OPIRG McMaster Statement of Solidarity with CUPE 3906

OPIRG McMaster stands in solidarity with CUPE Local 3906 in their efforts to secure a fair and reasonable collective agreement. 

CUPE Local 3906 represents over 2,500 Teaching Assistants (TAs) and Research Assistants (RAs) at McMaster University. We support their demands calling upon the university to table an offer that: 

  1. Protects student workers from tuition increases and addresses their concerns about the rising cost of living; 
  2. Recognizes the job insecurity faced by graduate student workers;
  3. Ends the significant wage discrepancy between undergraduate and graduate TAs.

TAs represent roughly one-third of McMaster’s total workforce, yet they make up only 3.7% of McMaster’s total payroll. While the average yearly rent in Hamilton has increased by roughly $4,500 since 2019, the maximum pay for graduate student workers has increased by only $570. The wage gap between undergraduate and graduate TAs is approximately $19 per hour, despite no differences in workload. 

OPIRG McMaster supports the demands of CUPE Local 3906 to end the significant wage difference between undergraduate and graduate students and to provide a living and fair wage for all TAs. Failure to do so undermines not just the quality of living, but the quality of the research and teaching our university produces. 

OPIRG McMaster urges McMaster University to fully recognize the hard work and dedication of academic workers by bargaining in good faith and presenting a fair and reasonable offer. Our TAs and RAs deserve better and their demands should be met, as the university relies heavily on their labor. 

We hope that a fair and equitable agreement is reached soon. As the strike continues, OPIRG McMaster will continue to fully support the demands of CUPE 3906 outlined above. 

In Solidarity,

Board of Directors

OPIRG McMaster