The Solidarity & Social Justice Committee (SSJC) of the Teaching Support Staff Union (TSSU) stands in solidarity with CUPE 3906 and Academic Workers at McMaster in their efforts to negotiate a just deal.

Since May of this year, CUPE 3906 has been bargaining with McMaster University to reach a new agreement for two of their units: Teaching Assistants (TAs) and Research Assistants (RAs) in lieu, and Postdoctoral Fellows (postdocs). In June, Doug Ford’s government introduced Bill 124, legislation which interferes with collective bargaining rights and seeks to cap total compensation of workers at a meagre 1% per year over 3 years. Since then, and despite early progress at the negotiating table, McMaster has withdrawn proposed increases and replaced them with concessions that include cuts to wages and benefits. These cuts leave these members’ salaries well below the rate of inflation, and they do not address the other concerns, including expanded training and an increased salary floor for postdocs.

TAs, RAs, and postdocs are critical parts of the university. Our work makes the university work. Our compensation, therefore, must reflect our immeasurable contribution to the functioning of the academic community, including but not limited to a fair wage and benefit package. As such, the SSJC echoes CUPE 3906’s call for McMaster to:

  • Continue to negotiate with CUPE 3906 in good faith;
  • Recognize that Bill 124 is not law;
  • Negotiate a deal that is fair for the Teaching Assistants and Postdoctoral Fellows at McMaster University, not the one that Doug Ford thinks is fair.

In solidarity,

Solidarity & Social Justice Committee

Teaching Support Staff Union

ssjc@tssu.ca