Thousands of McMaster University teaching and research assistants are walking off the job today after their union and university were unable to reach an agreement.

The Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), representing 2,900 teaching and research assistants, were unable to reach a deal with the university in their final mediated bargaining session on Friday.

Picket lines began assembling this morning at two entrances to campus, the Sterling entrance as well as the Cootes Drive entrance.

The union says wages and job security are sticking points.

Currently, graduate teaching assistants (TA’s) make substantially more than undergraduate TA’s and part of the union’s requests are to bridge that pay gap.

Graduate TA’s currently make $44 an hour and the union is asking for a nine per cent raise for their first year then a three per cent increase in the next two years.

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