posted on April 23: Final Contract Offer Vote Result


The vote by members of the McMaster University Staff Association on the University's final contract offer was released by the Ontario Labour Relations Board this evening (Monday) at approximately 8 p.m.

The vote result was:

318 Yes

1086 No

1408 MUSA members cast ballots. Total MUSA membership is 1,695.

“Our goal has always been to reach a fair contract with MUSA,” says president Peter George. “After collective bargaining failed to reach an agreement, we believed the final offer was the best and quickest way to try to settle the dispute. It also ensured that each MUSA member had the opportunity to have his or her say on the offer. That has now happened.”

George says it is important that the University finds the next most timely and least confrontational way of reaching a first contract with MUSA. “We believe the next step should be arbitration. But our preference is for voluntary arbitration, of the mediation/arbitration type and using an agreed upon Board of Arbitration or a sole arbitrator, rather than compulsory arbitration. We have asked MUSA to consider this form of arbitration.” MUSA has filed an application with the Ontario Labour Relations Board for compulsory arbitration.

There are significant differences between the two forms of arbitration:

Compulsory Arbitration

Voluntary Arbitration

A lengthy process that often takes many months

Can lead to a quicker resolution

Arbitration panel is appointed

The union and the University jointly choose the arbitrator

Process is prescribed in legislation

The union and the University jointly choose the process to meet their needs

Labour Relations Act requires that the final contract run for two years from the date the arbitration board issues its decision

Contract length is agreed to by both the union and the University

Decisions on the content of the final offer are made by a third party with no guarantees that either the University's or the union's proposals will be accepted.

Process can more closely resemble the collective bargaining process