University offers immediate living wage, agreement reached on delaying strike/lockout date

The University and Building Union of Canada met with a provincial mediator Thursday, at the request of the union. The University made a substantive offer that guarantees all members of the bargaining unit would immediately earn in excess of the current Hamilton living wage.

The new offer preserves all other wage increases for the rest of the unit as laid out in the University’s last offer. The union did not make any new substantive proposals today.

BUC represents 254 operations, maintenance and cleaning staff at McMaster and the parties have been negotiating a collective agreement for nine months.

Under the new proposal, casual cleaners will earn above the current Hamilton living wage immediately upon ratification of the contract. The previous offer raised the casual cleaners to above living wage in October 2015.

Unfortunately, the Union responded by email that while it agreed with the immediate wage increase proposal for the Casual Cleaners as an interim measure, it considers all other outstanding issues in dispute.

The two parties also signed an agreement prohibiting a strike, lockout or contracting out until September 15 at the earliest. This ensures there will not be pickets impacting students returning to campus for the fall term.

In other bargaining news, the members of the University’s parking unit have ratified their tentative collective agreement that was reached during bargaining last week.