posted on Feb. 21: University’s Proposal on Hours of Work


The following information, provided by the University's bargaining team, is being distributed today to employees in the MUSA bargaining unit.

Hours of Work

McMaster University is committed to providing its employees with a work environment where the workload is managed within a standard work week. The University also recognizes that at times some employees work in excess of a standard work week and they need to be compensated for their efforts.

When this happens there are two common ways for employees to be compensated: time-off-in-lieu and paid overtime. Flexible work hours help employees balance their needs with the University's requirements that workloads, particularly in peak times, are covered. Many employees accepted jobs at the University based on such flexible work arrangements.

The University and MUSA have not been able to agree on hours of work, flexible working hours, time-off-in-lieu and paid overtime. Below we've highlighted some of the differences:

Flexible Work Hours

McMaster recognizes that the University is a diverse work place. No two offices or units have identical needs. In order for the University to maintain its services at times of highest demand it is necessary to have flexible working hours. This way both the University's needs and the employee's needs can be met.

MUSA proposes that decisions around flexible work hours must be approved by the employee, the supervisor and MUSA. Such arrangements will be subject to a formal, yearly review.

Reporting Absences

The University's proposal indicates that employees are responsible for notifying their supervisor when they are going to be absent. The supervisor should also know when the employee expects to return to work and where the employee may be reached during the absence.

MUSA's proposal makes no reference to reporting absences.


The University's proposals maintain flexibility so that employees and supervisors can discuss on a case-by-case basis the best way to compensate authorized overtime.

MUSA proposes a one-size fits all approach to overtime issues.