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Unit 5

We are happy to announce that last night the tentative agreement recommended by your bargaining team was accepted by the membership in attendance with 76.5% in favour.

Despite having to negotiate under the provisions of Bill 124, we were able to come back with a Collective Agreement with significant language and monetary improvements.

We were able to achieve wage increases of 1% in the first two years of the Collective Agreement as well as 2.5% in years 3 and 4.  Upon ratification, all custodians will be moved up to the top wage rate in their classification, eliminating the pay differential between those hired before 2019 and those hired afterwards.  In Year 3 of the agreement, December 1, 2023, all Full-Time employees will be entitled to employer paid benefits, and any employees who had a co-pay will see the co-pay eliminated.  Also, the benefits package will be aligned with other Unifor plans, and members will see the elimination of per-visit caps, increases to practitioner maximums, increase to vision care (from $250 to $400) as well as some dental entitlements. 

We bargained language that increases the per-week hours cap for part-time members, while ensuring that no full-time members hours are reduced as a result.  We introduced new language requiring the University to provide a minimum of 6 weeks notice if members hours of work or shifts are going to be changed.  Addition of language around Career Growths and the creation of a committee to create an apprenticeship program will offer more opportunity for members to gain new skills.  The Internal Transfer language we created will offer greater clarity and transparency around internal postings.

The highlights document attached contains the key changes that were made.

Now that we have ratified on our side, we still have to wait for the University to complete their ratification process.  Due to timing, and the fact it must be ratified at a Board of Governors meeting, this will not happen until March 2022.  Once the University ratification process is complete, the 1% ATBs and the movement of those custodial classifications will be calculated and the retroactive wages will be paid in a lump sum.  More information on the details of that will be communicated at that time.

If you have any questions, please email Emily Heikoop, Vice-President.


Representing Operations and Maintenance employees in Facility Services.

Unit Chair

Joanna Rodziewicz

Workplace Committee

Shawn Fleming

Chantelle Hankins

Judy Leullier

For the latest posts from Unit 5 please scroll down the page.

Unit 5 Documents

Recent Unit 5 Posts
  • Unit 5 News

    There has been a lot of conversation with the University as well as our Unifor National Representatives as we have worked through the COVID-19 impacts on our members.  We know that your supervisors are requesting that members submit vacation requests and some of the messaging on that has been challenging.  We have been working through the vacation issue as part of the overall plan for Facility Services Members.  While we don’t agree with the University’s interpretation of our Collective Agreement language, refusing to put in vacation requests would be considered insubordination. All members of Unit 5 have been or will be asked to submit vacation requests that amount to half of their 2020 vacation entitlement to be taken by the end of June-essentially half of your vacation by the end of the first half of the year. While we appreciate this is not ideal, we also need to have plans put in place that ensure as many of our members continue to work for as long as possible under the State-of-Emergency measures currently in place.  Facilities will be starting to roll out operational plans into the summer with the vacation measures being part of that planning. CTO will not be included in the vacation requirements as there is other language in the Collective Agreement that speaks to that, and it will be paid out after the end of April as per that language. If you are not sure of your entitlement, or how much you are required to book etc , we suggest you raise those questions with your supervisor via email.  If you are being requested to book more than ½ your entitlement or have a circumstance that requires further clarification, reach out to us at the contacts below. We also know this has been a difficult time and are seeing these impacts across all of our units and campus as a whole. Again, you are encouraged to reach out to us. Unit Chair-Chantelle Hankins Vice-President-Emily Heikoop President-Beth Couchman

  • Unit 5 News

    Hopefully you have all seen the email from Debbie Martin sent late Friday night in response to the changes to the Essentials Businesses and Services List announced by Doug Ford Friday afternoon.  You also should be receiving communication from your supervisor that will let you know if/when you were required to work for Sunday April 5 to Tuesday April 7th.    All members will be paid as if they were reporting to work as they normally would have regardless of if they are required to come in over these 3 days.  The department has also committed to updating you as to what the new operational plan will look like on Tuesday. We appreciate that these changes are coming quickly, and our members are feeling uncertain as to what the next weeks will bring.  What is certain though is that your Union is continuously working on taking care of our members.  We have been in communications with both the University as well as our National Representatives throughout the weekend.  As soon as we have confirmed information that would have an impact on your unit we will be sharing it with you via email, social media and our website.  Updates relating to individual units can also be found on your Unit 5 page. We know that many of our members do not rely on their emails.  If you do not use your McMaster email, but would like to receive emails to another email address, please let me know by emailing me at If you are unsure of whether or not you are required to report to work reach out to your supervisor.  If you are unable to get a hold of your supervisor, let Unit Chair, Chantelle ( or Vice-President ( know.

  • Unit 5 News

    Members, This past week has been challenging on a number of fronts as we are facing more changes to how the University is responding to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.  Each of our groups has faced varying changes to the work environment as interim measures were put in place.  We have been in continued conversation with the University about other measures that may be implemented or were rolled out to the membership during the course of this week.  Further to that yesterday afternoon Doug Ford announced further changes to the list of businesses and services required to close.  The University is taking a look at the new closures and we anticipate that there will be further changes to operations. We are not yet sure about how the provisions rolled out during the course of last week, notably the use of vacation time, will factor into any changes in plans the University makes whether now or over the course of any new announcements. Some key points we would like to highlight- Members who are reporting to work MUST practice safe social distancing. Do not gather in groups in lunchrooms and maintain a minimum distance of 6 feet.  If a particular job you are assigned would require you are closer than 6 feet to another person/member, please reach out to your supervisor to discuss alternative options. If you are feeling unsafe at work, we suggest you read the information we have posted on Union Bulletin boards that clarifies how the existence of an infectious disease is not inherently an unsafe work environment. If you have concerns not answered by that information, you are encouraged to reach out to Jim McAndrew, Health and Safety Coordinator at Essential services designations are not a consideration at this time. The government’s use of this terminology is causing some confusion.  McMaster University is open and as such your attendance at work has nothing to do with whether or not you are designated ‘essential’ services. Information and resources relating to Leaves, EI Benefits and CERB (Canada Emergency Response Benefit) can be found on the Unifor National COVID-19 website.  Many of those resources will also be posted or linked to on the Local 5555 COVID-19 Updates page. You are encouraged to monitor your McMaster email or the Local website for updates from us.  If you have concerns or questions, you are encouraged to reach out to your Unit Chair, Chantelle Hankins ( or Vice-President Emily Heikoop (

  • Local 5555 News Logo

    Welcome to Unifor Local 5555’s new website! The new site has been completely redesigned from the ground up to help serve the members and the community at large, Just a quick tour: The Main page now works like a newspaper – get all the latest news from 5555. You will also see in the top menu links to everything on the website. The sidebar also has an events calendar where Local and local events can be seen. Units – Each Unit of Local 5555 now has it’s own dedicated page where you can find Unit specific information and documents as well as the latest news posts. Retirees – without our retirees fighting fo us in the past we wouldn’t be where we are today as a Local so they get their own page 🙂 Standing Committees – Each Standing Committee now has it’s own page as well with descriptions and contact info. Newsletters – Find and read all current and past editions. Contacts – The old website had contact all over the place so it has now been combined into one place to make things easy to find. All in all we’ve gone for a simpler design to make things easier and more logical to find. Enjoy!! Allan Fisher.