TAs gain wage increase


A new three-year agreement between McMaster and the Canadian Union of Public Employees Local 3906, representing almost 1,400 teaching assistants, provides increases in three wage categories.

Teaching assistants in the two-year master's programs and four-year doctoral programs, the highest wage bracket, will see an increase from $29.70 to $31.67 an hour by the last year of the deal.

The University will create an annual budget of $100,000 for the support of PhD students who are in programs that may take five years to complete.

As well, graduate teaching assistants are still limited to 10 hours of TA work per week, but they will no longer be prohibited from securing off-campus employment beyond that limitation.

McMaster also included a Letter of Understanding to recommend that tuition for graduate students isn't increased during the term of the contract. It currently sits at $4,422 a year.

The agreement is retroactive to Sept. 1, 1999 and runs until Aug. 31, 2002. The deal, ratified Jan. 8 by 92 per cent (314) of eligible voters, ended a five-week strike by TAs which began on Dec. 3.