Academic workers at McMaster deserve a fair deal!

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Since the middle of May, CUPE Local 3906 has been bargaining in good faith with McMaster University to reach new agreement for our two of our units — teaching assistants and research assistants in lieu (unit 1) and postdoctoral fellows (unit 3). Both of these agreements will expire on August 31.

In that time, we have made some progress and have secured important new protections.

However, on June 5th, the Ford government introduced Bill 124, a piece of legislation that threatens to interfere with our collective bargaining rights and seeks to cap total compensation increases for public sector workers to 1% per year over the next three years. 

Consequently, our progress at the table has come to a standstill. McMaster University’s bargaining teams have withdrawn proposed increases for postdoctoral fellows and replaced them with proposals that effectively cut postdocs' pay over several years.  The Employer's bargaining teams have been unwilling to offer any meaningful proposals to address the key priorities identified by teaching assistants (and research assistants).

It is clear that McMaster University is taking direction at the bargaining table from legislation that has not yet passed into law, and as a result, their new proposals are well below the rate of inflation. That means over the next three years, the cost of living will continue to rise faster than our members’ wages and benefits, and our members’ key concerns — such as expanded training for teaching assistants and an increase to the salary floor for postdocs — will not be addressed. 

In short, our members will be receiving a real-terms pay cut, and McMaster’s proposals will leave its workers further behind.

That is why we, the undersigned, call on McMaster University to:

  • Continue to negotiate with CUPE 3906 in good faith;
  • Recognize that Bill 124 is not the law;
  • Negotiate a deal that is fair for the teaching assistants and postdoctoral fellows at McMaster University, not one that Doug Ford thinks is fair.