Know your rights. Every Unit 1 worker has the LEGAL RIGHT to join us on strike at any time. (Even if you signed the TA declaration!) You CANNOT legally be disciplined or fired for joining a strike. It is ILLEGAL for your professor to force you to continue working if you choose to strike!                "How do I join the strike?” 1. Email your professor/supervisor. (We've written a script for you to copy.) 2. Show up to the picket line, sign in with a picket captain, and join the party! 3. Give yourself a high-five. It takes bravery to stand up for your beliefs!

"But my prof and my students need me!” That's exactly why you should strike! TAs do such important work, and we deserve to be paid fairly! Students pay thousands to get the best education possible. But McMaster pockets the money, leaving them with overworked and underpaid TAs. Striking is standing up for students, too. Don't let your professor guilt you into working. Faculty have choice to delay grades until the strike is over.                “I don’t owe the union anything.” You owe it to YOURSELF to stand up for a fair contract. YOUR hard work is the backbone of the university. McMaster pocketed $232 million in excess revenues last year. Why should you be paid poverty wages when YOUR labour is producing profits for a multi-million dollar institution? The university would pay you the bare minimum if it could, but our union has fought to give you good wages, healthcare, and benefits. It’s time to stand up and support the union that supports you.

Even if you’ve signed the TA declaration form, joining the strike is a simple process. Don’t forget, you have the legal right to join the strike, and it is illegal for your workplace to discriminate against you for participating!

Step 1: Email your professor/supervisor to inform them of your choice.

Some workers worry that joining the strike will impact their relationship with their professor/supervisor. We recognize that you might depend on your professor/supervisor for future employment, reference letters, and other career opportunities. It is possible to inform your professor of your choice without compromising your professional relationship. Just be polite, sincere, and let them know why the strike is important to you! You can write your own email, or copy this template:

Dear Dr. [X],

I’m writing to inform you that starting today, I will be participating in the CUPE 3906 Unit 1 strike and temporarily withdrawing my labour from this course.

While I originally chose to continue working, I have come to see the importance of joining my coworkers on strike. I believe that a fair contract will benefit both TAs’ working conditions and students’ educational experience. I’m confident in my choice to join the strike, and I hope you will respect my decision.

As I’m sure you know, faculty can choose to delay submitting their final grades until the strike is over as a show of solidarity. It has been a great experience TAing this course, and I’m looking forward to reconnecting with you in the future. See you on the picket line!


[your name]

Once you have sent the email, consider yourself officially on strike! No matter what your professor says, you do not have to continue working. Don’t let your professor guilt you into crossing the picket line, and get in touch with us if you receive a concerning response. Remember, the purpose of a strike is to show the university just how irreplaceable our TA labour is!

Step 2: Show up to the picket line and join the party!

Click here for information on how to join the picket line. It’s pretty simple: just show up, tell one of our lovely picket captain that you’re new (they’ll be wearing high-visibility vests), sign a couple forms, and start picketing!

Picket lines have hand warmers, plenty of hot coffee, delicious snacks, and burn barrels to warm yourself up. There’s also music, chants, and good vibes! We’re so excited to see you there!

Can’t picket the full 20 hours? Struggling financially? The same link, here, also has information about strike duty accommodations and accessing the hardship fund application.

Step 3: Give yourself a high-five!

You’ve officially joined the fight for a fair contract and a #BetterMac! It takes bravery to stand up for your beliefs in this way. Seriously, you rock. See you on the picket line!

– The CUPE 3906 Communications Committee;