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“We’re on strike for good jobs and better pay”: CUPE teaching and researching assistants at McMaster head to the picket lines

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About 2,800 teaching and research assistants at McMaster University are on strike following an impasse in negotiations, says CUPE 3906.

“We would rather continue delivering the services students rely on, but we’ve also always been prepared to strike for good jobs if we needed to,” said Chris Fairweather, President of CUPE 3906. “And that time is now because instead of bargaining in good faith and accepting our very reasonable and affordable proposals, what McMaster has offered its HEs give RAs simply puts us further behind. So we’re withholding our labor to show the university that our work matters and that we deserve better.”

The union’s key proposals are wage increases; extended funding and guaranteed work; protection against wages being lost to tuition increases in the form of reimbursements; and a closing of the pay gap between graduate and undergraduate assistants.

“We’re still deep in the middle of historic inflation, we’re coming off wage restraint legislation that essentially forced a wage cut on us, and the university’s proposal does little to support us,” said Shalen Prado, Vice-President of CUPE 3906.

“We’ll keep putting pressure on McMaster until decision-makers come back to the table and are ready to do what’s right for us and for the university community,” added Rebecca DeWael, first-year PhD and HE.

Members and allies will be on the picket line at the intersection of Forsyth Ave N & Sterling St from 7:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., Monday-Friday.

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