We are pleased to announce that after 2 long days of bargaining with the assistance of a Conciliation Officer from the Ministry of Labour, your elected Bargaining Team has reached a tentative agreement with the University’s negotiators.
Details of the agreement as well as the process for ratification will be forthcoming. Our thanks again to you, our members for your support over the last several months.


Strike Vote Dates, Times, and Locations

The vote will be discussed at a Special General Membership Meeting on the evening of Tuesday, October 24th in the Arthur N. Bourns Building (ABB), Room 165. The information begins at 5 p.m. with a vote to follow. You will have a chance to hear from the Bargaining Team and ask any questions, or voice any concerns, that you might have about the bargaining process, conciliation, or the strike mandate vote.

The voting will open immediately following the meeting on the 24th.

Voting will then continue until Friday, October 27th from 8:00AM to 7:00PM according to the following schedule:

Wednesday, October 25th: The Lobbies of Mills and Thode Library + the Main Floor of the Degroote School of Business

Thursday, October 26th: The Lobbies of Mills and Thode Library + the Main Floor of the Degroote School of Business

Friday, October 27th: The main floor of the Engineering Technology Building (ETB)

UPDATE **We wanted to inform students of this important policy: Rights and Responsibilities of Undergraduate Students During Work Stoppages That Substantially Disrupt Academic Activities**

It is important to vote yes during a strike vote for a number of reasons. First of all, more people voting yes means that we’ll end up with a strong vote. In this situation, a strong vote means that we have 80 – 90 percent of the membership voting “yes”. Based on past experiences, what we’ve seen time and time again is that when we have a strong strike vote, we end up with a strong collective agreement. It sounds counter-intuitive but the stronger the strike vote, the less likely we are to go on strike. This is because a strong strike vote sends a clear message to the employer that we mean business and are not interested in dragging things out at the negotiating table.

We know that if you’re a sessional, you would much rather be teaching students and not standing out on a picket line. We also know, however, that you both want and deserve improved job security to provide stability and predictability to your employment relationship. We know that if you’re an undergrad, you’ll want to get your assignments graded quickly, have someone to teach you, and people to make sure the university keeps on working.

3906 at laurier picket lines summer 2016

We can appreciate those needs, but the university doesn’t. We just want a fair agreement that addresses key issues of  job security, workload, fair wages, and access to meaningful benefits.  Based on McMaster’s most recent proposal, they have no interest in meeting these reasonable proposals. See our most recent bargaining bulletin for a comparative look at the union’s proposals and the employer’s.

The reality is that we have members who have worked here for decades with little to no job security, and sessionals often need to apply for their jobs on a term-by-term basis and have no real guarantee of work from one year to the next. Based on the employer’s most recent proposal, they have no interest in improving job security.

Relative to other top universities in Southern Ontario, including the University of Toronto, University of Guelph and Wilfrid Laurier University, the wages for sessionals are low. This is especially true in light of McMaster’s recent status as one of the top 3 universities in Canada. The important contributions of sessionals need to be recognized and compensated fairly. This can be done by improving job security provisions and offering fair and competitive wages to reflect the excellent quality of teaching provided by sessionals.

What can you do to help us avoid a strike?

  • Talk with your friends and family, classmates and colleagues, and people around Hamilton about our bargaining proposals. Please tell them that we are just looking for a fair deal.
  • Write to the McMaster University administration and let them know that you support a #BetterMac and  fair deal for its academic workers!
  • Join the discussion on Twitter and use the hashtag #BetterMac
  • Sign the petition to support your bargaining committee