst all postdocs are part of the PGSS, we face some fundamentally different challenges – definition of our status, taxation, and career development, to name but a few. Our aim is to keep McGill postdocs informed of relevant information, in addition to advocacy work and acting as a voice of PDFs within the McGill community, and at large.


A postdoc position is a busy and critical stage of our career, and so the running of the APF needs to be spread amongst a number of people. We’re working to keep the website up to date, and make sure PDF representatives sit on designated committees within the university. There’s also plenty to be done in terms of events, sharing information and expertise, and career development opportunities. If you’d like to get involved – please contact an executive member! We also have an email address. We’d love to hear from you!

Follow us on twitter & Facebook


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