TODAY!!! Monday, October 17 at 4:00pm – HSC 1A5/Zoom
Teaching Assistants and Research Assistants (in lieu) will take a strike vote in our ongoing negotiations with the university.
Register in advance for this meeting:
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.
The new Collective Agreement being negotiated will set our pay, benefits and rights for the entirety of its duration, which is usually for 3 years. While TAs and RAs are facing once-in-a-generation cost of living increases and an affordable housing crisis, our wages have been capped to a 1% annual increase for the last 3 years under Bill 124. This is the first time we can negotiate outside of that cap: unfortunately, it means that our wages have taken a hefty pay cut due to inflation alone. In raises alone, McMaster has offered is is offering far less than the rate of inflation as food prices and rent in Hamilton and the GTA skyrocket. In many departments, TAs depend on their TA pay to be able to afford basic necessities, like food and rent.
Just last year, McMaster had $232 million in excess revenues over expenses, $188m in more than what was projected for 2021. McMaster’s management can afford more, but it refuses to do so. The parties remain far apart on other issues as well, such as fifth year funding for PhDs, enhanced benefits, tuition assistance/reimbursements, and the large pay gap between graduate and undergraduate TAs. A strong strike mandate will show the university that TAs are serious about our priorities at the table. On the other hand, if few of us vote “yes” during the strike vote, the employer will have no reason to change their current position. You can read more in our bargaining bulletins here: https://bettermac.ca/unit-1-tas-and-ras-in-lieu/bargaining-updates/.
All current TAs and RAs (in lieu) are entitled to vote, as are those who worked in Winter 2022 or Spring/Summer 2022 and those who have a “contract in-hand” to work later in the 2022-23 academic year.
As per our by-laws, voting will start after the Strike Vote SGMM and will continue until October 19 at 11:55pm. Voting will be conducted electronically online. You will receive a ballot from Election Runner (not CUPE) in your McMaster inbox shortly after the end of the meeting, though the exact time will vary. Check your spam/junk folder for an email from email@example.com, and contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any issues. The SGMM will include a presentation about bargaining so far and an opportunity to discuss what’s at stake in the strike vote. We will also elect scrutineers, who are responsible for verifying the results of the vote.
Have Questions about the Strike Vote?
We know there are a lot of questions about the strike vote and the possibility of a strike. Answers to many questions are available in our Strike Vote FAQ document: https://bettermac.ca/unit-1-strike-vote-faq/.