CUPE 3906 Unit 1 Bargaining Blog
~ your issues, your process, your contract ~


Visit the link below for a quick and easy way to support CUPE 3906 members by telling the McMaster Administration to negotiate a fair contract and avert a strike/lockout:


Dear Sisters and Brothers in CUPE 3906,

I write on behalf of the officers, stewards, and members of CUPE Local
3902 to express our support for your bargaining position, our
endorsement of your fair and reasonable demands, and to ensure you that
should your employer push you to a strike, we will be there in person
and in spirit to help you protect and improve the working conditions of
some of the most vulnerable employees in the sector.

As a trade union with over 6000 members at the University of Toronto, we
understand the impact that decreasing public funding for post-secondary
education and increasing casualization of instruction have on university
workers.  We also are at the bargaining table to negotiate a new
contract for the sessional faculty, and our employer, like yours,
continues to insist that the “current financial context” precludes any
monetary improvements. This kind of opportunistic and selective
rationalization for concessionary bargaining must not be validated by

In addition to meager wage proposals, our employer continues to rely on
tuition hikes and ballooning class sizes to buffer revenue, belying its
public commitment to accessible quality post-secondary education.  You
are facing overwork and lack of employment guarantees, and this is yet
another strategy to achieve that neo-liberal management ideal,
flexibility, while increasing revenue through tamping the cost of
labour.  The history of industrial North America is rife with examples
of employers seeking relief from labour costs, and it is in the end the
pressure from unions that holds back the tide of total job insecurity
and free-market wage adjustments.  We urge you to stand strong.

Please let your members know that their colleagues at the University of
Toronto are paying attention, and support them.  Please inform your
employer that no Local of the Canadian Union of Public Employees stands
alone.  We urge McMaster to come to a fair agreement with you at the
bargaining table.

In solidarity,

Robert Ramsay
Chair, CUPE 3902


October 9, 2009 — Letter of Support from the Hamilton District Labour Council

Dr. Peter George
McMaster University

Dear Dr. George:

Bargaining, in labour relations terms, is about reaching an agreement that is mutually acceptable to the parities at the table. Talks can be rancorous, angry, and might eventually lead to a strike or lockout. To reach a settlement, some give and take is required. To reach an agreement, however, the parties must discuss the issues. Recent news that the negotiators for McMaster University did not attend scheduled meetings with their counterparts from CUPE Local 3906 and a provincially appointed conciliator is surprising. We cannot say that it is a shock; this behaviour seems to be part of a pattern.

From our perspective, the union has made some interesting and important proposals that advance the interests of their members but also recognize the need of the university to control costs. The Labour Council cannot tell either side how to resolve their differences. However, we strongly urge McMaster’s negotiators to go back to the table to bargain. Anything less will produce a result that is not worthy of one of the 200 best universities in the world! We cannot separate the reputation of McMaster as an innovative centre of research and teaching from its actions as an employer.

CUPE 3906 knows that the labour movement in Hamilton will stand in solidarity with its members as
they determine whatever actions are necessary to reach a fair collective agreement. Teaching and research assistants deserve dignity as students and workers; the Hamilton and District Labour Council fully support them in this struggle.

Dr. George, make sure your negotiators return to the table, not to sow division and discord, but to
earnestly bargain a decent agreement that benefits the employer, the employees and the entire McMaster community.

Sincerely yours,

Tom Atterton

Copies to:
Mary Ellen Campbell, President, CUPE Local 3906
Al Orth, Chief Negotiator, McMaster University
Don Fraser, President, Hamilton and District Labour Council



One Response to “Support”

  1. As President of CUPE Local 4153, at the Hamilton Wentworth district School board, I send this message of Solidarity from our Executive Board. Keep up the fight Sisters and Brothers. If this isn’t over soon, I’ll see you on your picket lines, like in the past disputes.

    Arch Walker
    President CUPE Local 4153

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: