'Hear ye, hear ye': McGill 'town crier' announces resident advisor strike
“Hear ye, hear ye, all McGillians and assorted Montrealers! Let it be proclaimed round the land, that after nigh on two years of foul offers and vexatious negotiating tactics from their employer, the Floor Fellows of McGill University are now officially on strike!”
These were the words of one “town crier” Thursday afternoon, shouted from the steps of McGill University’s McCall MacBain building.
Dressed head-to-toe in period costume and ringing a handbell, the crier announced that McGill’s “Floor Fellows” — what the university calls its resident advisors (RAs) — would be going on strike as a result of the university decreasing its wage offer from $13.64 to $13.50.
RAs are trained upper-year students who live in student housing and offer support to residents.
“Floor Fellows will leave their residences and workplaces over the St. Patrick’s Day weekend and participate in public picket actions to show McGill how crucial we are to student life,” reads a press release from AMUSE, a union for support employees at McGill.
The union says McGill has also refused its demands for more flexible meal plans and retroactive pay “for our time in bargaining.”
“Our chief goal is to bring McGill back to the table and negotiate a fair and reasonable offer,” AMUSE president James Newman told CTV News. “We want to communicate just how seriously and how strongly we are fighting for a fair deal [and] a living a wage.”
The union says it’s been in negotiations with the university for the past two years.
Floor Fellows will kick off their strike Friday with a demonstration at Jeanne-Mance Park.
McGill University has yet to respond to a request for comment.