An update on the job action by college faculty in Ontario represented by the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU):
First, these workers are officially on strike as of 12:01 this morning. Picket lines have gone up on campuses all over the province, including a (for now) information-only picket on the McMaster campus for Mohawk faculty who also teach here.
The picket line is near the Main St. entrance to the main campus. We would encourage you to stop by at some point this week to greet your colleagues and lend your support. You may also consider sending an online letter of support. Remember: their fight is also our fight!
To that end, your elected bargaining team has also been busy this past week as we continue to try to reach an agreement with the employer. Many outstanding issues have now been settled, including updates to pregnancy and parental and other forms of leaves, and clarifications around the way grievances are handled for this unit. Unfortunately, after multiple meetings with the employer’s negotiators over the last two weeks, we have seen no movement on the issues that you have identified as priorities. McMaster’s bargaining team has not signalled any willingness to make any serious improvements to wages or benefits and they have flatly refused to entertain the possibility of even modest improvements to job security (i.e. to extend first consideration appointments any further beyond their current length).
We will stay at the table, but negotiations are approaching an impasse. Your bargaining team will meet tomorrow morning to evaluate the employer’s most recent proposals and decide on next steps. As always, we will continue to keep you updated. In the meantime, please sign the pledge stating your support of the team!
In solidarity for a #BetterMac,
Graham Baker, President, CUPE 3906