posted on Oct. 5: New three-year deal for trades and custodial workers


A new three-year collective agreement has been struck between McMaster and the bargaining unit representing operations and maintenance employees at the University. The 160-member unit includes skilled trades and custodial workers.

The agreement was ratified by members of Service Employees International Union Local 532 (O&M Group) on Thursday, Oct. 4. The agreement will go to McMaster's Board Executive Committee for approval on Oct. 10.

Effective Oct. 1, the contract provides for across-the-board wage increases totalling 7.5 per cent: 3 per cent in year one, 2.5 per cent in year two and 2 per cent in year three. It includes improvements to vision and dental care benefits, a personal day,and a new skilled trades allowance.

“This is a fair deal that recognizes the vital contribution made to McMaster by these employees who work hard cleaning and maintaining our campus. The new allowance for highly skilled tradespersons will improve our ability to compete in the marketplace for these skills,” says Mark Haley, assistant vice-president human resources.

“We're delighted to have reached this agreement before the expiry of the current contract. Both the University and the union were committed to the process of achieving a settlement and both sides were able to meet their goals and objectives without needing the assistance of a third party. The collegiality and goodwill shown at the table made this possible,” says Simon Ouellet, director of human resources operations (benefits, staffing, compensation and information systems).

Ron Roscoe, president of SEIU Local 532, was unavailable for comment.