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
September 20, 2017
Meet Dr. David Gerry, a Sessional in School of the Arts.
He’s taught at McMaster University for about 30 years, has acquired a few advanced degrees in that time (including a PhD), been recognized by the Grammys (yes, you read that correctly), won a McMaster Students Union (MSU) teaching award, but has “no more job security now than when I began.” It’s time for a #BetterMac
Have a look at this video to hear from David what a #BetterMac means to him and why creating one is important.
September 10, 2017
By now, you’ve likely seen our #BetterMac posters across campus, and perhaps even our #BetterMac video, featuring Jessica Foran, a Sessional in Social Sciences. In it, she highlights the importance of issues such as improved job security, a manageable workload, meaningful benefits, and fair pay. We’ll be back at the bargaining table with the Employer in early October, but until then, you’ll see us around campus talking about why Sessionals need – and deserve – a #BetterMac. Come and say hi, and if you’re interested in your own testimonial video, please let us know. If you’ve got any bargaining related questions, please send them to Amarjeet: firstname.lastname@example.org
August 28, 2017
Your union has secured a number of improvements already, including paid domestic violence leave and better
pregnancy and parental leave, but much remains. This includes addressing our key priorities, most notably
strengthened job security provisions (referred to as First Consideration Appointments). Particularly worrying, then, is that the Employer’s Settlement Offer contains no substantial improvements to First Consideration language. This proposal envisions a precarious workforce that routinely has to re-apply for work, despite years of teaching excellence. They also prefer compensation for Sessionals that is significantly lower than other universities in
Southern Ontario, such as the University of Guelph and Wilfred Laurier University despite McMaster’s status as a world-class institution for teaching excellence. A full of our August bargaining bulletin can be found here.