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What you need to know

We recognize that a labour disruption is concerning for everyone. Students, faculty members and employees may have questions about the impact of the strike called by CUPE 3906, Unit 1, which starts on Monday, Nov. 21. Below is information that will help our campus community make informed decisions and we will continue to provide updates as information becomes available.

We thank our community members for respecting one another. We are one community that values every member and seeks to find common ground and solutions.

McMaster University and CUPE Local 3906, Unit 1, which represents part-time Teaching Assistants (TAs) and Research Assistants (RAs), in lieu of a TA appointment, have been engaged in collective bargaining. Those talks were aided by a mediator appointed by the province, who declared an impasse late in the night of Friday, Nov. 18. CUPE 3906 declared a strike starting Monday, November 21 at 7 a.m.

Yes. McMaster University will remain open during the strike. The campus will remain open and services and supports such as libraries, the Student Wellness Centre, residences, athletics and food services will continue to be provided.   


Most classes will continue as planned during the strike. Students will be notified by their instructors of any changes with as much advance notice as possible. Please check for course-specific updates on Avenue to Learn.

During the strike, expect picket lines at some of the entry points to campus and anticipate delays. Please take this into consideration when planning your schedule and leave enough time to get to work and classes. 

Accessing the campus by car 

At the McMaster University central campus, picketing is expected at the Sterling Street and Cootes Drive entrances. Delays are expected. Additionally: 

  • McMaster University Medical Centre entrance (Main Street entrance). Vehicular access at Main Street will be limited to those accessing McMaster Hospital and other limited exceptions. Additional picket line information can be accessed here.
  • Parking through either the Sterling Street or Cootes Drive entrances. Parking access remains open.

Accessing the Campus by bus 

Public transit services will continue; however, passengers will be dropped off and picked up at designated areas. Signs will also be posted on campus redirecting people to the correct location. 

Please check bus service websites for the most up-to-date details: 

Accessing the Campus by Foot or by Bike 

Pedestrians and bike riders may experience some delays as they enter campus using the main entrances. For health and safety reasons, pedestrians and bike riders are reminded to use approved and maintained paths or walkways as they enter campus. 

For details on accessing campus by car, bus and on foot or bike visit the Strike Information FAQ.

Pickets will be at the entrances to campus at Sterling Street and Cootes Drive – expect delays. Main Street and King Street entrances to the hospital will remain open to ensure access for emergency vehicles, and for individuals who need access to the hospital only.

The union will let individuals through who are accessing the daycare on campus, individuals with MTO accessibility permits and those transporting critical supplies. 

Picketing activities will occur Monday – Friday, from 7 a.m. – 5 p.m. 

All students, staff and faculty have the right to cross the picket line – General information about picket lines and what is permitted can be found here.

The university’s priority is the safety of all community members, including those on the picket lines, and to encourage a culture of respect and understanding. Please be patient if you cross any picket line.