posted on March 9: Wage increases – fact and fiction


The average wage increase for MUSA members between 1991 and 1999 was 18.2%. The figures provided by the University's Human Resources department contradict the union's claim that wages haven't risen since 1992.

“It's disturbing that MUSA continues to say that wages have not increased,” says Dave Tucker, a member of the University's bargaining team. The claim appears in the union's own information material and in numerous media reports.

Tucker says, “MUSA members should consider their own experience. I'm sure that the majority of members would say that their paycheques have gone up over those years, and in many cases have gone up by quite a bit.”

According to Statistics Canada and Ontario government figures, the average wage settlement increase in the public sector between 1993 and 1999 totaled 4.5%. McMaster's average wage increase included increases received through promotions, transfers, job re-evaluations and pay equity changes. The administrative rules on payroll haven't changed since 1992, but that does not mean people's paycheques have not risen.

“We firmly believe that MUSA members deserve a fair pay increase,” says Tucker. “That's why we made an initial wage offer of 10% over four years. It's important to correct the facts around the history of wages at McMaster so that the offer is seen in its proper context.”

The University and the union were at the negotiating table again on Thursday (March 8) and will continue negotiations on Friday, March 9.