MUALA votes in support of a strike mandate (Press Release)

With a voter turnout of 92%, 100% of members voted yes in a strike vote held today and yesterday by the Academic Librarians at McMaster University. The Union Executive is now authorized to call for job action if necessary to achieve a fair and reasonable settlement with the University.

“Bargaining is stalling as a result of the employer’s demands to strip away members’ professional and academic rights” says Laura Banfield, President of the McMaster University Academic Librarian Association (MUALA). “This strike vote shows the members’ overwhelming support for their Bargaining Team and their determination to reach a fair agreement soon.”

The employer is trying to remove Academic Librarians’ right to participate in academic decision making and shield their decisions by removing agreed to criteria and processes.

Additionally, compensation is also proving to be a roadblock to a deal. The employer wants to roll back compensation and limit salary increases far below inflation.

“Academic Librarians at McMaster are already amongst the lowest paid, making far less than most other Academic Librarians”, says Laura. “The members are only looking for a fair settlement.”

A Conciliation Officer has been appointed and the first conciliation date is scheduled for October 14th.

The parties are negotiating to renew their first collective agreement, the term of which expired July 31, 2015.

MUALA represents 24 Academic Librarians who work at McMaster University’s University Library and Health Sciences Library.  Academic Librarians, who are required to hold advanced academic credentials, play an integral role at research universities, including important responsibilities in support of research, teaching, the preservation, collection and provision of scholarly materials, as well as involvement in independent scholarly activity.

Contact: Laura Banfield, MUALA President,