We would like to thank you for coming out to our strike mandate vote meeting on Tuesday evening and for dropping by one of polling stations over the last few days to provide your union’s elected bargaining team with a clear strike vote mandate. Thanks as well to the volunteers who staffed polling stations and acted as scrutineers.
We feel both heartened and empowered by the support that a 78% ‘YES’ result represents. The support that the Union’s membership has shown to it’s elected bargaining team demonstrates a high level of engagement and a real commitment of your desire to secure strengthened job security, an improved workload, improved benefits, and fair wages that are in line with what Sessionals at other top universities in Ontario earn. Having heard the collective voice of our membership, we are even more confident in our ability to bargain a fair Collective Agreement for a #BetterMac.
Be reminded as well that a successful strike vote mandate does not mean that we are on strike, nor does it mean that a strike is imminent! Rather, you have empowered the bargaining team to call a strike should no further progress be made at the table. There are, in addition, a number of steps in the legal process around strikes/lockouts in the province of Ontario that would need to be followed before such a decision could be contemplated.
The next step is conciliation, a process that we have already initiated through the Ontario Ministry of Labour. As always, we will continue to keep you updated on the progress of negotiations.
Graham Baker, President
A #BetterMac is possible is a campaign organized by CUPE 3906 in support of Unit 2, our Sessional Faculty and Hourly-Rated Sessional Music Faculty, who are currently engaged in collective bargaining with McMaster. Sessionals are university professors without tenure, meaning that they routinely need to apply for their jobs, often on a semester-to-semester basis. This is the case despite that fact that many Sessionals have been providing decades of excellent teaching to students at McMaster. Sessionals also earn significantly less money for teaching than they tenured colleagues.
The biggest issue in this round of bargaining, by far, is job security. Your union is looking to strengthen employment stability and security by improving First Consideration rights in the collective agreement. The employer is not proposing any meaningful improvements to job security language. This is unacceptable!
In addition to strengthened job security language, our roughly 500 member sessional unit is looking for fair pay to reflect our excellent teaching, and improvements to benefits. Our members provide excellent teaching to McMaster students and have made a commitment to the university – a commitment of decades in many cases – and are seeking a commitment from McMaster that reflects this. A copy of our most recent bargaining bulletin, which provides a useful comparison between the union’s proposals and the employer’s, can be found here.
CUPE 3906 is a union that represents academic workers at McMaster University. We are teaching and research assistants (in lieu), sessional faculty and hourly-rated sessional music faculty, and postdoctoral fellows.
Our local has over 3,000 members, and we are part of the Canadian Union of Public Employees, the largest union in the country with over 640,000 members.