HAMILTON, Ont. – McMaster University teaching assistants and research assistants (TAs and RAs), represented by the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), have extended their strike deadline to Friday, October 27th at 7:00 am, to allow the union membership to review the latest contract proposal put forward by McMaster’s administration. The previous strike deadline was Monday, October 23rd.
“Management’s latest contract proposal does not address the key issues of rising tuition fees, overwork and job security,” said Max Haiven, CUPE 3906 spokesperson. “Our members will have an opportunity this Thursday to see what’s on the table, but it’s obviously not something we can recommend. Unfortunately, the university community will need to prepare for a strike, barring a last-minute change of heart by the administration.”McMaster’s administration made no significant improvements over previous offers on the key issues. CUPE has begun strike preparations.
“During mediation talks, management said clearly that protection from tuition fee increases is non-negotiable,” said Sarah Declerck, CUPE 3906 president. “Rising tuition fees represent effective pay-cuts for our members, and it’s clear the administration just doesn’t get it, and they’re pushing for a strike.”CUPE 3906 represents over 2,000 undergraduate and graduate TAs, who teach, grade and help students at McMaster. The membership recently voted 81 per cent in favour of strike action if a fair agreement is not reached. Their last contract expired on August 31, 2006. No further talks have been scheduled before the October 27 strike deadline.
“Other Ontario universities offer tuition fee protection to their TAs – there’s no reason why McMaster TAs should be left behind,” said Haiven
CUPE 3906 Spokesperson
CUPE 3906 President
CUPE National Representative