HAMILTON, Ont. – Sessional lecturers and music instructors at McMaster University, represented by the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), are set to begin a strike over job security if an agreement with university management cannot be reached.
“Our struggle is about job security, and about respect and dignity,” said Ben Doyle, president of CUPE 3906. “Sessional lecturers teach the same courses as full time faculty at the same university, yet we are treated very differently. For example, each semester we have to reapply to teach our courses, and there are no guarantees that we will be rehired.”
Throughout the year, McMaster employs over 300 sessional lecturers and music instructors to teach undergraduate courses at the university. During the summer, the 117 lecturers and instructors teach the majority of the courses offered to well over 3,000 students. The union’s last contract expired on April 30th, 2005. The sessional lecturers will be in a legal strike position at 12:01 am on July 14th, with mediation talks scheduled for July 12th.
“We will do everything possible to avert a strike, but management will need to be committed and come to mediation with an offer that includes real job security and decent wages,” said Mike Skinner, chief negotiator for CUPE 3906.
“Our colleagues at York University, the University of Guelph, and others, have won strong job security language, and we are determined to do the same at McMaster,” said Doyle. “We are hopeful that we will be able to iron out the job security issue during mediation talks, otherwise a strike looks to be unavoidable.”
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