In October 2013 The Building Union of Canada was selected by the membership of the Operations and Maintenance Staff at McMaster University to be their representatives. At that time, President Craig Bromell committed to doing whatever was possible to secure their employment and improve their lot in life.
The University threatened lock-out, demanded that the Ministry of Labour conduct a final offer vote and resisted arbitration. The Union and its members persevered and in January of 2015 the first contract arbitration was awarded and secured their jobs with modest pay increases through 2018.
The Union then committed to pursue all legal means to have the cleaning staff treated fairly. In October 2015 the Union filed a complaint with the Pay Equity Commission that alleged that employer had not maintained the existing pay equity plan.
The University initially denied the allegations but ultimately conceded that the Pay Equity Plan required updating. In April 2017 an agreement to update the plan was reached.
The Building Union of Canada is proud to announce that all cleaning and custodian staff will be compensated the same hourly wage. Effective October 8th 2017, all cleaning staff, regardless of job title will be paid identical wages. The result is that all staff will receive pay increases that range between 5.2% and 21% for the remainder of the collective agreement. In addition, all employees will receive a lump sum payment to compensate for the period of time that has transpired since the date of the agreement.
The Custodian position will receive a lump sum payment to compensate for the period which the Union identified as the appropriate period during which the failure to maintain the pay equity plan adversely affected the incumbents.
The Custodial position was grandfathered by the employer in 2010 and this is the first monetary increase that these employees have received in 7 years.
Since The Building Union of Canada took over the representation of employees at McMaster, the casual (part-time cleaner) has received a 39 % increase in their hourly wage rate. First achieving the living wage through arbitration and now receiving equal pay for work of equal value through this agreement.
The Building Union of Canada continues its commitment to ensure the fair and just treatment of its loyal members at McMaster University employed in Facility Services.