Fill out the form to send McMaster University administrators the letter below:
Dear University Administrators,
I am writing to demand that McMaster University cease all attempts to exclude Teaching Assistants working outside the province of Ontario from their Union – specifically, Unit 1 of CUPE Local 3906.
To strip members of their hard-fought union rights and entitlements would be unacceptable under any circumstance, but it is especially egregious while your workers are struggling to survive a pandemic.
No one should be punished for having to live out of province at this time. Some of our Unit 1 members have moved home in order to be with and care for family, while others left Ontario and made arrangements to live elsewhere due to the financial turmoil brought on by the pandemic.
Travel restrictions have made returning impossible for some members, and many are understandably wary of the risks associated with even domestic air travel. To strip these TAs of their union protections and benefits in a time of such stress and uncertainty, with hardly any notice at all, is a cruel disgrace to McMaster’s stated commitment to building a “Brighter World.”
And of course, excluding these Unit 1 members from the Union is also unnecessary. According to McMaster’s own policy, working remotely is now not only possible (with practically all Fall 2020 courses to be taught online), but also crucial to minimizing the spread of COVID-19. Simply put, it seems there is no good reason behind the University’s efforts to exclude workers who will be doing the same work, for the same employer, from the Union to which they rightfully and legally belong.
Like CUPE 3906, I recognize that the current circumstances were not foreseen by previous rounds of collective bargaining. Thankfully, the Union remains willing to settle any issue you may have with the Unit 1 Collective Agreement as it pertains to this matter, in a way that does not unjustly strip members of their union membership.
If McMaster truly is committed to making a “Brighter World,” its administration will immediately sign the Letter of Understanding that CUPE 3906 issued to them on August 4th, 2020, and halt all attempts to exclude out-of-province Unit 1 members from the Union.