Teaching and Research Assistants at McMaster University deserve a fair and reasonable collective agreement that provides them with meaningful financial security to ensure their academic success.
Far from being fair and reasonable, the agreement that McMaster has offered its TAs and RAs – who have already suffered immensely under three years of wage restraint legislation – puts them further behind. It offers no job security for overtime graduate students or existing undergraduate TAs. McMaster made no movement on wages and offered no protection against tuition increases. McMaster’s proposed agreement does not meaningfully address the substantial pay gap between graduate and undergraduate TAs.
CUPE’s proposals are fair, reasonable, exist at comparable universities, and are well within McMaster’s means. The university’s total consolidated surplus during just one year of the pandemic (2020-21) was $232 million. The university has also not been shy about handing out exorbitant pay increases to senior administration when the rate of inflation was far lower than it is today. All these TAs are asking for is to be treated fairly.