News / Edmonton

Resident assistants at U of A may unionize

Application goes to labour relations board next week.

Metro file

Some residence assistants at the University of Alberta — the paid students responsible for helping new students living on campus — are looking to unionize.

“We’re basically just looking at a way we can advocate for ourselves," said residence assistant Kyle Monda.

He described the job as an “unusual" one that requires everything from planning events for first year students to being on site when medical emergencies arise. RAs also do overnight, on-call shifts.

They’re required to live in the community they’re working in and make a starting wage of $550 a month, which Monda said isn’t a lot for the work they do.

Monda is part of a group that approached the University of Alberta Non-Academic Staff Association, who already represents more than 6,000 support staff on campus.

The association has, in turn, applied to the Alberta Labour Relations Board to represent all students employed in residence services, which include residence assistants, residence life interns and ambassadors.

The board will decide at a hearing on Oct. 24 whether or not they’re eligible. If they are, resident assistants will vote on whether or not they want to join the union.

The University declined to comment on the matter while the application was still before the Alberta Labour Relations Board.

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