posted on April 26: University, MUSA agree to voluntary arbitration


McMaster University and the McMaster University Staff Association reached an agreement yesterday to achieve a first collective agreement through voluntary arbitration.

Voluntary arbitration, an alternative to compulsory arbitration, involves a third party who acts first as a mediator to assist and enable further agreement between the union and the University, and then, if any issues remain unresolved, as an arbitrator to resolve these issues through a binding arbitrated award.

The two parties have agreed to the appointment of George Adams as the mediator/arbitrator for the process. Adams most recently assisted the Hamilton Board of Education and its elementary teachers. July 31 has been set as the date by which Adams will render a final award, although he may extend this date if he considers it necessary.

To view the Memorandum of Agreement reached yesterday by both parties on the process, click here.

University President Peter George commended negotiators for both parties for agreeing to this process and called the agreement an extremely positive step. “I am very hopeful that we will be able to come to terms quickly so that we can successfully conclude negotiations and implement the first contract's pay increase and improvements in working conditions for MUSA members.”

George says the University's work does not end once a collective agreement is achieved. “There are bridges to rebuild and fundamental changes will need to be made to achieve a positive and progressive work environment at McMaster. I am committed to making this happen. Our senior team is committed to making this happen and I trust that MUSA members and others at the University will work with us to make this happen.”