MUSA monetary demand called unrealistic


The McMaster University Staff Association (MUSA) is demanding wage increases over two years that would see the salaries of many individual MUSA members climb between 20 and 40%. The union's proposed contract would expire June 30, 2001.

The University's bargaining team has now had a chance to review the union's demand. It was tabled last Friday, two days after MUSA asked its members to vote for a strike and more than two-and-a-half months after the University made its initial wage offer of a 10% increase over four years. The University tabled a response to MUSA's monetary demand over the weekend. Team member Alan Harrison calls the union proposal “totally unrealistic.”

Provost Harvey Weingarten has been working with the University's bargaining team. He says, “The University cannot agree to a salary proposal that it can't afford. It would also be totally irresponsible for the University to even consider an agreement that would mean reopening a new round of contract negotiations this spring. We need a deal that will create a prolonged period of stability for everyone.”

MUSA's proposal would see the contract end in less than four months. Under MUSA's proposals salaries would increase between 20 and 40% and benefits would add an additional cost of about 20 – 30%. That would result in a total package increase of as much as 50% over the two years. “I don't know how MUSA thinks we could pay for these increases,” says Weingarten.

The University and the union met again Monday afternoon. Both sides have agreed to a one-day hiatus and will resume negotiating on Wednesday.