The Unit 2 Bargaining Team met with the Employer March 10, 2022, to receive the Employer’s latest proposal package. Unsurprisingly, there were few changes to the Employer’s previous proposals in years 1 and 2 of the agreement. (The Employer maintains its position that those years must be compliant with the 1% limitation on wages and total compensation mandated by the Ford government’s Bill 124. Unit 2 Members have already completed 1 full year under the 3-year legislative mandate in the 2020-2021 academic year.)
We have seen minor improvements in the Employer’s position on wages in the proposed third year of the agreement (from a 1.75% wage increase to the base rate of pay to a 3% wage increase to the base rate of pay). Despite the increase, this falls well short of the rate of inflation, and we are continuing to push for a higher wage increase. The Employer’s package includes some positive movement where we have asked for greater clarity in hiring practices and the provision of resources (especially technological resources and technological assistance) to members (where the Employer mandates the use of certain technologies and software), and guidelines for requests made of members by the Employer for the creation of deferred exams.
Also, we continue to discuss the importance of improvements to existing benefits funds, and would like to continue to hear from you about where benefits funds would be most useful (i.e., more health care spending reimbursements, funds for gender affirmation, etc.). It is thanks to your ongoing support and feedback that we are able to make any improvements, and we would like to continue to hear from you about what kinds of improvements would make the most impact for you. Please let us know by contacting Walter at firstname.lastname@example.org, Carolyn at email@example.com, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Although talks continue, the Employer remains unmoveable on issues of job security, retirement planning, and even basic equality and respect. Members have shown their dedication to McMaster for years, and even decades.
For example, members can miss out on a portion of supplementary student fees (i.e., the fee paid to members for each student in excess of 75 students) to the degree that their rate of pay exceeds the base rate of pay. (We are trying to change this so that all members have equal access to the supplemental fee language.) Unit 2 members miss out on the opportunity to plan for retirement by virtue of working contract-to-contract, even when they work at McMaster with the same colleagues for 10, 20, and even 30 or more years next to colleagues who enjoy employer-assisted retirement savings. Improvements to these areas of inequality would show respect to our members on behalf of the McMaster Administration.
Your colleagues on the Bargain Team strongly believe that more respect needs to be shown to you through the contract, especially considering the imposed restrictions of Bill 124. The Employer must recognize our members’ diligent work in our agreement–recognition that your colleagues on the bargaining team feel has been neglected by the Administration for a long time. This has had a negative impact on health, research, and professional development which is the backbone of higher education. Recognition is beneficial for both the University and its teaching staff.
A PDF version can be found here.