Labour Relations Board issues final arbitration decision

The Ontario Labour Relations Board has issued its final arbitration decision as McMaster completes a new collective agreement with the Building Union of Canada (BUC). The union represents 254 operations, maintenance and cleaning staff at McMaster.

Last November, the two parties reached agreement on a new contract with the exception of two items that were sent to arbitration. In December, the University and union presented their proposals on wages and benefit co-pay rates before the Board.

In the January 7th decision, the Board agreed with the University’s position on the co-payment of benefits. The University’s proposal will become part of the collective agreement.

On wages, McMaster’s proposal was also upheld with some small adjustments to percentage increases for skilled trades and cleaners. The arbitrator accepted the University’s 0% freeze for the grand parented custodians group, the .5% offset increase in the final year of the contract and added $200 lump sum payments for this group in each year of the agreement.

“We are very pleased with the arbitrator’s ruling which finalizes the new collective agreement,” says Roger Couldrey, vice-president Administration. “The University’s goal was to reach a competitive and fair collective agreement and with this decision we have now accomplished that objective.”

Full arbitration report

During the negotiations BUC made a number of allegations against McMaster. The Union now agrees the University acted in good faith throughout the process. It has withdrawn all charges of unfair labour practices.