TAs on strike at McMaster University

Teacher’s assistants and research assistants are on strike at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. The Canadian Union of Public Employees Local 3906, which represents 2,700 assistants, set up picket lines Monday at the university, reports the Canadian Press.

The union had been in talks with McMaster University for almost 24 hours before rejecting the final proposal Saturday. According to The Hamilton Spectator, the main bargaining issues were class sizes, more benefit funds due to expanded union membership and increased shift availability for senior PhD students.

McMaster University offered to increase hourly wages by $1.30 over a two-year period, but keep the pool of benefit money mostly static at $150,000, though adding an extra $3 per person for dental. McMaster is hoping the union will change its mind as the offer remains on the table for a week.

Some TA’s have crossed picket lines and continued to work, while others are uncertain.

The strike has made it difficult for students to get on campus through two main entrances, with no guarantee that lab or tutorial classes will be available.

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