After months of pushing McMaster University to negotiate a new collective agreement that is fair and reflects the best interests of our members, the Unit 1 bargaining team will begin conciliation with the Employer and a government-appointed conciliation officer TODAY.
As a reminder, we have included some of the biggest challenges faced by TAs as well as a list of our key bargaining priorities below.
- McMaster provides zero university-wide training to TAs.
- McMaster has tried to eliminate the standard number of hours per TA contract, thus further threatening our job security.
- Almost all TAs earn less than $11,500 in wages each year while also having to pay close to $8,000 in tuition. In fact, many — especially undergraduate TAs — earn less than $5,000/year!
- So far McMaster has refused to provide us with wages that keep up with the annual rate of inflation in Hamilton, which currently sits at around 2%.
- Here it is worth noting that while the University attempts to negotiate within the parameters of a bill (not a law) that, if passed, would cap annual wage increases for public sector workers like us at 1%, McMaster’s Board of Governors somehow thought it reasonable to approve “performance-based” salary bonuses of up to 3% for the highest-paid members of the University’s Management Group: https://cupe3906.org/2019/10/30/the-audacity-of-mcmaster-3-salary-increases-for-managers/
What we want:
- Paid TA training
- Capping the number of students in each tutorial or lab
- Job security in the form of a longer guaranteed TA period
- Closing the pay gap between graduate TAs and undergraduate TAs
- Wages that keep up with the rising cost of living
- + more!
One of the best ways to avert a strike is by making the Employer feel the pressure of an engaged membership. We’re already off to an amazing start with an 87% strike vote — a historic mandate for Unit 1. Today we are asking that you help us build on this momentum by informing the University Secretariat and Board of Governors of your support for the CUPE 3906 Unit 1 bargaining team and the priorities ratified by our members. Consider taking 5 minutes out of your day to let the “right” people know it will be in the University’s best interests to negotiate a fair deal ASAP:
- Call the Secretariat at 1-905-525-1940 ext. 24337 or
- Email the Board of Governors at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also use social media to share our most recent bargaining infographic (attached to this email) and/or stories about how your TAs have helped you. Keep us in the know by using #BetterMac or by tagging us @CUPE3906. TAs make the university tick, and ideally McMaster will come to realize this fact without us having to show them through a work stoppage!
We will continue to inform you of our progress at the bargaining table as much as possible. For a complete list of bargaining updates, please visit https://bettermac.ca.
The Unit 1 bargaining team