MPSGSA Statement on Union Busting
The McMaster Political Science Graduate Students’ Association has issued a statement condemning McMaster University’s decision to deny out-of-province TAs union membership, in the midst of a pandemic, urging the administration to sign the Letter of Understanding (LOU) proposed by CUPE 3906.
The McMaster University Political Science Graduate Students’ Association (MPSGSA) unequivocally condemns the University’s decision to expel out-of-province Teaching Assistants (TAs) from the bargaining unit, in the midst of a pandemic. We call on the administration to immediately reverse this unjust, cruel, and damaging action, and to sign the Letter of Understanding (LOU), proposed by CUPE 3906, to reinstate all TAs’ union rights.
McMaster University responsibly cancelled classes in March, due to the global outbreak of COVID-19. Hence, TAs have been mandated to work from home. Furthermore, many TAs have been barred from crossing the Canadian border and/or entering the province, due to travel restrictions, health concerns, and other factors. Rather than compassionately supporting remote workers – during this most difficult and volatile time – the University has nullified their basic union rights to wage protections, protections against unjust termination, protections against harassment and discrimination, and more. As highlighted by CUPE 3906, the administration is not justified, legally or otherwise, to take this callous step.
To build a brighter world, McMaster must make use of its vast resources to further support its workers, instead of engaging in union busting, negatively harming us all as workers. We have already been struggling with wages below the poverty line before the pandemic. The University reputation as a leading academic institution that safeguards the interests of its workers and students is at stake. We expect the administration to make the right decision and sign the proposed LOU to extend the membership of TAs working outside of Ontario for the mandated duration of remote work.